Having recently been to a seminar on writing press releases, and subsequently had one published I thought I would try and share what I have learnt as far as layout etc goes.
The media like to get press releases in a set format that is easy for them to read and familiar to them. Some of the golden rules are:
Always write in the third person
Use short, simple sentences
Use 1.5 line spacing and include a margin down the left hand side for editors’ notes
Include contact details
Headlines must be direct and in capital letters
Avoid technical language
Include a photograph or details on how to get one
Ensure it has a date on it
The presenter told us that some journalists will only read the headline and the first paragraph so this has to be good. You should also make sure the release isn’t too loing, one page is more than enough, with paragraphs being only approx 50 words long. Make sure you put Press Release across the top.
Following these rules and an example I was given I created the following release:
Not the best bit of copy I know, but there was a deadline for submissions and I only had about 15mins to knock something together. However, it was published and I am convinced it is down to the layout etc as I have had problems getting things published in the past.
So how have ou all got on with PR? Anyone have any tips they would like to share? I’m sure I can’t have remembered everything from my presentation.