How To Write A Press Release

Send periodic press releases to your local media to keep your company's name in the public eye. Here's how to write a press release.

Your company is only as fresh in the public eye as today's news. When the image fades, your customers will forget all about you and go in search of a service that is more timely or available.

That is why it is important to use your local media to promote your business. You don't have to buy ad space to describe the actual services you perform, although that may be a good idea if you can afford to do so. But you also can get free publicity by keeping your company's name current through frequent press releases and publicity blurbs.

Why hire a public relations specialist to whom you will pay thousands of dollars to write press releases when you can handle this task yourself? Here are a few tips for writing a simple press release:

1. Try to write a one-page account if possible. More than that, and the newspaper editor may set it aside and go in search of a shorter piece. Plan your details to fill one double-spaced page, omitting the simplest of facts.

2. Use a conventional press release format. Here is the basic layout, although you can download free samples and templates from the Internet by doing a search with keywords like "free press release template" or something along those lines:

-Use a header. "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE" centered in all caps at the top of the page will get the reader's attention.



-Add a title. Under the header print a centered title with just the first letter of each main word capitalized:

Example: "Magic Graphix Expands Product Line"

-Add contact information. Doublespace below title:

"Contact: John Doe at 415-337-1610

-Insert location details. Doublespace after contact information and at the left margin, place the city and a dash:

"Boston-"

-Use a catchy opening statement. "Do you believe in magic? The Boston-based graphics company is building on its solid foundation. John Doe, President, announces MG will add a new product line to the award-winning collection of graphic images already in use...."

-Following the opening statements, add explanation or details in the center of the message. Close with a catchy statement that links back to the introduction, when possible:

"Magic Graphix plans to offer more entertaining images with its new line of graphic designs. MG hopes their customers will enjoy the new magic show.

-Doublespace the body of the message.

4. Proofread the draft carefully and correct all errors. Let it sit for a day or so and read it again to see how it sounds and whether you can improve on the language or ideas.

5. At the bottom of the page, you may wish to restate the contact information. Then add two pound signs spaced at the center of the bottom:

# #

Send the press release to several local media outlets as soon as possible.

If you have business associates in other companies, you may want to have one of them read it over to see how it sounds. Check the template again first to be sure your press release includes all the important facts and details.

© High Speed Ventures 2011