Press Release Outline
I started this blog over two years ago to improve my writing skills. While my writing has improved, one thing I have still not conquered is the ability to write a press release. So today, when I realized I was too tired to stay awake through a workshop on financial projections, I decided I'd mosey (hey I'm in Texas, I can mosey) on over to the "PR in a Box" workshop.
From the workshop and Michael Runzier of Intuit here are the 10 steps to writing a quality press release.
- Think Like a Reporter - reporters want to write stories that will interest their readers and keep the editor off their back. It's not a reporters job to help you succeed. So look for elements that will capture reporters and readers' interest.
- Do Their Homework - Make a reporter's job as easy as possible. Provide the facts, figures and experts they'll need to make a strong story.
- Be Timely - Reporters are often on deadline. If you news is outdated when it gets to an editor, it's destined for the trash bin.
- Think Global, Write Local - Taking a national story applying a local perspective is a great way of garnering coverage in your community.
- Put the Headline First - Summarize your story in a concise headline that compels an editor to read further.
- Put the Sub-head Second - This is your opportunity to provide a little more detail.
- Put the Opening Sentence and Lead Paragraph Third - Make them short. The first couple of sentences should summarize the news in your press release.
- Write Your Story as an Inverted Pyramid Fourth - Put the important stuff at the top of the story, such as significant facts. Don't' try to be suspenseful and save the vital information for last.
- Put the Rest of the Story Fifth - This should expand and explain the statements made in your headline and lead paragraph. Use quotes or data here to add credibility.
- Put the Boilerplate Last - This is standard language at the bottom of your press release. One to two sentences that describe your organization and its information such as web site, etc.