Latest posts by techwriter (see all)
- 15 Questions to Ask After You Finish a Technical Document Project - February 12, 2018
- THY’s Perfect Information Design - February 9, 2018
- Waterfall vs. Agile Models in Technical Documentation - February 7, 2018
You can write a perfect press release in 4 simple steps:
- The TITLE
- The CONTACT INFO Block
- The BODY
- The “ABOUT” Footer
NOTE 1: The old stalwart LEAD-IN “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” is falling out of favor rapidly. Some Internet press release sites specifically prohibit using the phrase. When in doubt, omit it.
NOTE 2: Similarly, the concluding hash marks “# # #” or “30-30-30” that once upon a time used to denote the end of a press release have also become passé. I’d recommend not to use them at all at the end of your PR.
>>>>> STEP 1 ~ TITLE
A perfect title consists of 3 parts:
- The SUBJECT, followed by
- The VERB, concluded with
- The OBJECT.
SUBJECT is the name of the business or organization which is trying to get its newsworthy message across.
VERB is the newsworthy action. It is the reason why the PR is written.
OBJECT is the main thing that has been accomplished by the SUBJECT through the VERB.
Here is a real title from a real PR:
TITLE: “Evatone Adds Fulfillment Center in Mocksville, NC”
- SUBJECT: Evatone
- VERB: Adds
- OBJECT: Fulfillment Center in Mocksville, NC
Another real-life example:
TITLE: “American Physicians Capital, Inc. Responds to SCPIE Holdings Press Release”
- SUBJECT: American Physicians Capital, Inc.
- VERB: Responds
- OBJECT: SCPIE Holdings Press Release
NOTE: It’s important that you use your Search Engine KEYWORD(s) in the Title.
>>>>> STEP 2 ~ CONTACT INFO Block
A perfect Contact Info block comes right after the TITLE and consists of 8 parts:
- The HEADER “For More Information Contact:” or anything to that effect.
- NAME of the contact person.
- TITLE of the contact person.
- NAME of the Organization the contact person represents.
- BUSINESS ADDRESS of the organization.
- PHONE NUMBER [and optional, FAX NUMBER] of the contact person.
- E-MAIL of the contact person.
- WEB SITE URL of the contact person.
Here is an example:
For More Information Contact:
Dr. Ugur Akinci
Sr. Technical Communicator
Akinci Associates, LLC
4938 Hampden Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814
>>>>> STEP 3 ~ BODY
Start the body of your press release with the DATELINE.
Dateline summarizes the PLACE from where the PR is originated. It gives a quick geographic for the organization releasing the PR. It also has the DATE of the release.
Here are some real-life examples:
- CARLSBAD, Calif. – May 29, 2007 – (Microsoft PR)
- RALEIGH, NC – April 10, 2006 – (RedHat PR)
- SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb 01, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) – (Yahoo! PR which includes the name of the PR services that distributed it as well.)
- Washington, D.C., March 8, 2007 – (Securities and Exchange Commission PR)
NOTE: There are a number of Internet PR sites that discourage using DATE in the dateline since they themselves determine when the PR is actually distributed.
The BODY consists of the expanded version of the TITLE. Go ahead and deliver the great news about your new product, goods, services, organizational changes, web site, profits, staff changes, office moving, and anything else that is newsworthy.
The BODY should be 3 or 4 paragraph maximum, each paragraph having 3 or 4 sentences. Longer than that, and you’ll put your readers to sleep.
NOTE: It’s important that you use your Search Engine KEYWORD(s) in the Body, especially in the First Paragraph.
>>>>> STEP 4 ~ The “ABOUT” Footer
This is the section where you introduce your business or organization to your readers in a few paragraphs.
It consists of 3 brief parts:
- Short summary of what you do, what you produce, which services you deliver, or whom you represent.
- Short history; establishment date, changes through time, names of important staffers, partners, allies.
- Way to contact, including perhaps a map link or travel and driving directions.
Follow these 4 basic steps and you’ll have a perfect press release every time.
Best regards and good luck!