Blog entry by Doris Hall
Under the old rules, the only way to get “published” was to have your press release “picked up” by the media. Traditional press release can still be really valuable when executed well, so instead of ditching releases as a tactic, give them a modern makeover to make them more useful for your marketing.
#1. Killer Headlines
They say first impression counts.
Writing a killer headline is one of the most complicated and challenging part of press release. It’s the first thing that catches the reader’s attention and makes them decide whether they want to click or read more. This is not a time to create mystery or suspense.
Always remember, a well-written press release means nothing if no
one reads it. Keep it simple, interesting, and descriptive: Just
remember that public and journalists scrolls through over a dozen
of headlines every day, so take some time to craft a short and
Your headline should be as engaging as it is accurate. Long-winded titles that don’t tell the reader exactly what they should be interested in the rest of the release will fail. It’s that simple.
#2. Straight to the point in 1st Paragraph
Straight to the point in First Paragraph
A good media release answers key questions in the first paragraph.
In many cases, the public and journalists will first read the headline and first paragraph. If you don’t make an impression by hooking them to read then your release is doomed to fail.
At the same time, readers are busy and have a short attention span. They may not have time to read every story to the end. By the time they’ve read the 1st paragraph they need to know what your story is, why they should care and what they’re going to get in the rest of the release. So, key information is best delivered early.
Consider the 5Ws and 1H method.
- Who (is involved?)
- What (is the actual news?)
- When (is it happening?)
- Why (is it happening?)
- Where (is it taking place?)
- How (did this come about?)
Sometimes even the simplest basics are forgotten. Don’t forget to consider the questions above and ensure to implement them in the lead paragraph of your press release. Deliver the most value up front.
#3. Be Concise
Keep It Short And Simple
A press release should not read like a novel nor should it be lengthy. As with most good writing, shorter is usually better. This will also force you to condense your most crucial information into a more readable document – something that journalists ask services who can write my papers for release are always looking for.
Keep sentences short and concise. The longer a sentence, the thicker the fog in which the reader has to get through to read the message. So, break up longer sentences to maintain clarity. Best if the word count is between 300 to 500 words.
8-10 word sentences are clear and easy to understand.
10-15 word sentences are slightly less clear and not as easy to understand, right?
15-25 word sentences can mean the fog is thickening, it may be confusing too so it is advisable to keep it simple without adding extra information.
25+ can mean the sentence is confusing and hard to read especially to many of us who has a short attention span and can only take in information little by little or else it will be a headache to read it all.
Which of the sentences above are easier to take in? You be the judge! The clue is to practice telling a story in 60 seconds but don’t shrink details. 2 pages are great, 1 page is better.
It’s important to keep in mind that your press release has to be, well, new. Something that happened few months ago is not news. Don’t dig up stale news and hope to get coverage from the media or to attract the readers. Send a press release when something is actually happening.
Conversely, make sure you’re not looking too far ahead too. If your organization is planning on releasing a new product, wait until you’ve got actual details and a firm release date before continuing with a press release.