The press release
A press release is a clear and concise document which summarizes a fact, product or event in an objective way.
It should enable someone with little knowledge of the subject to better understand it within just a few seconds.
A press release is not produced as a sales aid. A press release is produced to inform in an objective way.
It should show information in order of importance: “what, for whom, how and how much”. We recommend adopting this outline as it is easier for the reader to follow.
Don’t forget that you are not the only one wanting to be published in the media. Be aware that a journalist has more information than they have room for in their media publication. You are therefore competing with all the other press releases being put forward.
A journalist will therefore tend to favour articles that are well laid out, clear and intelligible.
A good test is to give your PR to someone who knows nothing about your subject. They must be able to understand it within a few seconds.
Press release outlines
Never send your press release as an attachment in an email, as there is nothing more irritating than having to open an attachment. They can often trigger anti-virus filters which can be time-consuming, particularly if your press release contains large volume image files.
Limit the length
The shorter the better. The shorter the information, the more likely it is to be read. Journalists receive dozens of emails every day. Spare them the task of long and tedious hours of reading.
The best press releases are a single page, most topics can be written on a well laid out page.
If your subject is complex and requires more space, create a press kit in which you can expand the details around your subject. You will only have a few seconds to get the journalist interested in your news.
Space out your document and create paragraphs with titles. This makes reading easier. Mark “Press Release” or “Press Info” to show that you are not sending out a business brochure or flyer to editors. Date your press release. If the date is not clearly visible, a journalist may query if the news is up to date. They won’t want to have to check this detail so they’ll find it easier to move on to the next press release.
Only announce one piece of information per PR. If you try to send out several pieces of information at the same time, none will be remembered.
Be objective, do not “sell” your product. If you use a sales vocabulary the journalist will query your subject and they will have to then check out what is stated in your press release. They won’t want to do that so they will more than likely move on to the next press release.
Get rid of superlatives: super, incredible, unique … All these words discredit your subject. Just simply use descriptive vocabulary. Make short, clear sentences. You are writing a press release, not a novel.
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