Crafting press releases for business benefits

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Many businesses use a formal press release format
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Five tips for crafting powerful and effective press releases

Any marketing, media relations or public relations executive can tell you the value of a press release. Press releases are short, informative, pseudo-news stories, or pitch letters designed to promote an event, occasion, or noteworthy product or person to media sources.

Crafting press releases for business benefits can generate tons of free publicity, and may even inspire journalists, radio or television producers to use your press release as a springboard for more in-depth articles, stories or media coverage on the topic.

Press releases for business are considered to be an invaluable element of media packages, press kits and marketing materials. Tips for crafting press releases to enhance a marketing campaign are in knowing how to write a press release.

Writing a press release is considerably different than writing a journalistic article. In fact, many companies hire marketing consultants, public relations firms or in-house writers and PR coordinators to draft and oversee the delivery of press release to media sources. If you are interested in learning how to write a press release, here are five basic tips for crafting a press release.

The Five Essentials for Crafting Powerful and Effective Press Releases

1.   Proper Formatting is Essential

Correctly formatting a press release is the key to having it reach the right media executives or editors. A properly formatted press release should contain the name, logo, address and contact information of the individual or company that is sending it. 

Including a contact phone number or e-mail address is vital to assure that media members will know how, and who to get in touch with regarding any follow-up questions.  Press releases for business should have a title, header and closing paragraph.

2.   Answer All the W Questions

A successful press release will answer the primary questions of who, what, where, when and why.  Most importantly, your press release should be relevant and timely. For example, if the press release serves to promote an upcoming event, the date, time and location of the event should be clearly stated. 

Radio and television news stations require at least a day or a few days notice about relevant feature stores. Most daily newspapers require a 1 to 2 week advance notice about events in order to run information in print. Monthly magazines may require a one month or two month lead time for press releases, or pitches for story ideas.

3.   Stick to the Facts

When crafting press releases for business benefits, they should be written in third person, and should be truthful and factual. State only the basic facts and do not add any embellishments, fluff or exaggerations. In other words, keep it short, sweet and concise. Avoid unnecessary adjectives, or redundant expressions. 

If your press release seems too long, keep editing it down to the bare essentials. Remember, most editors and media executives will spend only a few brief moments overlooking your press release to see if it is relevant, timely, newsworthy or interesting.

4.   Maintain A Media List, Send Timely Press Releases, Then Follow-up

More often than not, having a solid grasp of local media sources, delivering the press release to those sources in a timely fashion, and then following up, can be more effective than simply knowing how to write a press release. 

Take the time to research and develop a list of media sources. Next, mail, e-mail, or fax the press release to key sources in a timely fashion. Specialized network feeds such as PRWeb, PR Newswire, MarketWire and Vocus are tools that can pr and marketing executives to broaden the distribution of press releases, as well as send targeted press releases.

5.   Double Check Facts and Obtain Permissions

If you are writing press releases for a corporation, or even a small company, be sure to review the press release with your superiors before delivering it to media sources. Make sure to ask for permissions if you are incorporating and direct quotations or statements in the press release.  Double check all the facts and details, to ensure that your press releases for business will result in positive and accurate media exposure.

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