Friday, February 01, 2013

A professional looking press release is not the same as an effective press release

If you want to write a press release that actually gets placed with a news organization, don't model your news release on other news releases, model it on the style of the news organizaton you want ot place it with. If you want to place your story in the Washington Post, write like the stories you see in the Washington Post.

If you go to a trade show you will see hundreds of press releases, and they all read the same. It is truly a pity, because most of them have interesting stories to tell.

Too many press releases are written to be professional looking rather than newsworthy. If you put the phrase "leading provider of" in the first paragraph, you need to rewrite your release. Describe your company in the simplest way possible, say you are a content management company, or financial software company, or SaaS provider, or something the reader can easily understand.

Put your news in the headline or at least the first paragraph. It is astonishing how often this obvious technique is overlooked.

Here is an easy test to find out whether your news release is effective, give to a friend or family member and ask if they understand it. If they don't, it needs to be rewritten. Even the most technical stories can be communicated to a lay audience.

No one will struggle to understand what your product or service does. No one will struggle to understand why it is newsworthy.

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