“Write Stuff” Press Release Tips

Not sure how to tell your story to the media? Follow these top 10 tips as a starting point to help get your press releases noticed by reporters and give you that all-important credibility with the media:

Have a newsworthy “hook”: Use your press release to make a timely announcement.
Put your name, contact information, release date and “immediate release” near the top of the first page or up front in the body of the e-mail for reporters’ easy reference.
Cover the “who-what-when-where” (and sometimes “why-how”) in the lead (first paragraph).
Include the most important information first and put the rest in descending order of importance (called the “inverted pyramid”), so editors can cut the story from the bottom up if needed without removing the most crucial information.
Reference the Associated Press Stylebook to make sure you write the way journalists do.
Keep paragraphs short: One to three sentences work great.
Write objectively, meaning attribute comments and editorialized remarks (opinions) to an official or organization, either through direct quotes or paraphrasing.
Put more at the bottom of a page when a hard copy release continues; the page number and a one- or two-word topic description at the top of the next page; and
-30- or # # # at the end of the release.
Keep the release length to the equivalent of two pages double-spaced (or shorter).
Proof, proof and proof again: Typos, misspellings and grammatical errors will hurt the chances of your story being covered.
Additional Tips
  • Check a media directory or media outlets’ websites to identify the right reporters and the best way to reach them.
  • Send release text in the body of an e-mail; don’t send reporters attachments unless they specifically ask for them.
  • Pay attention to journalists' deadlines!
  • Consider use of a paid release distribution service to expand your story placements.
  • Post your release on your website and link to it through social media channels to get direct visibility with your end-use audiences.

Need help preparing or targeting a top-notch press release?

Contact us at 818-280-5106 or mindy@mfbcommunications.com
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