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How to write a press release

press release news logoHaving a great story is no use if no-one gets to hear it, but getting a journalist’s attention isn’t easy. Read on for our guide to writing a great press release and discover how to get the press queuing up to talk to you.

What is a press release?

A press release is a letter or email sent out to journalists containing information about something people want them to cover. It might be sent out by a company launching a new product, a government department promoting a new policy or students arranging a charity fundraising event. But whatever the reason for sending it out, there are certain things to remember to make sure your press release ends up at the top of the pile and not in the bottom of the bin.

Get on target

Think about who will be most interested in your story and the media they use. Don’t just send it out to every magazine, newspaper or TV and radio station you can think of, because there’s no point sending out a press release  about the premiere of a new play to a motoring magazine. Telephone or email to find out the contact details of the right journalists everywhere you send it to as well. People are more likely to read something addressed to them personally rather than a general ‘office’ address.

Make it interesting

Your story, product or event might be very exciting to you, but you need to convince journalists of the same thing. Journalists receive loads of press releases, so you need to grab their attention with a snappy headline. Think about an ‘angle’, or a reason for them to cover the story. You could tie a charity sports day in with the Olympics for example, or launch a book of chocolate recipes in the run up to Easter.

Keep it short

Journalists don’t have time to read pages of text, and probably decide whether your story is interesting after the first paragraph. Put all the most important information in your first paragraph and keep the whole press release under 250 words. Don’t try and write the journalist’s article for them – that’s their job, not yours!

Make it accurate

Make sure all the facts are accurate, and provide a phone number and email address that journalists can call for more information. Have images available for print press or websites who can’t take their own photographs, and make sure you have someone who can give quotes for an interview.

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