I bet if you are just getting a new business going, or even giving an old business a major overhaul that you haven’t even considered using press releases to get the word out about it. Now you may be thinking that press releases are reserved for the “big guns” in business like the big Corporations. The first thing you need is to adapt the proper mindset that what your business offers is just as important as any other business, and if you study your business close enough you are sure to come up with something about it that is newsworthy.
The word “newsworthy” is the main word to remember during the entire preparation of your press release. When you are providing the public with news you are telling them something that is important and interesting to them. Here is a step by step process to creating a press release that is going to get your business the attention it deserves.
Step One: Decide what it unique about your product or service
You need to determine what your business has to offer that is important news. You can do this by making a list of all its key points. Now from these key points pick something that is unique about it and makes it different. You could have a product that is similar to many others, but there should be one unique thing about it that makes it better than the rest, and that’s the news about your product.
Step Two: Craft a headline that gets the reader’s attention
Now for the preparation of your press release the first thing you need to come up with is an exciting headline. You want this to be catchy but authentic, which means it has to cover what the press release is all about. The best format is to have this in all Caps.
Step Three: Provide additional detail related to the headline
Next is a subtitle that expands on the title. It gives more details about the topic of the headline. The letter of each word is capitalized.
Step Four: Answer the reader’s most important questions
You want to put the date in small letters for when it’s ready to release, then you are ready to write the body of the release. Hopefully you are full of enthusiasm for your business but don’t get off track here and start writing sales copy. You want to provide the reader with all the important and interesting facts about what the headline says. Your first paragraph answers the questions of who, what, when, where and how. In this paragraph you want to stick to the point and get the facts out clearly.
Step Five: Highlight quotes explaining the announcement
From here on down throughout the rest of the body you can expand on some of the points from your lead paragraph. At some point you want to include a quote. Now this can either be a quote of yours or a quote about a fact. Be sure to include it in quotations and to make it clear as to who the originator of the quote is. Put it in bold and underline it. This adds credibility to the press release.
Step Six: Briefly sum up the history of your business
Once you have covered all of the pertinent details you can then include a section “About your Company”. Here is where you want to build your credibility. Again you are not making a sale here, but proving that your business is an authority on the topic of which you have written about.
Step Seven: Provide contact details for more in-depth follow-up questions
Finally to end your press release you need a contact section. Here is where the person who is responsible for the press release can be contacted. Hopefully members of the media are going to come across this press release and want to do a story on it. Your contact information must be clearly understood so they can contact you. You will want your full name, website, email, fax and telephone number.
These are the basics of the press release, now there are some do’s and don’ts that will further enhance it.
- Do make sure that you use proper grammar and that there are no spellings mistakes.
- Avoid using “I” or “we”.
- Practice writing a few press releases after you have studied several different newspaper articles. This will give you a good foundation as to what is considered newsworthy.
- Find the happy medium for length. You don’t want it too short that it looks that you don’t have much to offer, yet it shouldn’t be so lengthy that it becomes boring. Anywhere between 500 to 1000 words is a good range.
- Do make sure that you keep the point.
- Don’t make the mistake of not reviewing your press release several times and make changes to make it better.
- Don’t make it like sales copy.
- Don’t put misleading information in your press release as this will ruin your credibility
- Don’t make your about the company section too long but be sure to include important features about it.
- Don’t forget to check all your information that it is accurate such as your contact information.
- Don’t use slang or big terminology. Keep it simple.
Finally your press release is ready now what do you do with it? You have to get it out to where it has a good chance to be picked up by the media. There are many press release directories on the internet that you can submit it to. Be choosey where you submit it though as you don’t want it to get lost amongst the hundreds that are likely to be there. Do some research and find out what kind of traffic the directory receives. There are many directories that are free, and then there are some that you will have to pay for to be allowed to submit it. Just because there is a fee attached doesn’t mean that your press release will get picked up by the media. In any event, no matter where you place your submission you will at the very least get some good internet exposure.