As a business owner or even someone looking to promote an event you are part of at your church or non-profit group, you should know that a press release can be very powerful.
A friend of mine was president of a youth baseball league for five years. He tells me the use of press releases far outweighed the return then most paid advertising in the same newspaper.
So what makes a good press release? Here are some handy tips to help get your press release going.
The headline of your press release should not be made up of some infomercial gimmick where your readers think you are trying to con them. A bad headline would be, “Miracle Product Cleans Your Floors For You”. You can tell the headline is a bad one, and chances are no one will read the release. However if you reword it to grab the readers attention can make all of the difference. For example, “Self Cleaning Product for Floors Hits the Shelves in Record Numbers”, might do better. Come up with a good headline.
Every press release must, according to my friend, answer the whos, whats, whys, wheres and hows of what it is you are trying to talk about. In his case he was trying to promote his youth league. He had to talk about who they are, what the league is about, why they exist, where they are located and how the readers can get in touch with them. If you cover all of these questions you will have all of the information in there that you need.
The content of your press release should read like a news story not an advertisement selling your product. In my friend’s case he wrote press releases talking about a variety of things, but all were made newsworthy. For example, after games were completed, he would write up small snippets to be placed into the sports section of the local paper, that gave a nice write about the game, who won, who were the stars etc. The local media loved, and my friend claimed that his small articles appeared almost daily while the season went on. You could imagine the impact this had on the success of the league.
Whatever it is you are trying to promote through the use of a press release, chances are you can make it newsworthy. If you don’t the editors that you send it to will more than likely will just throw it in the trash. Throw in some quotes from professionals and experts in your field, some statistics of your industry and you will have yourself a winner.
Once you have your great headline, awesome content, you need to throw in how people can get a hold of you, your company or product. A good way of doing this is to fit it in over the course of your content. For example you can add a quote earlier in your content that reads, “according to John Smith, General Manager of ABC Toy Company located in Anywhere, USA…”, you get the point. Now that you have been mentioned, near the end of your press release, tell readers how they can get a hold of you. “For more information on that ABC Toy Company, Mr. Smith can be reached at…”, would do just fine.
So there you have it! The meat and potatoes of how to write a press release. It is not as difficult as you think, but spend some time on it to polish it and it will surely be a hit for you.