Last week we blogged about how small businesses can
cheaply wisely hire writers to produce their press releases. This week we will outline how you can write your own press release. The press release has been given a hard time over the past couple years, with everyone citing newer, sexier modes of communication (see: Twitter). But despite the exaggerated claims of its death, the press release will continue to serve as a valuable marketing tool for your PR goals (at least for those who know how to use it).
Small business wanting media relations need to have a press release ready to be sent out to journalists, publishers and producers. The people who work in the newsroom are extremely busy, so your pitch needs to be succinct and to the point. There are certain rules that need to followed when writing a press release. Abiding by the following guidelines will increase your chances of obtaining PR for your business:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Your Name
Company: Company Name
Phone: Phone Number
Email: Your email address
Web: Your website address
1st Paragraph – The opening paragraph should be short, fun and informal that will get a reporter’s attention. Address the reporter by name and avoid general openings like “to whom it may concern” and “dear journalist.” Cut to the chase! Don’t take a few sentences building up to your point. The first sentence is the most important one in the entire pitch as it will either hook or dissuade the reader.
2nd Paragraph – The second paragraph should be filled with the facts. You should state your name, company, location, what your does as well as any other interesting facts that help describe yourself.
3rd Paragraph – The third paragraph should be colourful, filled with enthusiasm. It should tell your story with passion and vigor and should highlight the importance that your story has to the media outlet’s journalist.
4th Paragraph & Beyond – If you feel you have information that is crucial to your story than a 4th paragraph is justified. Otherwise we suggest that you stay away from making your pitch too long.
You may not necessarily need additional paragraphs. Remember that you’re not writing a full story that the journalist will reprint. You’re simply trying to convince the journalist that you have a story that NEEDS to be told!