How to Write an Effective Press Release

Jerry WalchStarred Page By Jerry Walch, 16th Jan 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3e8fl0iu/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Writing

As James Thurber (1894 – 1961) once declared, “There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception.” There are exceptions to every other rule ever formulated by man. However, as writers, we need to understand the rules before we can break them creatively and effectively.

Rules are made to be broken.

As a rule, rules are made to be broken, but you need to understand the rules first, so you will know how and when to break them. No where is this more true than with writing. No matter what you write, there is no such thing as only one right way to write it, it is up to the writer to find out what works best for him. That includes writing press releases. The steps that I am going to expound upon are not set in cement, they are merely what works best for me and I am offering them to you as a guideline to follow until you discover what works best for you.

Understand the publication and its readers.

The first rule of writing an effective press release is knowing what publication to submit it to because publications cater to readers with very well-defined area of interests. The one exception to that rule is the daily and Sunday newspapers. The newspapers accept and publish press releases on everything the grand opening of a new brick and mortar store to the release of a new book on quilting. On the other hand if you send your press release for your book How to Build Your First R/C Model Airplane to a magazine catering to the veterinarian medicine professional, you are wasting your time. Likewise, if you were to send a press release on a book on veterinarian medical practices to the American Model Builder you will be wasting your time.

A good press release informs the reader, it does not promote the product.

The second rule of writing an effective press release is writing to inform and not to promote. One of the most common uses of press releases by writers is to announce an upcoming book signing. The purpose of that press release should be to inform the public about when and where the book signing will be held. It will convey information on who will be present at the signing. It will inform the reader whether there will be any refreshments being served. The purpose of such a release is not to promote the book or the writer. A little space will be devoted to the book and to the author but the substance of the release will be about the who, what, when, where, why and how of the book signing affair.

Understand your business in context.

The third rule to writing an effective press release is understanding your business in context. Understanding your business in context means understanding it from your potential client's perspective and your perspective client's needs. As writers for hire we are constantly adding new services to the array of services that we offer. Quite often we will issue a press release announcing the new service or services to be offered. For a press release to be effective we need to understand the problems facing our potential clients and we need to know how our new service will help them solve that problem. When we write our press release we focus on that aspect, on how our service will benefit them, how it will solve their problems.

Keep the press release believable.

The fourth rule of writing an effective press release is, keep what you are offering believable. If you have written an e-Book on starting an online business, for example, an e-store, do not say something totally unbelievable like, “Follow the instruction in my e-Book and you will make $1,000 a week starting with your very first week.” Sure, some people will actually believe you and buy your book, but the vast majority of people will perceive you as being a snake oil salesman and run from you as quick as their mouse will carry them.

Make it a conversation, not a monologue.

The fifth and final rule to writing an effective press release is that it should read like you were having a conversation with your readers. The effective press release establishes a conversation with your readers and not a monologue or speech.

Tags

Freelance Writing, How To Write A Press Release, Inform, Newspapers, Press Release, Promote, Writing

Meet the author

author avatar Jerry Walch
Jerry Walch is a 71 year old freelance writer for hire living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has been writing since the late 1970s, and writes for both the print and online media. He specializes in

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Comments

author avatar Denise O
16th Jan 2012 (#)

'However, as writers, we need to understand the rules before we can break them creatively and effectively'. I just love this line and how true it is. Great advice, say what you mean and mean what you say. As you have stated, if you promise too much, you might get a few interested people but, it does not help you in the long run. Just great advice, all the way around. As always, thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Jerry Walch
16th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you, Denise, for reading and commenting.

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author avatar 1Faithmorgan
16th Jan 2012 (#)

I wish I could favourite this page I have yet to write a press release and this looks really helpful for us beginners :D

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author avatar Jerry Walch
16th Jan 2012 (#)

Faith, you should be able to bookmark any page no matter what browser you are using. The shortcut key strokes in many browsers is CTRL+D>ENTER

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author avatar Sheila Newton
17th Jan 2012 (#)

My word, you know your stuff. And another star for Jerry too. Great.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
29th Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you, Sheila.

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author avatar Retired
17th Jan 2012 (#)

Ditto what Sheila said! Bravo and thanks for all your tip.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
29th Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you rama devi nina

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author avatar Delicia Powers
17th Jan 2012 (#)

Always a great page to gain knowledge, well done and thank you Jerry...

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author avatar Jerry Walch
17th Jan 2012 (#)

Thank you Sheila, rama devi nina, and Delicia.

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author avatar Buzz
17th Jan 2012 (#)

I'm taking it from the master. Thanks, Jerry. Sharing this at my FB.

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author avatar Jerry Walch
17th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks, Buzz.

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author avatar Retired
29th Feb 2012 (#)

great article Jerry!!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
29th Feb 2012 (#)

Thank you, waleed.

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author avatar Austee
20th Jun 2012 (#)

Very well said!

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author avatar Jerry Walch
20th Jun 2012 (#)

Thanks Austee.

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