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WRITING PRESS RELEASES


A press release is a good way to promote a new web site, or to promote a significant new service or activity on a site that is not new. It is a known fact that press releases that get good coverage and publication can do wonders for a site, and drive tens of thousands of visitors to it, often in a very short space of time. Some web site promotion techniques can cost quite a bit of money, and writing your own press release could turn out to be a very inexpensive way of helping to get the word out there about your site, product or service. Below we outline some useful tips for writing press releases. A press release that is well written stands a lesser chance of being filtered by the mainstream media, so we hope these tips do help.

Tips for writing press releases:

  • Try to get a good understanding of the media that it will be sent to, then target that media specifically in the way that you word it.
  • Assuming you are sending this press release via email, ensure that it gets to the specific person/department that it will be dealt with immediately. Floating it off to a non-specific email address is likely to result in it being ignored or deleted
  • Utilize the telephone to ensure that you're emailing it to the correct address, as well as to follow up after you have sent it in order to ensure that it was received successfully
  • Ensure that your press release gets to its intended recipients at least one week (but preferably two) before the event/launch date. If you prefer it to be viewed as 'breaking news', then you should definitely try to submit it before 3 pm (CST), the standard dealine hour for newspapers and mediahouses all over the globe
  • It is important to note that the event must be new. If it's more than a week or month old, it might not get the desired coverage because it's no longer 'new news'

The most important elements of a press release:

  1. Start out with 'FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:' in all caps in the top left hand corner of the document (usually just below the letterhead)
  2. Contact information - Name, compnay name, email address, phone numbers, fax numbers, web site address and any other pertinent information
  3. The headline - ensure that you use bold typface, and ensure that the headline is the same as the 'email subject'
  4. The dateline - the city that the press release is being issued from as well as the date
  5. Lead paragraph and body - the lead paragraph should grab the reader's attention, and the body should contain the rest of the details
  6. The recap - short summary of what is being announced as well as a bit of a background / company history

Here, you can download for free, a blank press release template. It is saved a Micrsoft Word (2002) document, so you will need that software (or other compatible) to open and view it properly.


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