Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Biz Whiz: How To Write Effective Press Releases

Press releases, also called News Releases, are an essential element to your craft business' marketing strategy. They are a short, preferably one-page document that basically announces something newsworthy that you want to promote such as a new product or product line, a program your business may be participating in, community outreach your involved in, etc. They're also used to secure magazine features and television appearances.

You should know that journalists are inundated with press releases and potential stories on a daily basis, so it's crucial that you craft the best news release possible so they will cover your story.

Here are some tips to help you stand out from the pack.

1. Attention Grabbing Headline

This is the most important because  your headline determines if a journalist will be pulled in enough to actually read your press release, so really give this some thought.
2. Get To The Point In Your First Paragraph
Journalists are busy folks who will probably just skim your document (if they even move beyond the headline or first paragraph),  so get to the point and make it enticing. All your inportant points should be addressed in the first few sentences.
3. The Body
The body of your press release should support the headline and opening paragraph. Include the who, what, when, where, why and how.

4. Check The Grammar
Edit, edit, edit and proofread, proofread, proofread! Proofread your document as if you're getting paid top dollar to do so. A single mistake or typo can cause the demise of your press release.
5. Limit It To One Page
Let me say again, journalists are super busy people. They barely have time to do more than skim your press release, so keeping it to one page is best. One page is definitely enough space to say what you need to say. In the case of a press release: shorter is better.

6. Don't Forget Your Contact Information

This may seem like an obvious point, but it's a common oversight. You want the journalist to contact you if they're interested in covering your story, so don't forget to include your phone number and email address (which goes at the top of the page). Also, steer them to your website with a link. Don't make them look for information about you. Lead the horses to the water - as they say. Good luck!  :)

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