Have you written a strong and compelling headline?
Have you made certain to avoid using promotional language?
Does the opening paragraph include:
Is is absolutely clear how readers benefit from the news you are announcing?
Have you made certain to properly attribute quotes, and include references?
Are you certain the facts are correct, and rechecked the following:
spelling of any names, titles, services, organizations telephone and cell numbers. prices, times and dates addresses, contact information and details.
Have you indicated the availability of support items like Power Point Presentations, media kits?
Have you planned how to respond to questions from the media that may be probing or not skeptical of your claims?
Have you make sure to brief anyone else in your organization who may be contacted for information?
If the answer is ‘no’ to any of the above, contact me for information on my press release writing service.
When to send online and print media press releases
Perhaps the most commonly asked question, here are the guidelines I use:
Fast turnarounds are what newspapers are known for, but feature stories are often written weeks in advance of publication. The exact of publication varies as well. If you have the information 6-8 weeks in advance, we would suggest sending it. No story that we know of, was rejected for being submitted too early; the opposite happens all the time. Three weeks is probably the minimum amount of advance time, unless there is strong news content.
There is less information available for online editions, but if you are sending to the online edition of a print newspaper, the same rules will apply. For an online edition only, we would suggest giving more time, as they are normally working with a smaller staff.
For print magazines, figure a minimum of 16 weeks – and that may be tight. Magazines work mostly with freelance writers. This adds to the time editors need. Online has greater flexibility, but still keep to the 12 week mark. If there are magazines of special importance, a phone call to confirm their exact deadline is highly recommended.
Typically blog writers are flexible, and they seldom are restricted by space. If there are conventions regarding deadlines – we are not familiar with them.
Radio and television
Broadcast is normally considerably more flexible than print. Because they often tie news with advertising, they work quickly, often scheduling interviews on a same day basis. Remember that when you are called for an interview, the expectation is immediate. Be certain you are prepared to give an interview within hours of the call. Most producers will share a list of likely questions – be sure to request it.
Check the FAQ section for the outlets you are interest in. In most cases, you will get exact deadline.
My top 10 do’s and dont’s
There are certainly more than 10 when writing a press release, but these are my 10 favorites:
Be sure to send current and relevant news.
Include who, what,when, where in the first paragraph of the press release, and be specific.
Confirm all facts, particularly phone and cell numbers, titles and names.
Consult a dictionary if uncertain about meaning or usage.
Be certain to have permission from sources referenced and quoted in the release.
Use short sentences and short paragraphs
Link the URL for information, white papers, and so on that you reference in the release.
Spend the time to create a compelling headline and strong lead – it may decide the ultimate fate of your release – publication or the delete button.
Be certain to highlight early in the press release the value and benefit of your service, event or product. Be clear about what you are promoting.
Remember to include contact information if a follow up is needed – include a phone number and cell number.
Bonus ‘Do’: Give the editor a reason to publish your press release. Find an angle – look for the ‘story within the story’.
Don’t send a release that exceeds 600 words. Editors prefer short, direct, and to the point.
Don’t use promotional language.
Don’t make unverified claims – keep to the facts.
Don’t use cliches.
Don’t use overly complicated words and sentences if at all possible.
Don’t use humor, and don’t attempt to be clever – once again, stick to the facts.
Don’t delay sending the release out. If the editor believes the public has lost interest, you will not be published.
Don’t omit facts pertinent to the release – even those that may not be favorable to you.
Don’t waver from the main point of the release.
Don’t include personal opinions or statements.
Please contact me to learn more about my press release services.