This Week’s Tip: Press Releases

As I said last Friday, PRowl Public Relations has begun doing workshops during the weekly staff meetings. Yesterday we went over press releases and some tips to be used when researching and writing.

First, researching for a press release is just like researching for a pitch letter. You need to do your research on the writer, the publication and their audience. Although press releases can be standardized, if possible, it is important to at least tailor the pitch to be local, also called a “hometown” release. Ways to make a release local include supplying a local number, giving local names and telling stories based on local people.

A few more tips:

  • Use inverted pyramid style; most important information should be in the first few paragraphs. More detailed information can be further down.
  • Use one to two quotes from sources who are considered experts on the topic. For example, for a new product, a press release may want to quote the VP of Development.
  • Do not editorialize; use facts, not fluff.
  • Do not use hype words such as “unique” and “state of the art.” Exaggerating will only hurt your and your company’s reputation.
  • Releases should be as brief as possible; about one to two pages long.

We also went over the sections of a press release:

  • Company logo
  • Media contact information (person listed should be able to answer media questions)
  • “For Immediate Release:”
  • Headline, Sub headline
  • Dateline
  • Lead paragraph
  • Body
  • “-more-“ at the bottom of page if press release continues
  • Give a place “for more information,” such as a company website
  • Boiler plate (should be the same on every press release for a company)
  • “###” signals the end of a release.

Hope this is helpful! PRowl Public Relations would like YOUR feedback. Are there any topics you’d like us to do a workshop on? Let us know!

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