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How To Write A Press Release
The word "Press Release" seems to scare most people to death.
On top of that, not many people take the time to even think of writing their own Press Release. We hope this brief article will help clear up some of the mystery surrounding this powerful way of communicating.
The first thing you have to remember is that a Press Release is a "news" item. It needs to "inform" people, NOT sell them something.
For example, you are reading this article because you want to learn something that will BENEFIT YOU. You aren't reading it just so you can buy something else. If money is the deriving force in your business -- you won't go too far. Your main goals should be in pleasing customers, providing them with a high-quality product and more than their money's worth. The trick is to do all this while still making money.
People don't care what mountains you had to climb, what seas you had to cross or what tribe of people you had to learn the ways of just to find a secret formula. Instead -- they want to know WHAT the secret formula is.
Get the idea?
The sales circulars you print and mail sell your product. A Press Release informs others about your product. Instead of your main objective being to sell the product and have the customer send in an order immediately, a Press Release informs the customer exactly how your product will benefit their lives. This must be conveyed in the form of a "newsworthy" Press Release. If you have a sales circular to sell a product, you can easily turn it into a Press Release without much difficulty. It's just a new marketing angle of presenting your product to the public.
The following is an example of a typical Press Release for a fictional publishing service:
So many people are entering the mail order market these days, but so many of them are getting ripped-off by a bunch of hype. People are promised untold riches in a short period of time. The hype ads play with their emotions by making them believe it's so easy to make money through the mail. It's sad.
However, a new book has just been released to help solve these problems for the average person. For the first time in history -- a REAL directory has been compiled listing the ACTUAL name and addresses of 179 honest and trustworthy mail order folks. People can write DIRECTLY to these people and receive FREE information to get them started in their own business now!
It's unbelievable. Without trying to sell you anything else, you can get this book for only $14.95 -- a price anyone can afford. Meet the real mail order dealers who care about their products and wants to help you get started doing what they are doing.
Only available from MailOrderFortune Publishing, PO Box 488, Bluffington NSW 2376.
As you can see, this is a short but sweet Press Release -- however, you should be able to see the "newsworthiness" in it. It's main focus is on the fact that most people get ripped-off when they start their first mail order business. The solution to this problem is a new directory that is available for the first time in history. The sell is slowly led into because the reader will naturally want to get their hands on this one. It doesn't ask for money -- it only tells the reader how to get a copy if they want one.
Here's a great test for a real press release. Since your final sales pitch is included in the last paragraph -- read the Press Release aloud. Would it still be worth reading WITHOUT your sales pitch? If so, it's probably a Press Release.
Press Releases come in many forms due to the product you are writing about. However, the basic rule of thumb still applies. If you've never written one before it may be a little difficult. Don't despair. Grab the latest daily newspaper and read some of their informational articles. Notice how each article is written and pattern yours after the same format. After you write a few 'draft' versions you'll be able to "get the picture."
When your Press Release is written to your satisfaction, the proper way to submit it to a publisher is:
Be sure and type it on a typewriter or computer.
Standard format is double-spaced and not longer than two A4 or 8 1/2x11 pages.
Be sure and put your name, address and page number at the top of each page.
Write the words: "For Immediate Release." at the top.
If you are only sending the press release to one publication -- tell them it's a "first run."
Good luck and remember: communicate with passion!
Reports I have written:
Measuring the impact and ROI of social media - for Ark Group
Making Social Media work for your business - for Ark Group
Social Media: The New Business Communication Landscape - for Ark Group
How to get started with podcasting in your organisation - for Melcrum Publishing
Contributing author to How to use social media to solve critical internal communication issues - for Melcrum Publishing
Contributing author to How to communicate with hard-to-reach employees - for Melcrum Publishing
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