Diana Ennen

Diana Ennen is the author of numerous books including Virtual Assistant: The Series, Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA. She specializes in publicity and book marketing and offers a complete online bookstore on her site at Virtual Word Publishing

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Steps to a Writing an Effective Press Releases

Diana Ennen

July 09, 2008

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We’ll briefly go over the basics because of their importance. Editors want to see things done the RIGHT way. I would bet that a lot of good releases simply get tossed out just because they aren’t set up properly. To a busy editor, that all too familiar three-second glance says a lot for you and your business and if you’ve done your research enough to warrant that release to be placed in their newspaper or magazine or even on their website.

Here are your essentials:

"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE" on the top left of the page.

Your contact name, phone number, e-mail address, and website follows. Double check this. No, triple check this. You don’t want to waste a good release because they can’t get hold of you.

The headline is next, normally in bold and centered on the page. Summarize what the release is about and capture their attention. Spend almost as much time on your headline as you do writing the release. It’s that important. Make sure to get those valuable keywords in there and hopefully in the first few words.

The press release body starts with the location of the release and the date (Margate, Florida, January, 200X.)

Most press releases are between 400-500 words, and no more than a page. The first paragraph has the most important information. Don’t save the best for last, it won’t get read.

Make sure that you explain the title of the release in this first paragraph.

It is recommended that you write press releases in the 3rd person and use short sentences and paragraphs. Do not go over board, trying to dazzle the editor, it won’t work.

Target your release. You will be sending your release to a specific audience so make sure that in your release you keep to what would appeal to that audience. What don’t they know that you can add? Nothing works better than getting an “AAH HAA” when an editor is reviewing your release. Also, keep in mind with the Internet today, that press releases, or news releases as they are now frequently called, are read by your target audience just as much as the editors. The buyers of your products or services are reading this, tell them what they need to know.

Provide statistics. Do some research and find some relevant information that applies. Research and make sure that if you are providing accurate quotes and not from some fly by night company. Remember your reputation is riding on this release. (Well, not exactly, but you don’t want the editor to read this and red flag you.).

Provide a quote from yourself or include relevant quotes from experts in your field that will reinforce what you are saying. Approach authors, leaders in your Industry, and other experts in your Industry. They will normally appreciate the added publicity and you get the quote you’re looking for. For example, as an author I’ll often get asked to provide a quote for an article on home-based businesses or the virtual assistant industry. I welcome the opportunity as it provides me more publicity.

The last paragraph should be your call to action. You’ve talked the whole release about your business or product, now tell them what to do with this knowledge they just got. Too many leave out this vital step.

At the bottom of the release include ### to indicate you are done.

Double check this for accuracy. At this point, you’re tired and done with the Release. Well if it goes out to the world with the wrong web address, you’ve wasted your valuable time even writing the Release.

That’s it. The basics for writing a press release. Now one other thing I’d like to add in, they work. They truly do. You also want to make sure that you submit them out, but that’s another article.


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