Writing A Press Release
Here is the basic format to use for a press release. The first part is what any press release, whether electronically submitted or mailed, should contain. The second part explains the specific variations needed for an electronic (email) press release.
This information was gathered from two excellent web site. There is a link to the specific site at the end of each section.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Contact Person Company Name Voice Phone Number FAX Number Email Address Website URL XYZ, Inc. Announces Widget to Maximize Customer Response Rate
This headline is one of the most important components of the press release as this needs to "grab the attention" of the editor. It should be in bold type and a font that is larger than the body text. Preferred type fonts are Arial, Times New Roman, or Verdana. Keep the headline to 80-125 characters maximum. Capitalize every word with the exception of "a", "the" "an" or any word that is three characters or less.
<City>, <State>, <Date> - Your first paragraph of the release should be written in a clear and concise manner. The opening sentence contains the most important information; keep it to 25 words or less. Never take for granted that the reader has read your headline. It needs contain information that will "entice" the reader. Remember, your story must be newsworthy and factual; don't make it a sales pitch or it will end up in the trash.
Answer the questions "who", "what", "when", "where", "why" and "how". Your text should include pertinent information about your product, service or event. If writing about a product, make sure to include details on when the product is available, where it can be purchased and the cost. If you're writing about an event, include the date, location of the event and any other pertinent information. You should include a quote from someone that is a credible source of information; include their title or position with the company, and why they are considered a credible source. Always include information on any awards they have won, articles they've published or interviews they have given.
Keep your sentences and paragraphs short; a paragraph should be no more than 3-4 sentences. Your release should be between 500 to 800 words, written in a word processing program, and spell checked for errors. Don't forget to proofread for grammatical errors. The mood of the release should be factual, not hyped; don't use a sales pitch as it will ruin your credibility with the reader.
The last paragraph before the company information should read: For additional information on (put in the subject of this release), contact "name" or visit www.yoururl.com. If you offer a sample, copy or demo, put the information in here. You can also include details on product availability, trademark acknowledgment, etc. in this area of the release.
ABOUT <COMPANY> - Include a brief description of your company along with the products and services it provides.
- END -
At the end of the release, you need to indicate that the release is ended. This lets the journalists know they have received the entire release. Type "End" on the first line after your text is completed. If your release goes over one page, type "MORE" at the bottom of the first page.
From marketingsource.com http://www.marketingsource.com/
How to Write and Format a Press Release for E-mail Distribution.
The definitive style guide to the correct format for e-mail news releases based on feedback from journalists and reporters. For software news release formats click here
A conventional 'hard copy' press release is a brief document generally one to three double-spaced type written pages announcing news about your company, product or service to media professionals.
E-mail press releases are usually shorter in length than their print counterparts. The majority of electronic news releases sent are 500 words of text organized into five, short two to three sentence paragraphs.
E-mail software allows the user to set limits on the size of messages it will download. Since many individuals do not change the default limit on their e-mail software, long messages can be truncated. For this reason we discourage clients from sending extremely lengthy electronic news releases.
Information such as photographs, bios of company executives, white papers and other supporting documents usually included in a printed media kit may be published online where reporters may access them easily at their convenience.
If your company, for example, has completed an online survey of Internet shoppers, include a brief overview of the results in the electronic press release then follow that paragraph with the URL or home page address where complete survey results are published. The URLs for screen shots of your Web site and products may also be included in the news release.
Some reporters have limited online access. As a courtesy, always include a contact method for reporters who prefer to have materials mailed to them by conventional means.
Sending photographs and supplemental information files through e-mail attachments is not acceptable when contacting a reporter.
Information to Include in a News Release
- A compelling e-mail subject header and headline.
- A first paragraph that covers the five W's: who, what, where, when and why.
- Electronic contact information including an e-mail address for the press contact and Web site address of the company. Reporters working on deadline will often choose to call a company representative rather than wait for a reply by e-mail. Be sure that in addition to e-mail contact information a phone number for the press contact is listed.
- The mention of key clients or endorsement from a 'non-biased' source like university professor or software reviewer. You should have permission from those sources to use their remarks in your press release.
- A short paragraph at the end of the release containing background information about the company. This might include a synopsis of the activities of the company, how long they have been in business, and any area of expertise. If the press release is about a book or entertainer then cover career high-points.
Electronic PR does not differ from conventional PR in that one's ability to write and organize information well is rewarded with press coverage. However, the one-two punch of a creative subject header for your message and a clever "spin" to your news rings extra loud in a crowded inbox.
From xprespress.com http://www.xpresspress.com/