How to Write Press Releases 101

This first in a series of articles on basic press release writing techniques offers you the reasons you should write regular, effective press releases and what constitutes “newsworthy” for a standard press release.

Offered by a Kentucky writer and marketing consultant to help her own real estate clients understand and enjoy the press release writing experience.

Press Releases 101

Press releases — you know you need them, but beyond that you feel a bit shaky
about the whole concept. Maybe someone would be willing to just take your hand
and walk you through this process? Consider it done! Here is exactly what to
do to get results.

In this three-part series, we will look at what constitutes something “newsworthy” enough to write a press release, the basics of writing and formatting a standard
press release, and finally – what to do with one, once it’s written.

What IS Newsworthy?

The more often your name and your company name get in the news, the better.
Name recognition goes a long way, and we all would prefer good press to bad
press. The press release is one way to control the tone and the content of the
news that is presented to the public.

Anytime something good happens, you should write a press release. If relates
to your professional image, your career, or your community involvement and it’s
something worth picking up the phone and telling your best friend, your mother,
or your business partner — chances are, it’s news:

  • “Sue, I was just interviewed for an article in a regional magazine!”
  • “Mom, I was just nominated to the Board of Directors for my community
    Hospice group!”
  • “John, we just had the best month EVER in sales!”

Some Examples of Press Release Topics

Business Related Topics:

  • Launch of a new business
  • Hiring a new employee or agent
  • Launch of a new website
  • Revamp of an old website
  • Reporting statistics on growth, increased sales, or other information of interest
  • Awarding or giving recognition to another group or to someone in your own company
  • Launching a traditional or online newsletter
  • Being recognized in the media – magazine, newspaper, television, online content, etc.

Career Related Topics:

  • Joining a professional group
  • Attending a professional conference
  • Presenting at a professional conference
  • Holding office in a professional group
  • Being nominated for an award
  • Receiving an award
  • Gaining a professional accreditation
  • Earning Continuing Education Credits in your field
  • Receiving recognition by another group or by your own company
  • Being interviewed by media – newspaper, radio, television, online

Community Related Topics:

  • Public service
  • Community service
  • Being elected or appointed to a board or council
  • Holding a political position on the local, regional, state or national level
  • Sponsoring a program for the community
  • Offering a class (i.e. – A first time home buyer’s workshop)

These are just a few ideas to help you begin to brainstorm on your own. Once
you outline some of the press releases you can write, you should determine a
press release timeline. You don’t want to write them all at once and send
them out simultaneously. It’s more important to keep your name in the
news regularly than to bombard the media with your information.

Pace yourself and when it’s time to send out a new press release, review
the above list and do some thinking. Determine the topic of your next press
release, or set up the action that will result in a newsworthy event or outcome.
Also, before you contemplate writing any press release ask yourself “why
would the public care?” Remember, editors are not interested in doing a
story on your release if it appears just as a disguised advertisement. If your
release can give them a unique story, they will most likely give you the publicity.

In PART II of this series in next month’s edition of ePOWER NEWS we will cover
the basic outline of how to create a simple yet powerful press release.

© Copyright 2004 by Angela Allen Parker of Wicked Wordcraft

This April 2004 article appears in the monthly” Word Magic” column
in the newsletter.