How To Write
Your Publicity Release

by
Lin Stone

One of my first publicity release projects got the young artist Danny Ridling interviewed at high noon on state-wide television five days in a row.  The newspapers wrote him up too.  Like a modern day Gary Cooper he stood his ground in the middle of the street and painted some of his best work.

Would you like to get your business featured on television, your words quoted in the newspaper?  All it takes is a little bit of work to pave the way.

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The first thing to consider when writing your press release is that you are just like a reporter, but you are writing the news before it happens.  The important word there is NEWS.  Unless you are news, if you don't dish up something that is news the media wants to publish you can save your ink.

The media has this fear of publishing anything that isn't newsworthy.  If your publicity release takes off like a boring after-dinner boast of your accomplishments the media won't even smile as it looks the other way.

XX Names Chuck Magill Vice President of Dried Prune Production will not get you on the back page of the paper, much less get you on television.  News!  Think NEWS!  You have got to come up with news the media can use. 

Let's start off with a good headline:

Ten Death Threats For Men.

Is that interesting enough to read about?  You betchum.  You can imagine it right on the front cover of newsstand tabloids. It gets attention.   Now let's continue with the leadin..

Discover the leading killers threatening men today and learn how you can reduce your risk.

Still interested?  Probably, especially if you are a man or married to one.  What is killing these guys off?  Now, let me slide into the way the Mayo Clinic really wrote it..

"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2003, just over a million American men died. Nearly 80 percent of them died of heart disease or one of the nine other leading causes of death among American men.
"Here's a snapshot of the 10 leading killers of American men in 2003, the most recent year for which these statistics are available from the CDC:"

***

The Mayo Clinic then fulfills it promise made in the headline. 

"It's unclear why men have a shorter life span than women do. Inherited traits and male sex hormones may play a role, affecting such characteristics as body fat distribution. Specifically, men are more likely to accumulate fat around the abdomen (apple-shape obesity), which is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to put on extra weight around the hips (pear-shape obesity). While unhealthy, this type of fat distribution is not linked as closely to potentially fatal conditions.

"Socially sanctioned "male" behavior also may predispose men to premature death. CDC statistics show men are more likely to smoke, drink, use illicit drugs and engage in casual sex than are women — all of which can increase their risk of serious diseases. Males are also more likely to take risks and behave aggressively, which may partly explain why they have a higher risk of dying from accidents, suicide and homicide. Young men are especially at risk. In young men, accidents, suicide and homicide are among the most frequent causes of death. In young and middle-aged men, AIDS is on the top 10 list.

"While experts are continually working to understand the underlying causes of death in men, one thing is clear: By recognizing the leading threats to your life, you can take steps to reduce your risks — and avoid the leading causes of death.

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Another thing to remember is that media may quote your publicity release word for word, but more than likely each source will want to take your press release apart and put it back together with their own slant.  Maybe they will be doing their own research, or maybe they will pick up the phone and interview you on the spot, or send a reporter to pick up a one-on-one story on you.  That means your release doesn't have to be great, but it must be good.  Reporters are lazy things.  They do not want to waste their lives straightening out your grammar or correcting your spelling.  If they find inaccuracies in your release they may well scratch your name off their welcome mat for the rest of their lives.

One thing you want to avoid is to try making yourself the news subject:  "Charles S. Brown publishes first book."  This is the kiss of death unless Charles is the mayor in town or the friendliest firefighter in a frock.  And if Charles is fighting fires in a frock THAT is the headline you want to start off with.

Yet again and again you'll see even self-acclaimed publicity gurus start off with their hind foot in their mouth.  "Full Spectrum PR today announced they have been retained by XX"  I'm sure they are proud of that accomplishment and if Full Spectrum is a huge firm in their little pond they may even get published, but newsworthy?  They ain't! 

Now here's one produced by a savvy pr specialist.. "Learn about a new high-yield savings account that makes your money work harder for you." There are three words in that headline that make it leap off the page.. "New," and "you," and "for you." They have put the shoe on your foot and they are stepping on it; they have your attention.

Press Release Basics
Secret Guide to Writing Terrific Press Releases 

The mechanics of presenting your pr is basically simple. 

At the very top you want to display the words:  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
Unless you have a specific date that is more appropriate.

Next, you want your banner.

Then comes a little teaser.

Skip a line and give the date, and the place your release is being issued from.  "Charlotte, North Dakota, 13 May 2007."  for example.

Skip another line and tell about the company, person or institution issuing the release and give a heavy hint why THEY are important..

Skip another line and come BACK with your banner, and with your teaser.  Then go right on into the actual copy you would hope to see published word for word by media.

At the bottom of the story you will want a trailer to lean heavy into promoting the greatness and importance of the company, person or institution you are issuing the release about.. Here's a good example from real life..

"About LendingTree, LLC
"LendingTree, LLC is the nation's number one online lending exchange, providing a marketplace that connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business. Since inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 20 million loan requests and $152 billion in closed loan transactions. LendingTree provides access to mortgages and refinance loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, auto loans, personal loans, credit cards and high-yield savings accounts via www.lendingtree.com and 800-555-TREE.

"Launched in 1998 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, LendingTree, LLC is part of IAC Financial Services and Real Estate, an operating company of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI), which also owns or operates LendingTree Loans sm, LendingTree Settlement Services, LLC, GetSmart®, RealEstate.comsm, Domania®, and iNest Realty, Inc."

This part is almost guaranteed NOT to be published as is, but don't be at all surprised to see information lifted from your trailer and incorporated in the rewrite of your story, piece by piece.

Last but definitely essential, tell them who to contact for more information and how to reach that person.  Time and time again I've seen it happen that the person mentioned for contact takes off into the wild blue yonder twenty seconds after the pr goes out and isn't seen again for thirty days.  If that happens to you, have someone sitting at the person's desk to take calls and answering questions, or at least have the calls forwarded to someone that can fill in the gap reasonably well.  Do not let that phone ring without someone snatching it up.

What is the ideal length of your wonderful publicity release?  The better it is written the shorter it can be; remembering that your primary hope is to invite a personal interview so you can answer ALL questions.  If that isn't your primary hope then write it just about the length you hope to see it published as.

FREE Promotional Help

Where do you send publicity releases to?  Send it to THE editor at the paper in charge of the department you hope to see the release published in.  Send it to the editor of the magazine you want to see it published in, or to the assistant editor handling the department you want to see it published in.  Send it to the news director at the television station you want to be published on.  These are mandatory.

You can also Click HERE and broadcast your publicity release FOR FREE in YOUR local zip code areas. 

1. www.prweb.com
2. www.prurgent.com
3. www.prleap.com
4. www.prnewswire.com
5. www.prwebdirect.com
6. www.theopenpress.com
7. www.free-press-release.com
8. www.pressbox.co.uk
9. www.i-newswire.com/
10. www.prfree.com/ 
http://www.pressabout.com/
11. www.theopenpress.com/
12. www.pressreleasenetwork.com
13. www.softpressrelease.com
14. www.marketwire.com
15. www.urlwire.com/
16. www.webwire.com/
17. www.emediawire.com
18. www.businesswire.com
19. www.newswire.ca
20. www.pressreleasenetwork.com
21. www.1888pressrelease.com/

Click HERE for a publicity release source especially for ebooks.

For national and International distribution, click HERE.

Targeted MASS MEDIA DISTRIBUTION LLC

For entertainment and music releases, click HERE.

If all you have is a dollar and a dream, click HERE

While ClickPress is aimed at PR and IR professionals, others are invited to submit their news, providing their news releases are presented in an acceptable format. All submissions are free and news releases will remain in our searchable archives indefinitely.

World Wide Press Release Service

Internet NewsWire 

Online Press Release Distribution Center 

Free Press Release Service, from the U.K. This site offers News Search 10 Writing Tips How To Submit Example Press Release How To Tutorial 

Don't forget you can also publish articles around the world..

the end

About the author: Independently less than wealthy, Lin Stone writes how to articles to help the writing trade. Along with his contributions you'll find 14,000 resource articles for writers on http://www.talewins.com/ His first book, HOW TO BUY LAND AT TAX SALES, is so good it is still selling after eight years. Lin's latest contributions are posted on http://www.talewins.com/LinStone.htm

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