Writing Powerful Press Releases

Powerful press releases all share common characteristics. If you write them, for your own business or professionally, keep the following in mind.

Grab attention with your headline

Today's reader scans. If your headline doesn't reach out and grab them, they won't read the rest of the release.

Lead boldly

Use your lead to draw the reader into the rest of the press release.

Like a hard news article, it should provide key information about the story.

Unlike the hard news lead, though, it can be written with your unique voice and appeal to emotion and reason.

Make the lead fit the story

No two press releases are alike.

No two leads should be, either. Fit the lead to the story.

If the release focuses on an uplifting development, make it uplifting, joyful. However, if it deals with tragedy, an uplifting lead won't work.

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Feel the excitement

Press releases are part of the publicity package. And publicity generates excitement for a product, event or change.

Your releases must be part of this. Let the reader feel the same excitement the company feels through your words.

Answer why

No story exists in a vacuum. Give background information in the release.

You don't want a recitation of the company history, but a sentence or two to give context.

Include contact information

If you or the client you are writing for are hosting an event or want people to take a specific action, make sure to tell them.

Tell them where the event is being held, what time and any details they need such as dress code.

Don't get them excited and then leave them scratching their heads wondering how they can participate. 

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Be brief

This is the toughest part of writing powerful press releases.

You have to accomplish a lot in less than two full pages of double-spaced text. But keep it short and to the point.

Tell a story

A good story has a logical flow from one part to the next. So should news releases. Keep it smooth and use transitions.

No one wants to read a bunch of choppy, seemingly unrelated paragraphs, no matter how exciting.

Maintain objectivity

Second only to being brief, this is one of the tougher parts of writing a release. Especially if you are writing your own, it is challenging to maintain objectivity.

Keep in mind that you are not writing it for yourself. You are writing for your reader.

Give a quote

Quotes add to any piece of nonfiction writing. Use at least one relevant quote in your release for impact.

Let it answer who, or why or one of the other fundamental questions your release seeks to answer.

These ten tips give you a foundation for writing news releases that get printed and get results.

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