Press Release Me, Let Me Go!

Press Release Me, Let Me Go!

Subject Line: Press Release Me, Let Me Go!

The Write Market Release
Vol. 3. Issue 12
Press Release Me, Let Me Go!

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CONTENTS IN THIS ISSUE

1. Editor’s Remarks
2. How to Build an Online Press Center – Part VII:
a. How to write a press release AND get it published; by Steve Nash
b. Example of a Press Release
c. Press Release as Part of your Press Center
d. Press Release Resources
3. What’s New at The Write Market
4. Get Your Ad in TWM’s Release!
5. Administrative Information

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EDITOR’S REMARKS

Hi folks.

This is the big issue on Press Releases. This issue is information intensive so after reading it, use it immediately if you can, but file it away somewhere for future use!

The first article is written by someone who had their press release published! It will explain the steps he used to succeed in getting his press release published.

After writing and distributing, publish the release on your own web site in your online press center. I’ve provided some words of advice on that project!

Finally, I’ve provided links to some good press release resources.

Good luck and I’ll see you next month when we’ll talk about writing a sample news story.

Write on,
Renee Kennedy
[email protected]

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SPONSOR MESSAGE

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ELEMENTS OF A PRESS CENTER

(This is a quick review to show you where we’re at and where we’re going.)

1. Table of Contents
2. Backgrounder
3. History
4. The People Behind Your Business
5. Projects, Clients, Partners and/or Works
6. Testimonials
7. Press Releases **We’re HERE **
8. Sample News Story
9. Articles by Other Sources
10. Contact Information

For more details on the elements of your Press Center see: http://www.thewritemarket.com/press/index.htm

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HOW TO WRITE A PRESS RELEASE AND GET IT PUBLISHED
by Steve Nash

=> Summary

This article contains a checklist to writing a press release. And it includes the single most important ingredient of a press release, one that will dramatically improve your chances of getting your news published.

=> Introduction

Firstly, let me say straight away that I am *not* an expert at writing press releases. Over the years, I have read and studied many articles on how to write a press release; I have then submitted my press release only to see them fail to get noticed by editors.

That’s not to say that the articles I read were poor – all offered good advice, but not in the format I wanted: a simple checklist.

So I created my own checklist to help me write a press release. A do-able step-by-step guide to writing a press release that makes writing the news release a straight-forward process.

And I was ready to write this article nine months ago, but something was missing from my press releases at the time – a vital ingredient – and so my press releases were still not getting published.

I am only writing this article NOW simply because my last press release WAS published, in several UK computer magazines. I am only writing this article NOW because I now know what the missing ingredient is to a successful press release (that gets published). It’s simple, really, *and* obvious! (Read on!)

Note: I’m still not an expert when it comes to writing a press release – you’ll find links to experts at the bottom of this article – but I am much more confident that my press releases will get published now. And you can be confident too…

=> Press Release Checklist

o Step 1 – What’s Your Story?
o Step 2 – Think Like A Journalist
o Step 3 – Mechanics Of Writing A Press Release
o Step 4 – Example Layout Of A Press Release
o Step 5 – Is Your Press Release Ready?

o The missing ingredient – K-I-S-S

o Appendix: Expert press release resources

So, what follows is advice distilled from many sources, organized in a way that allows you to follow the basic steps of writing a press release. (And you can always find out more detailed information, should you need it, in the Appendix!)

What also follows is the vital ingredient missing from many how-to articles, that improve your chances of getting your news published…

=> Step 1 – What’s Your Story?

1.1) Find your story, and develop it!

1.2) Position yourself as being different

1.3) Develop different angles

– holiday and event tie-in articles
– tips, articles, advice
– politically and socially important editorial tie-in articles
– new, unique products, Internet innovations and developments
– human interest angles
– interpersonal relationships on difficult issues
– unusual events, unique personal accomplishments, unusual
creative ideas
– humor and wisdom, fun and tragedy

Some suitable news-sources to aid your research:
– http://news.bbc.co.uk
– http://www.zdnet.com
– http://www.backwash.com
– http://www.moreover.com

=> Step 2 – Think Like A Journalist

2.1) What reasons would an editor want to publish your news (what benefits are there for them?)
– is it relevant?
– is it mildly interesting?
– is it newsworthy?

2.2) Make the main benefit the headline
– the only purpose of your headline is to get the attention of the editor, to get him/her to read your release
– write headlines from prospects point of view (use the words YOU, NEW and/or How To in headline)

2.3) Remember the subtext

2.4) Remember K-I-S-S (keep it simple stupid!) – write for scannability; write short, punchy paragraphs

2.5) Remember to answer: “Who? Why? What? Where? When? & How?”

2.6) Write the press release so it can be put into a magazine, with just a few simple edits

=> Step 3 – Mechanics Of Writing A Press Release

3.1) The Title of your press release is vital – some say that 90% of your time should be spent on your title; make it bold & boastful (hot and shocking!)

3.2) Opening sentence continues what you are talking about in the headline

3.3) Tell your story in headline and leading paragraph

3.4) Use specific, powerful (and true) testimonials – use convincing case studies

3.5) Use a powerful guarantee, and draw attention to it

3.6) – No more than 5 bullet points
– No .DOC files
– No attachments
– No HTML

3.7) Change passive words to active; use the words YOU; and link selling points

3.8) For each sentence ask yourself ‘So what?’ – remove if there is no good answer

3.9) Edit your copy ruthlessly, over and over again!

=> Step 4 – Example Layout Of A Press Release

This is a simple example of what a press release should look like (more or less):

Title – Headline
— Benefit (tell me more, 36-40 chars)

For immediate release

Simple contact

Sub-heading

Leading Paragraph
— What / why needed / how it will help (40-75 words)
— Include quotes

Main Paragraph(s)
— Who aimed at (the facts) – who cares?

Final Paragraph
— Summarize; call to action

Full contact details

=> Step 5 – Is Your Press Release Ready?

1) Is your press release published on your website?

2) Better still, do you have an online press pack?

3) Do you know what to do or say if a reporter calls?

=> The missing ingredient – K-I-S-S

Phew! A lot to take in, I agree! The main trouble with doing all of the above is that your press release will be… L-O-N-G!

Yes, the vital ingredient to your press release, the one factor that WILL increase the chances of getting your news published is to:

Keep It SHORT Stupid (yet another K-I-S-S !)

Not convinced? Ask yourself these questions, then:

* How many of these press releases do you think editors get to read every day?

* How many long, badly-worded releases will they read before eventually becoming instantly put off just by the length of a press release?

* And how much more likely do you think a press release will be read if it’s a SHORT, quick read.

Keep your press release short, simple as that!

=> Appendix: Expert press release resources

If you want to know more about writing a press release then I can recommend the following resources (but do still remember to keep your press release short, eh?):

* Articles

10 Tips For Better Press Releases by B.L.Ochman http://www.whatsnextonline.com

Using And Writing Press Releases by Craig Lock http://www.nzenterprise.com/writer/creative.html

Publicity STARTS with a Press Release by Kate Schultz of http://www.ezineuniversity.com

How to Write Press Releases that Get Published – Paul Krupin http://www.roibot.com/tpnr.cgi?R26045_press

* Links

http://www.iboost.com/promote/press_releases/index.html http://www.pressreleasenetwork.com/ http://www.webpromote.com/products/prelease.asp http://www.ereleases.com/ http://www.web-source.net/web/Press_Release/ http://drnunley.com http://myws.sitesell.com/shopping101.html

* Press release distribution

http://www.prweb.com – distribute your PR for free http://www.downesmarketing.co.uk/freepr.html http://www.emailwire.com http://www.sourcewire.com

=> And finally…

So there you have it – my checklist to writing a press release. If you need to learn more then do visit the above links. And then just make sure that you follow the checklist, and:

* have a story to tell * think like a journalist * format the press release properly

Do keep your press release short, then keep an eye on those publications – seeing your site in print is a great feeling!

Good luck, Steve Nash

Steve Nash is editor of a twice-monthly newsletter called Promote! Promote! Promote! Subscribe by sending a blank email to [email protected] . To learn more about writing good copy for your press release, website, email (or anything) visit Make Your Words Sell NOW! and learn from a net copy-writing master – http://myws.sitesell.com/shopping101.html

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EXAMPLE PRESS RELEASE

Following Steve’s advice above, I wrote the following press release for our new book:

NEW BOOK HELPS BEGINNERS WRITE THEIR WEB SITE RIGHT

For Immediate Release

Company: The Write Market
Contact: Terry Kent
Phone: 215-355-7472

Do you want to know how to make a Web site that will sell your products, services or help you brand your business?

“Create Web Content that Sells! main focus is to teach you how to write to sell on the web. It also shows you how to create a navigation strategy that will bolster your sales, how to recognize graphics that work, and how to write for search engine promotion. It’s an easy to read book that anyone, at any level, can understand. The book’s aim is to teach you our proven strategies and methods,” says Renee Kennedy, co-author of Create Web Content that Sells!

This book is especially geared to small business operators that need to quickly absorb how to market, brand, and write to sell on their web sites. A web site is a fantastic marketing tool, if you know how to use it. Create Web Content that Sells! will teach you how to use it.

Judy Vorfeld, web writing expert, owner of www.webgrammar.com and moderator of i-CRM discussion list had this to say about the authors and the book, “You two have the experience, the understanding of where newbies are coming from, and you have a delightful writing style. It’s a terrific tutorial!”

This book gives you a proven method to write content and choose graphics that sell. You will find the book sold in print and ebook format at: www.thewritemarket.com.

Full Contact Information:
Terry Kent
215-355-7472
The Write Market
RR1 Box 130M
Shenandoah Junction, West_Virginia 25442

Web URL: http://www.thewritemarket.com/
Photo Link: http://thewritemarket.com/media/us.htm

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While I was writing the above release, Steve’s words kept running through my mind, and they really helped me to pare it down. I think his advice bares repeating, “For each sentence ask yourself, ‘So what?’ – remove if there is no good answer.

I’d further like to add that you should be writing your press release for a specific group of people. In my example above, my target is small business owners that have a web site. That’s a very specific group of people. I tried to write it for them, telling them that this book is especially for them. Also, when I distribute this press release (after editing it some more – I’m sure), I’m going to target publications that are written for small business owners. Most likely, I will target ezines.

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YOUR ONLINE PRESS CENTER

Your online press center should have a section where you list your press releases. Include a directory of all your press releases and link them to the actual release. Keep this database of releases on your website. They can act as great food for search engines.

You should strive to write one press release a month, if not more. Every time something happens in your business, something different, something new, write it down. Whether or not it gets published by other sources, you will have a chronology of the life of your business.

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PRESS RELEASE RESOURCES

Steve listed a bunch of great resources in his article, here are a few more of my favorites:

http://gethighforums.com/bin (you must scroll down to Public Relations/Press Releases): This is a discussion forum where you can ask questions about your Press Release. The Moderator is very knowledgeable. Also, they will review your release if you post it.

http://www.iwannabefamous.com/affiliates A great list of the best places on the web for press release information and distribution.

http://www.prweb.com (You’ll see this link again and again.) A place to distribute your release for free.

Several articles on press releases including one on optimizing press releases for Search Engines: http://www.thewritemarket.com/article

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WHAT’S NEW AT THE WRITE MARKET

In the coming month, we’re setting up a new web site. We’re moving our Art Gallery Gift Shop to its own site. It will be located at: http://www.artgallerygiftshop.com

This ezine will be exactly three years old next month. We’re coming to the point where we might like to sell the ezine. (It takes a lot of work to research, write and edit the articles. Currently, this ezine is a labor of love. We are very proud of it. I am happy to have met so many interesting people through publishing this newsletter. However, Terry and I are moving on to other more time-consuming projects and neither of us feels that we will have the time to commit to producing a quality newsletter.)

If anyone out there has any desire to buy our newsletter, please email me at [email protected]

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GET YOUR AD IN THIS EZINE

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Contact: [email protected]

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