How to Produce Your Own Press Release - Top Twenty Tips & a Sample

A press release is a simplified story about your business or an aspect of it.

It normally provides free coverage in the medium that reproduces it.  Local papers receive over 30 press releases each day and about 90% are rejected in seconds. A well written, professional looking, release helps to attract attention.

Following these Twenty Top Tips will help you achieve success.

1. Use headed paper or an email with your signature that identifies your business and service.

2. Type at the top, "Press Release" or "Press Information".

3. Date the press release.

4. Preferable show the article is for "Immediate Release" or if not “Embargo” with the release date.

5. Include contact details - at least name, telephone number and email address.

6. Always give the article a heading that is relevant to the story.  It does not have to be too clever the paper will often change it to their style.

7. Use double spacing & wide margins - for editor’s notes.

8. Write in a logical sequence and ensure it is not too long (short pithy articles are the most likely to be used).  Have an introduction, main body and conclusion.

9. Stories must be newsworthy. Ask yourself why readers will be interested in this article.

10. They should be produced empathetically - not seen as "advertising puff".  Write to educate as well as to inform.

11. The writing style should in keeping with the publication.

12. Personalise to the publication e.g. a local aspect in a local paper.

13. Use short concise sentences and paragraphs in simple language.

14. Grab attention in the first paragraph.

15. If more than one page put "Continued" at the bottom.

16. Number every page and write "End" when finished.

17. Try to use realistic quotations.

18. Opinions should be in quotes.

19. Where possible enclose a relevant photograph.

20. Ensure photo has a caption and sticker on the back with details.

Finally, send your press release to all the appropriate media – local newspapers, trade press, local radio, terrestrial and digital TV, daily newspapers, Sundays, magazines, web sites, on-line papers, bloggers etc.  In fact, to any medium which is likely to be seen or heard by your potential customers!

 How to Write a Press Release

A good press release should have the reader saying "that’s interesting", and not "so what!"  Unless you have a revolutionary new product or a piece of hard news, write to inform or to educate.

Write for the benefit of the reader. Think, "what sort of person would this appeal to". Once you have a picture of the reader, think about the way you write.  If your target publication is like The Sun, don’t write the sort of prose you would find in The Observer.  Similarly, if you are writing for a technical journal, don’t write for a Sun reader!  Try to use sub-headings, or bullet points to break up the monotony of a large lump of typeface.

Before you start to write the press release, jot down what it is you want to get across. If you are educating people, you may want to write a whole series of articles – you may even become the publication’s acknowledged expert in the subject.  If you want to tell them about your business and your product, remember there are many others locally, possibly doing the same thing.  They read papers too so don’t knock them! However, you are special, you have something that others don’t have – jot down what it is first.

A press release can be divided into four main areas:

The opening gaining attention, getting people interested. Identifying problems that many readers face.

The solution what type of things people can do to overcome these problems.

The benefits what would happen if they took various actions, explained simply. Their advantages and draw-backs.

The close what you would do if you were them. Who you are and where you can be contacted.

Briefly you are setting out the problems which people have in your area of expertise, suggesting various solutions they could adopt and telling them who the best person is to help them chose the very best solution: you.  But you must do it without mentioning me, I, we, our or yourself in any way until the very last paragraph.  You must always include words such as, you and your or occasionally they or them.

A press release can be "hit and miss" dependent on the publication and availability of other news stories. It should not be relied upon on its own.

Press releases are useful ways of stretching the marketing budget and should be part of your overall marketing strategy. What have you to lose? Try promoting your business through this valuable medium.

Sample Press Release

>Press Release > >Press Release > > Press Release >

For Immediate Release – 5th November 2xxx

What Price Poor Communications?

The health and leisure industry workplace can be a challenging environment, particularly when communication lines are not running smoothly.  Great communications start at the top.  Everyone needs to feel safe, comfortable, motivated. 

Professionals know that poor communications are an easy way for a company to lose sight of what it can achieve.  There is a price and an impact on sales, profits and morale.  Among staff this often results in people being unmotivated and unhappy.  This shows when staff are dealing with clients, colleagues and perform their daily tasks.  Health and leisure firms understand the way to increase productivity is to have a happy workforce.  Great communications are the key to achieving that.  Effective training provides the channels to great communications.

Every day we communicate at home, work, socialising and when out and about.  Do your staff ever taken time out to think about what makes: effective communications, great relationships at work and top customer service?

To remedy these communications problems for organisations, Laurie Bernard of The Business Services Partnership has developed an interactive one-day workshop.  He says that "workshops should be delivered in a relaxed and friendly style.  Delegates need to learn what effective communications really are and how to implement them". 

The aspects that should be part of a good communications workshop are developing listening skills that are audio, visual and kinaesthetic (physical activity and demonstrations).  Discovering what sort of communicator, they are.  Knowing the difference and impact of both verbal communications and non-verbal communications.  Understanding the mysteries of body language.  Checking out the effect of their personal presentation.  Seeing the impact of interpersonal skills.  This is what enables them to work well in groups and teams. 

Delegates who participate in good communications workshops feel confident communicators.  They discover what impact they have on others and will be able to identify how to get on with all aspects of their community. They are more productive within their organisations and easier to work with.  You have less staff churn resulting in reduced recruitment and training costs.

If you want to discuss workshops further contact, Laurie on 07973 361 994 or email LB@thebsp.co.uk.  He is providing our readers with free initial training needs assessments.

ENDS –5th November 2xxx

Notes for Editor: Background

Successful business trainer, Laurie Bernard is the founder of The Business Services Partnership.  He is accredited by The Institute of Leadership and Management, The Chartered Institute of Marketing and member of the Barclays Bank panel of marketing experts.  He is an award winning public speaker and has been training people for over 25 years. 

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 Boosting Sales and Profits

 Contact: Laurie Bernard, Founder, The Business Services Partnership

Telephone: 01923 894 484      Mobile: 07973 361 994

 14 Campion Close, Watford, WD25 7PL

LB@ thebsp.co.uk   www.thebsp.co.uk

 



Sources:

  • Barclays Bank Information leaflet
  • The Little Sales & Marketing Book
  • IBA training course
  • Be Your Own PR Expert - Bill Penn