Press Release Checklist: Are You Doing These 5 Things Correctly?

by Theo McLanahan

Press releases let you use the media to draw attention to your business, which makes it more credible in the eyes of the public. Consider five easy tips on how to make your press release great.

Correct Format: There is a format that press releases need to follow. Make sure your yours is written in the correct format, as you will want it to look as professional as possible. It is also a good idea to double-check the grammar, punctuation and spelling before you send it in for submission.

Writing Clearly and Pointedly: Since most media outlets receive a steady stream of press releases, they do not have time to read long ones. No press release should be more than two pages in length. In order to keep your press release at this size, your writing needs to be clear and pointed, answering the most important questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how.

Emphasize Benefits to the Reader: Your press release should encourage readers to do something. Depending on the situation, you might tell them to check out your website, visit the grand opening of your new store, or attend your special event. Your writing should emphasize the benefits that your reader will receive by taking part in whatever it is that your press release is promoting. Instead of just writing a straightforward advertisement, make potential customers see what’s in it for them.

For example, a press release about a new food processor needs to tell readers more than the simple facts that the new product is more compact than older models. Make customers see the benefits they will derive from purchasing it by wording it differently. You could say, “The compact size of our new food processor will let customers maximize counter space while chopping up foods with just as much power as previous models.” This tells your reader why they need to buy your product.

Keep the Mood Interesting: You need to write in a style that will make readers excited about your product. Dress up the facts in an effort to keep things interesting for your readers. With the above food processor example, you can tell customers that “the new compact, counter-saving model will be in stores this spring, just when you’ll need it to chop up fresh veggies to make the perfect summer salad” instead of simply stating “the new food processor will be available in the spring.”

Keep Your Target Customer in Mind: Always remember who your target customers are while you write and submit your press releases. This will also help you to determine what information should be in your press release and which media sources you should submit it to.

You wouldn’t, for example, submit a press release about a children’s health event to a newspaper’s travel editor, since this will not help you get your information to your target audience.

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