With all the business competition there is today, it’s hardly improbable that establishments would also be competing in writing press releases. After all, when you’re short of budget and want to promote a new product or event for free, a press release seems the most tangible and cheapest form of propaganda and marketing. Yet, the category of press releases is itself as rowdy as the piles of mails and fax messages sprawled on every editor’s table everyday waiting for evaluation.
So how do you get past this competition competently by writing an effective press release? Think of it this way, you’re not the only one struggling to get a piece of free airtime by being in the evening or weekend news. What businesses should learn when writing a press release is to feed what the media wants to be fed with new, peculiar stories that can affect the multitude of the population in some way.
Elements Of a Press Release
A press release is inherently effective when it informs consumers about the benefits they will obtain if they try a product, go to an event, or participate in a certain activity; depending on what the press release is about. In fact, besides business establishments many individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions resort to press releases to get media exposure by being in the news or any other similar television programs, newspaper column, etc. There are many reasons why people choose to write and send press releases.
Writing an Effective Press Releases
What matters generally in a press release is the contents, so here are some tips on how your company can improve the contents of your upcoming press releases.
- Newsworthiness – Leave mundane stories to a neighbourly chat; the media needs stories that contain such elements as prominence (involving prominent figures in the society), timeliness (relate your story to social issues or current events), proximity (near or within your locality), and how it can benefit the consumers, in general.
- Start strong – Remember that your story will have to compete with other stories so write your paragraph so that it contains a synopsis of your story. Keep it brief but concise; meaning it should include all the most important details in the story. The main rule is to write in inverted pyramid style keep the most important information on top to capture the reader’s attention.
- Use active, not passive, voice – Most press releases don’t go through editing so the media airs or publishes them according to how they are written. Keeping your press release in active voice, unless you specifically need to use the passive voice, will bring it to life.
- Go straight to the point – Every space and second in the media is paid and highly valued. Flowery words do sound good in poetry, but not in the media. Go directly to the point of your story, omit unnecessary words, and redundant expressions. The fewer the words are, the more understandable your story will be.
- Avoid jargons – Jargons are best to use when talking to a specific audience that understands these terms. However, press releases are intended for a mass audience that come from all walks of life and educational level. Use simple plain, simple words that are understandable even to a first grader. Your goal is to inform, not impress, the audience.
- Get permission to quote – If you’re writing for a company, keep careful consideration when including quotes from their employees, other companies, affiliates, or organizations since companies are very protective of their reputation. Always ask the company’s permission when doing so.
Lastly, use a closing paragraph to end your story. It may describe your product, company, service, or include contact information where consumers may reach you in case of questions. Employ these tips, and get your press release released!