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10 Tips To Ensure Your Press Release Is Published
By Laurie Dart
The press release was first introduced in 1906 by Ivy Lee, who is often referred to as the first real public relations practitioner. At that time, Lee's agency was working with the Pennsylvania Railroad, which had just fallen victim to a tragic accident. Ivy Lee convinced the company to issue the first press release to journalists, before other versions of the story got out. He used a press release to invite journalists and photographers to the scene and provided their transportation.
Since that time, the press release has become the most common way of informing the press of an event or action that will happen or has happened or is in progress. Press releases used to be primarily faxed to news rooms, but more and more they accept e-mail press releases, so you may be able to send it either way. After you send the press release, it is very important to call and follow-up.
Follow these 10 tips and you’ll be sure to have your press release published.
1. Make sure the information is newsworthy. Anything you write must capture your reader’s attention right off the bat – this is especially important when writing a press release. Reporters receive hundreds of press releases each day. The only way to make sure they actually read yours is to grab their attention right away.
2. Tell the audience that the information is intended for them and why they should continue to read it. If you can address a problem they encounter on a regular basis, they’ll keep reading.
3. Start with a brief description of the news, and then distinguish who announced it, and not the other way around. The news is the most important piece, followed by who is announcing it.
4. Ask yourself, "How are people going to relate to this and will they be able to connect?" Make sure you’re addressing a problem or issue that most people face. If you do this successfully, people will be able to easily relate to what you are saying.
5. Make sure the first 10 words of your release are effective, as they are the most important. You must grab the attention of the reporter first and then your reader.
6. Avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy language. Keep your language clear and concise.
7. Deal with the facts. Don’t include opinions or things that can’t be substantiated.
8. Provide as much contact information as possible: individual to contact, address, phone, fax, email, Web site address. Don’t make the reporter search for your information – they don’t have the time!
9. Make sure you wait until you have something with enough substance to issue a release. Again, make sure your announcement is newsworthy.
10. Make it as easy as possible for media representatives to do their jobs. Give them all the information they need to just publish it. Don’t leave questions or make them call you – they’ll move on.
One of the best ways to inform your customers and potential customers about your business is by submitting press releases. The key to getting them published is grabbing the attention of the reporter. Follow the tips listed above and you’ll ensure your press release stays out of the trash can.
Laurie Dart, author of the Everyday Guide to Writing Wisely, provides writing and editing services, including press releases, to entrepreneurs and small business owners. To get your FREE list of tips for writing winning sales copy, visit http://www.writingwisely.com.