Writing a press release is not difficult once you get into the right mindset and develop the right style of writing for it. Essentially, it is about communicating a message to a specific set of people (target audience) to create interest in your message and ideally trigger a response (a sales enquiry).
So, what steps should you follow?
- Who is your audience? In terms of the journalist, the media outlet and their end audience. What is this audience interested in?
- Decide on your one key message. Keep it simple and try not to make it ambiguous
- Use the “so what” principle. Is it really newsworthy? Does it merit a press release?
- Make the headline eye catching, but the press release must justify claims. If you say it’s faster, say how much faster
- First paragraph should say everything. Subsequent paragraphs reduce in importance, least important at the end
- Be succinct. You are not writing a literary masterpiece and you could lose your message in it. It should be at least one page with 1.5 line spacing, but very rarely over 2 pages
- Talk about benefits, not features. What does it mean to the target audience, what will it do for them?
- Include a quote from a key executive
- Don’t capitalise everything, it is annoying and facets that should stand out will be lost in the noise
- Avoid negative words wherever possible
- Avoid too much jargon unless your audience is equally technical
- Avoid overused words such as unique
- Be ruthless. Don’t use words that sound good, but that don’t mean anything or are used in the wrong way i.e. consultant speak. Know the meanings of the words you use and know what point you are making
- Review it. Take into account all the points above and decide whether it meets all these criteria