Press Release Writing Tips
One of the most effective marketing tools for an online web site or business is to publish a variety of press releases. Press releases can be used to promote new web site launches, new services or product lines, company news or simply to attract new visitors.
However, press releases have always been notoriously difficult to write, especially for individuals that do not have a technical writing background. Below are several press release writing tips that are intended to assist you in creating press releases that are well written, effective, and designed to achieve their intended goals.
Press Release Writing Tip - Keep the Format Standard
A good press release will include five major elements as far as format is concerned. The elements are:
Headline: Written in all capital letters, a simple statement announcing what the press release will be about. This statement is designed to grab the reader's attention as they sort through press releases.
Grabber Line: Written in italics and bold. Designed to convince the reader to continue reading. This line can be much more specific about the press release. Most writers consider this a continuation of the header that mainly addresses the who, what, why, when and how.
Main Body: Typically no more than four or five short paragraphs. The first paragraph should begin with a date (Example: April XX, 2010 -) followed by the first sentence of the paragraph. The section right after the date is an excellent spot for a quote. The final paragraph should be much shorter than the rest and is reserved for a way for the reader to get more information through a web site link or phone number.
About Us: This is where information about the company (history, goals, staff, etc.) can be listed as a way of building credibility with the reader.
Contact Us: This final section is primarily a list of contact information and should include no other content. An example of this section is:
John A. Smith
Faux Imports LLC
Press Release Writing Tip - Voice and Tone
There are two major types of voices that you can use to draft your press release. These are entirely dependent on your individual style and target audience. The two voices are as follows:
Conversational: Uses words like "you" and "your." Primarily consists of instructions, hypothetical problems and solutions, and examples involving the reader. Has the benefit of drawing the reader in with a personal connection.
Professional: Avoids directly addressing the reader by using words like "one" or "the client." Contrary to popular belief, this voice is not better than conversational, just different.
If you are a professional company in a field such as law, medicine, education, etc., you will likely want to use a professional tone in your press release. However, if you are a small business or web site owner, conversational tone might be your best choice.