Guiding principles for Press Release Writing

1. Craft a compelling headline. Grab reader attention immediately, create interest. Keep it to the point and short, usually 10 words or less. This is the best chance to command attention. Do not use all capital letters, italics are preferred.

2. A Press Release is not an advertisement. Do not use your press release to make a sale.

3. It should be written in 3rd person.

4. The 1st paragraph – Hook the reader with the first paragraph. A first paragraph should summarize the five W’s: who, what, where, when and why. Most readers will bail out if you haven’t “hooked” them in the first short summary paragraph.

5. Put the most important information at the beginning. Think “Top Heavy” when composing the Release.

6. The pre-press product should be grammatically correct and have no spelling errors. Don’t trust your word processing program to catch errors in grammar and spelling only. Have others read the release and offer suggestions before sending it to a reporter or news agency.

7. Provide all possible contact information including mailing address, telephone, fax, and website. Do not include an e-mail address in an on-line release in the body, unless you like Spam.

8. A well written Press Release should be between 200-500 words in length.

9. Make sure and develop a list of keywords and phrases just like you would for a web page. PRWeb and other online News Release Agencies use them to submit to Search Engines and also optimize your Press Release on their Site.

10. Avoid jargon or specialized technical terms. If accuracy requires the use of an industry-specific term, define it.

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