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Nine tips on how to write a press release
Top Tip: "Don't be boring - your press release has to be newsworthy!"
Help Card By: Michelle
- Be newsworthy. A successful press release should be something that is interesting and will get people’s attention. When you write your press release try to consider whether or not a reporter or blogger would find your story interesting and worthy of publishing. For example, a story about a man who bites a dog is more newsworthy than a story about a dog that bites a man.
- Have a catchy headline. A good headline should be direct, straight to the point and catch people’s attention without giving away too much information about your story. Your headline needs to capture what your press release is about in one engaging sentence.
- Include your project’s story. An effective story will answer questions about your plan like who is involved, what your plan is about, where your plan happened, when your plan happened, why you created your plan and how you achieved your goals. These details need to be provided early in the press release to ensure that the reader is able to get all of the information he or she needs as quickly as possible.
- Use short and simple paragraphs. Paragraphs need to be short and concise and only contain crucial information. Limit each paragraph to one sentence in order to make the reading process easy. Avoid repetition and using excessive words to illustrate a point.
- Include quotes. Reporters and bloggers love quotes when writing news stories so try to include them in your press release. A quote can be obtained from anyone who has a particular authority, influence or interest in the story – this person will most likely be you.
- Use simple language. Avoid the use of jargon, technical terms and fancy language. Keep the language simple and always write in an active voice. For example, “The father bought a toy for his daughter” NOT “The daughter was bought a toy by her father.”
- Include important information at the beginning. Always include the most important information at the beginning of your press release. As the story progresses, you can include less important information which will be interesting to the reader but is not essential.
- Include contact information. Always include contact information like your mobile number and e-mail address in case a reporter or blogger would like to contact you for further information.
- Never have spelling mistakes. Use a word processor to check your spelling and grammar to make sure your press release is well written and looks professional. Ensure you proofread the piece yourself to find any errors the computer might have missed. It’s also a great idea to have another person have a look before you distribute it.