How to Create a Quality Press Release
(These are Also Basic Website Tips)
Say the most important thing first.
And say it plainly. Remember, you're writing to an audience on a seventh-grade reading level.
Cover the basics:
One page is preferable.
Always include an explanation paragraph about your organization SOMEWHERE in the release—either in the middle, if it makes sense to put it there, or as the very last paragraph. NEVER at the beginning.
• Remember, in a press release, people “say,” or, even better, they “said.” Say, said, say, said. No one concludes, reiterates, explains, expounds or pontificates. Nor do they carry on, gesticulate wildly, or sermonize, although they have been known to add.
Short sentences are better than longer sentences.
Short paragraphs are better than longer paragraphs.
Always include a contact phone number for more information.
Don't assume people know what abbreviations or acronyms mean—spell them out on first reference.
Invest in an Associated Press style manual to learn when and how to abbreviate state names, when to write out numbers or put numerals, and the proper spelling of Jell-O, among other things.
Quotes are good if they don't sound contrived.
Editors also love graphics, photos. Doesn't mean they'll always use them, but it's worth a shot.
Website visitors also love pictures. All words, no pictures = boring on a website. (But, be careful about big pictures, which will slow down load time on a website.)
Remember, though, there is no guarantee that a newspaper or any broadcast outlet will use a given press release. That final decision lies with the media outlet, not you. Sometimes, however, a phone call to the business editor of a small town newspaper to explain why your news release would be interesting to his readers will make him think twice about your news.
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