Our monthly PR clinics have been very popular and one recurring theme is that of Press Releases.
In common with many profession, PR organisations have skills. But because PR can be seen as a luxury, not essential but nice to have, a lot of people want to try their hand at it.
Some people have a talent for it and others, like me and car maintenance should stick to the day job.
Writing a good press release that either gets used or is followed up isn’t rocket science. If you remember a few simple guidelines you won’t go too far wrong. These won’t guarantee publication but will make yours stand out from the many 100s of others that land in a journalists inbox daily.
1. Keep it simple – it isn’t War and Peace but a piece of prose about your business
2. Keep it brief – journalists have a short attention span if you don’t get to the point quickly and will hit the delete button as a default
3. Get to the point quickly – sum up the whole story in the first three paragraphs
4. You have six best friends Who, What, Why, Where, When, How. Everything else is excessive
5. Use simple language – if your day job is engineering don’t get technical in a press release, use easy to understand words that a typical Sun reader could comprehend.
6. Have a great photo to go with it. Phone cameras are fine but the money you spend on a professional snap will repay itself.
7. Make sure names are spelt correctly and that you punctuate it properly.
Obviously we’d prefer you to seek professional advice, but if you are going to give it a shot these few tips will set you on your way. Remember, if you do end up in print where you got your first tips from.