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5 Tips to Writing a Great Press Release

Posted by Nick Pizzolato on Mon, Mar 14, 2016 @ 12:54 PM

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As a business owner, you know your industry better than anyone else. This is why customers turn to you for the solutions to their problems. You do your best to educate the community about your products through marketing, but sometimes there is news or an update that can’t be shared in an advertisement. A professional and well prepared press release can showcase your knowledge and allow your business to reach new consumers.

A press release is simply a short story that is written by you and sent to a local news organization to promote or educate the community. The goal is to have the story be released to their audience or encourage a reporter or editor to do a more in-depth story based on what you send them. No matter the outcome, you are raising your brand awareness with the increased attention to your business.

Here are five tips to help you write a great press release.

1) Why is this Story Important?

This is your chance to let consumers know about the passion you have for your business and your community. Your press release can be about the trends you see changing or how a new law will affect their lives. You can promote a guest presenter or how your business is involved in a local charity. A press release should be an announcement to consumers that something is happening that they should not ignore.

2) Be a Journalist

This is your chance to be a news reporter. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do any investigative pieces or do a lot of research, but your story should stick to the facts at hand. It needs to offer value to the community, and that should be offered at the very beginning to engage the reader quickly and encourage them to continue on. You also need to answer the four W’s (who, what, where, when) in the press release. Don’t write with personal speculation or from an emotional point-of-view. Don’t repeat information, and keep the story simple and direct. You want this press release to spark interest with local editors who think the community would benefit from reading it.

3) Check Grammar & Spelling

If your intention is to have a press release published by a news outlet, you need to make it as easy as possible for the editor to publish the piece as is. This means your content needs to be valuable and be as flawless as possible. Take the time to read and reread the press release looking for spelling and grammar mistakes. Ask a few friends to read it too and lean their critical eye. It’s ok if you don’t catch every mistake, but limiting the ones that are made will make it easier to become part of a news report.

4) Include Contact Information

Always include your contact information in the press release itself. This may seem simple, but sometimes these are the steps people skip, because they don’t feel they are important. An editor or reporter will need a way to contact you quickly if they have any further questions about your piece. Give them direct access to you so you can answer their questions.

5) Practice Makes Perfect

It’s very rare, that the first attempt at anything is great. That’s why the more you practice a skill, the better you become at it. But, you don’t want to send a press release every day, because it will devalue the ones that are truly newsworthy. You can still practice your writing by publishing these press releases on your business’s blog. Not only will you be able to practice on building the perfect press release, but you are also building web pages that strengthen the searchability of your digital presence.

A press release is a great tool you can use to build exposure for your business. News outlets are always looking for local stories that have value to their readers, so sharing your story with them can lead to a great professional relationship. With purposeful content, that is written cleanly and includes the proper information, your press release is another way to engage with potential consumers.

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Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at npizzolato@wickedlocal.com.

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Tags: Small Business, Wicked Local, Marketing