Got a story about your business that you think is newsworthy, but you’ve never written a press release before? Here’s how to do it.
A press release is a short, factual news story written in the third person and sent to media organisations and editors to encourage them to publish your story in their own publications.
Sometimes releases can be published on your own website or in your own company publications, when you may switch to writing in the first person instead.
The article should not simply describe the benefits of your product or service as you would in an advertisement – there must be a newsworthy story.
The story should be tailored for the editor and readership of your target publication. If you send the story to more than one place, you may need to tailor the release slightly for each recipient.
First, decide upon an attention grabbing headline. If the headline looks boring, editors may not even read the rest of what you have to say! It should be clear that something worthwhile or interesting is happening and not vague. For example:
Clear and informative: Bristol mum starts award-winning writing business
Vague: Word Perfect!
The press release should then cover what is happening, where, when, why and how. As a guide to structuring it:
Paragraph 1: sum up all the key messages and information in your story.
Paragraph 2: explain the context i.e. why your story is important.
Paragraph 3: give details of how the situation arose, who is involved and so forth.
Paragraph 4: include a relevant quote to add information or opinion
Paragraph 5: say where people can find out more information, or how they can get involved.
If they decide to shorten your piece, editors tend to cut articles from the bottom upwards, so structuring like this will help ensure that the most important information survives the editing process.
It’s best to keep any messages simple and to only cover one story or theme in any given press release.
If you want to learn more about how to do your own PR and generate free publicity for your business, BRAVE is running a PR training course in Bristol on the 27th June. To book your place, click on the Promote your business with PR link below or call 0117 944 5330.