a Writing an Effective Press Releases
by: Diana Ennen
Want to get the most media attention and spotlight for
your business? Then the first place to start is with a GREAT press
release. Now I can almost see half of you leaving now, dreading the
thought of having to write one of these. But wait!! Iím going to show you
easy methods to make your press release work for you and get the attention
it deserves. Ready? Letís go.
Weíll briefly go over the basics because of their
importance. Editors want to see things done the RIGHT way. I would bet
that a lot of good releases simply get tossed out just because they arenít
set up properly. To a busy editor, that all too familiar ď10 second
glanceĒ says a lot for you and your business; it letís them know if youíve
done your research enough to warrant that release to be placed in their
newspaper or magazine.
Here are your essentials:
"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE" on the top left of the page.
Your contact name, phone number, e-mail address, and
Headline is next, normally in bold and centreed on the
page. Summarize what the release is about and capture their attention.
Spend almost as much time on your headline as you do writing the release.
Itís that important.
The press release body starts with the location of the
release and the date (Margate, Florida, May 5, 2008.)
Most press releases are between 200-500 words, and no more
than a page. The first paragraph has the most important information. Donít
save the best for last, it wonít get read. In this paragraph answer the
questions, who, what, when, where and why?
It is recommended that you write press releases in the 3rd
person and use short sentences and paragraphs. Do not go over board,
trying to dazzle the editor, it wonít work.
Target your release. You will be sending your release to a
specific audience so make sure that in your release you keep to what would
appeal to that audience. What donít they know that you can add? Nothing
works better than getting an ďAAH HAAĒ when an editor is reviewing your
Provide statistics. Do some research and find some
relevant information that applies. You can easily do this through Google.
Once you find your quote, do a Google search or Yahoo quote on that
particular topic. However, donít stop on the first Google link and take
that for gospel. Research it a bit further. Have it come from a
respectable company or magazine.
Include relevant quotes from experts in your field that
will reinforce what you are saying. Approach authors, leaders in your
Industry, and other experts that back up the facts you are stating in your
release. They will normally appreciate the added publicity and you get the
quote youíre looking for. For example, as an author Iíll often get asked
to provide a quote for an article on home-based businesses or the virtual
assistant industry. I welcome the opportunity as it provides me more
Also, if you have a satisfied client that you feel will
add credibility to your Release, add a quote from them as well. The first
time you mention the expert, write out their full name. Then list them by
last name or Mr. and Mrs. Smith only. I normally prefer the last name.
The last paragraph should be your call to action. Youíve
talked the whole release about your business or product, now tell them
what to do with the knowledge they just acquired.
At the bottom of the release include ### to indicate you
are done, followed by a short bio. Make sure if you include your website
that you include http:// in front of it for search engine recognition.
Your bio should include your information, any books
authored, etc. Double check this for accuracy. At this point, youíre tired
and done with the Release. But if it goes out to the world with the wrong
web address, the valuable time spent even writing the Release has been
Thatís it; the basics for writing a press release! Now one
other thing Iíd like to add in, they work! They truly work. Iíve had a
recent release get accepted by PRWeb (and yes they do reject bad ones!),
and then go on to hit several other major newspapers and media outlines
and the Google alert, which resulted in our paper in the area contacting
me. You want to set up a Google news alert for your name so that you can
follow the path and see when you make the news so you can follow up. Also,
PRWeb at http://www.prweb.com
has complete guidelines for setting up a good press release. Go with the
extra money and spend $20.00. Itís worth it to get the additional
About The Author
Diana Ennen is the author of numerous books including
Virtual Assistant: the Series, Become a Highly Successful, Sought After
VA, Words From Home, Start, Run and Profit from a Home-Based Word
Processing Business & the Home Office Recovery Plan. She specializes in
publicity and book marketing and is president of Virtual Word Publishing
http://www.Publicity-VA.com. Articles are free to be reprinted as long
as the authorís bio remains intact