Tag Archives: press releases

Press Releases: Four Simple Ways to Make Sure Yours Stand Out

By Nicholas Beeson, Marketing Associate, Buzzwords Manchester

Editors get hundreds of press releases a week – and most of them bite the dust. Why should this be? It’s obviously important that your release is professionally written. More important, however, is your content. This will be the decider when it comes to whether your release is read and used.

To save you from the agony of rejection, here are four simple ways to make sure your press release stands out from the crowd and that it is actually published:

  • Make sure the subject of your release is relevant to the readership of the publication

Sounds obvious, but many people forget this. The information and story in your release need to be important to the publication’s readership, and not just to your business.

  • Don’t use your press release as a means of free advertising

Editors are wised-up to companies using press releases as free advertising, and can distinguish a genuine press release from ‘advertising in disguise’. Trying to use press releases as a means of free advertising will almost certainly see your release in the bin. Press releases do provide a great means of publicity, but write your publicity to give news or information only.

  • Short and simple is key

Editorial space is limited, meaning your release needs to be short and to the point. Write clear and concise sentences using only the important, relevant information. Avoid jargon, repetition and create lively text that is relevant to the publication’s readership.

  • The release should be able to stand on its own

If you feel a cover letter – or e-mail – is needed to explain why you have sent the press release or why it should be published, then the release isn’t good enough in the first place. Editors should want to publish your press release, so there’s no need to bother with a letter or explanatory e-mail.

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How to write a press release

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.)

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