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Nine steps to great press releases

There are many resources and opinions out there for writing and distributing press releases but here’s a quick nine steps from us on this topic.

1. Consider your ultimate audience – the people you want to reach with your message. This will help you decide which media outlets to target and who should be on your ‘press list’
2. Talk to your client and/or colleagues, find out what’s going on that could make a story, perhaps something relating to a major issue of the day. Look for the unexpected, that’s what makes news
3. Get your facts and quotes together. Look for strong facts about the company or product. Quotes should add colour
4. Write your press release. Put the best bit first and keep it short – 400 words is more than enough. Get grammar and punctuation right but don’t try to be too creative – the aim is to communicate not impress
5. Make sure your headline is snappy and makes the point. Write it in sentence case (all upper case is hard to read and should be avoided)
6. Put your contact details at the end of the release. It’s amazing how many people forget this, as we see from some of the releases submitted to the ResponseSource Press Release Wire
7. Get your release proof-read, by at least two people
8. Send your release in the body of emails to target press contacts. Don’t include attachments in the email (this irritates a lot of journalists)
9. You may want to use a reputable online press release wire service for additional distribution. If so, make sure relevant keywords are in the release and include a link to your company/client and any additional resources. Journalists often like to access raw data

Of course, there is a great deal more to getting great media coverage with press releases but if you do the above you’ll be off to a great start.

Check out our series on press release writing and distribution.

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