Top ten tips on how to write an effective press release

1. Regardless of the subject matter, when you are writing a press release you need to find a way to tie in with the news and current affairs. Research and make use of current trends and headlines. See sample press releases below ( link )

2. Make sure the headline and first paragraph of the press release is eye catching, compelling the reader to continue. First impressions count! See sample press releases below and Blog / Propaganda (  link ).

3. Always incorporate the “Marketing Mantra” – “Who, what, where, when, why, how” but not in that order. The first paragraph of your press release should set the scene and outline the problem your product / service is trying to solve. This is the “why”.

4. The following paragraphs of the press release should contain the “what” and “who” that is addressing and solving the problem. Your last paragraph is the “when and “where”.

5. As with everything, then so with press releases – brevity is the art of wit. Paragraphs should be short and succinct – no more than four sentences.

6. Your press release should be functional and fact-based. Avoid flowery, emotive language – that’s the domain of advertising and also you are trespassing on the journalists’ territory. He or she doesn’t want to feel that you are doing their job for them!

7. In order to evoke an emotion about the product / service featured in the press release, include a quote or two from an authoritative source  ie Chief Executive / leading expert / specialist in your field.

8. Type ### at the end of your press release to indicate there are no more pages. A release of more than one page is not recommended.

9. Include contact details for further information  ( name, position, telephone number, e-mail address ) plus a brief company history / profile / biography section at the bottom of your press release. Provide a link to your website.

10. Most importantly – research and send the press release to the right contact ie the editor,  using the method they prefer to receive it. Make sure you have the correct e-mail address etc. If you are unsure, pick up the phone and find out – this way you are also forewarning them, so that they can keep an eye out for it. Don’t be afraid to follow it up a few days later. This will also help you start to build a rapport with your chosen editors.