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Top Tips For Writing A Great Press Release
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Journalists are not fools and will spot an advert a word away. They receive hundreds of press releases each day and most are immediately deleted after scanning just a headline or boring first paragraph. Often this is because they are blatant adverts and not significant newsworthy stories. Or they may just be too dull.
In fact, the vast majority are far too wordy and packed with an overload of information that a journalist or commissioning editor doesn't need to know. It's surprising how many people think the editor will enjoy reading heaps of information about their subject. In reality he or she needs to please their readers, which means supplying copy of optimum human interest that will keep them reading and coming back to buy more.
Using festival themes for inspiration is always a good idea to bring in human interest such as a spooky story about Halloween.
Here are a few tips from copywriters experienced in public relations, that I hope will help:
· Research your submission areas and target markets, include markets just outside your boundaries
· Target daily newspapers, weekly papers, weekly periodicals, monthly and weekly magazines, newsletters, What's On guides, local radio and any others
· Call these outlets before you submit, establish deadlines and enquire to whom is the best person to submit the release: rarely the editor and contacting him or her is not advisable
· Once you've found a contact, ask for that journalist's direct telephone and e-mail address. Call them and establish a feel-good, engaging tone - give your name but do not oversell or fawn, and remember to thank them; a good media relationship is worth its weight in words
· Explain succinctly the newsworthy piece you are offering and why you feel the readers would love to read more. Ask for guidance on this from experienced London copywriting services who are familiar with press release technique
· Write a few bullets on paper first: most journalists are bored by people excited about something which they believe will make marvellous news
· Wait a few days and call them again. Check they received and ask if they would like any further detail or photos, and if the release appeals?
· If met with rejection back away immediately: thank them and mention you would be delighted to send anything in future that might arise. Any good copywriters will advise you not to moan, show annoyance or get angry
· I would not advise drafting a release as a template. Such 'templates' rarely work and are not professional; craft your release individually for each submission.
· Submit each release individually, not too close to deadline, which is frantic and rushed and likely to result in your release being missed.
It is a good idea to get a professional critique from a good copywriting service, rather than simply ask a friend who has no real experience of the world of journalism.
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