Can you teach someone how to write a press release? Or is it like so many aspects of copywriting for PR, a matter of instinct and innate flair?
There’s a new page on Buzzwords’ main website outlining the main points to consider when writing a press release. Much of it is common sense. Anyone tasked with the job of writing press releases will quickly find out what’s required.
Let’s face it: the elements are simple. First, there’s a headline followed by the body copy and then finished off with contact details (and possibly some supplementary information included at the very end of the release under the heading ‘Notes for Editors’).
It’s probably more important to understand what a press release is for, and how the news you want to announce can be best presented to editors. The mechanics of what goes where in a release should be a matter of course for anyone whose work involves sales and marketing!
Top of this list is understanding that news releases are about presenting information in a clear and logical way. They are not advertising pieces which set out to persuade people to buy. In other words, the facts should speak for themselves.
It is also vital to make sure that both editors and the ultimate readers of your release have ways of making contact. For editors, this is so they can ask for more information. For the reader of the published release, they will obviously need to know who to contact for information about how to secure the services or products described in the release.
Again, this is all common sense. Tips about eye-catching headlines, including quotes in the text and summarising your message in the opening paragraphs are obviously useful. Very soon, however, these will become second nature to regular writers of press releases.
(To find out more, visit the relevant page on Buzzwords’ website. You’ll find it by clicking on the ‘Copywriting for PR’ tab on the main navigation bar.)