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The Purpose Of Writing A Press Release
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The rationale of writing a press statement is to communicate an issue that requires the attention of the public, meaning beyond your narrow target market. Your key audiences for the press statement are journalists. The idea is to generate the third party endorsement for your unique message. It shall be written in a language that journalists understand - the inverted pyramid style. In this article, we cover two issues namely, the style, and seven pillars of a press statement that matters. The golden rule: your press statement must be newsworthy. It is there to inform, not to sell, experts' insist.
The 5W & H
The inverted pyramid is a writing style used by journalists to illustrate the placing of the most important information within the first paragraph. The pyramid demands that your first paragraph should answer the 5Ws and H. And, perhaps, the so what question? These are:
What happened (what's the story)?
When did it take place?
Where did it take place?
How did it happen?
Why did it happen?
So What? The most neglected question is why it matters to the broader public.
Seven Pillars of a Successful Press Release
To help journalists differentiate press releases from the other communications they receive, the following seven elements make up the basic structure of a press release.
Dateline. This is in the first line in your release page containing the date and company name. It is important for journalists to know they are receiving the most up-to-date information.
Headline. This should grab the journalists' attention and give a brief overview of why the following information is newsworthy. It should be in your email subject line too.
Introduction. It must give the answers to who, what, where, why, and when. It is also important to know that press releases follow the Inverted Pyramid style. This means that all key information is given in the beginning and subsequent information should follow in order of diminishing importance
Thebody. Here you should include new details, and statistics. A quotable quote is a must. It shall include the brand message laced with the key purpose of the press statement.
The boilerplate. You should reinforce the company's brand message. Include background information about relevant products or a brief history of the company or key personnel mentioned in the release.
Media contactinformation. The name, phone number, email, website and other contact information for the person who is available for further interviews and assistance to the media.
The end. Strangely people need to know where your statement ends. Do tell them. Once you have followed the letter and spirit of this guide, please proofread and send your press statement for professional editing.
In the nutshell, your press statement shall be content rich, grab the reader's attention, truthful, and relevant. The recommended length for a press statement that matters is one full page.
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