Among the many things writers can produce, one item is a press release. But there’s an art to penning a compelling one.
Although the intent of the press release is a promotion it should not appear so.
A press release is foremost a news item, a noteworthy occurrence. A good press release will focus on that. A great press release will also be interesting or entertaining to read.
As a magazine publisher, I’ve been on the receiving end of press releases for years – and have seen too many bad and boring ones, often with over-the-top marketing hype.
Lately I’ve been creating my own press releases. Why? To promote my writing and me—and hopefully be newsworthy, interesting, and perhaps even entertaining in the process.
If you want to write press releases – for yourself or others—go to PRlog (or any other source of press releases) and study what you see. Note what resonates with you and what turns you off. Which ones are interesting, and which ones are boring?
Most importantly, scrutinize the headlines. The headline is the most important part, for if you have a bad headline, no one will bother to read the rest of the announcement. Your headline should avoid hype, unfulfilled promises, and clever writing. Be factual and interesting. Grab the reader’s attention with the headline, and it’s done its job.
Now you have an idea of what your press releases should look like—and are better prepared when it comes time to write one, either for yourself or for others.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.