From the outset, I have been an avid viewer of Mad Men. There is a wealth of historical knowledge on display in this incredible show, with press releases featuring in the latest series. Specifically, it was in episode six – For Immediate Release – when we got to witness the start of a press release being written.
For Immediate Release
Upon being instructed about a significant merger, Peggy Olson is instructed by her bosses that she has to write a press release to announce the news. Personally, I found it thrilling to hear Peggy Olson deliver the words ‘New York City. May 17th 1968. For immediate release.’
Transformed by Technology
Nowadays, most press releases are published online to platforms such as PRWeb.com and PRLeap.com. When writing for these platforms, you are no longer required to write the dateline. Nor do you have to write FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. The aforementioned episode of Mad Men resonated with me because it highlighted the sentiment of those actions.
While technology may have removed an element of sentimentality from writing press releases, it has worked wonders for improving accessibility. Now it is simple to create a basic press release for your business or organisation and share it with the world.
The Essentials of Writing a Press Release
A time might arise when you are called upon to write a press release. If this ever happens, you need to be ready to face that challenge. We have gathered together a concise list of essentials for you to address:
- Write for the media – The ultimate goal of a press release is to garner media attention, so leave out the promotional chat and focus on the facts.
- It needs to be in third person – Write it as it if you were a journalist reporting on the news. That means you need to avoid pronouns such as ‘we’ and ‘our.’
- Don’t overwhelm the reader – The optimum length of a press release is from anywhere between 300 and 500 words. You need to have enough information to make it valuable for a journalist, but don’t overwhelm them. Journalists will merely switch off and stop reading if you cram in too much.
- Start with a summary – Every press release needs a summary (a maximum of 250 characters is typically the limit). This needs to capture the essence of the press release and stimulate interest.
- Include quotes – Ensure that quotes are included from the relevant individuals involved. Journalists use these in their articles, so include concise quotes that get to the point.
- Use hyperlinks – When producing online press releases, be sure to use your allocation of hyperlinks. You can direct these back to your site and boost SEO performance.
- Who? What? Where? When? Why? – Answer all of these questions in your press release and cover every angle of the story.
- Quality control – Get a colleague to proofread it for you. It is all too easy to let embarrassing typos slip through the net. With press releases you won’t be able to atone for glaring errors once others have read them.
Record Company History and Improve SEO Performance
Those are the most important factors you need to consider for writing a press release. Address all of them and you will have a wonderful piece of news to share. Press releases are a great way of recording company industry and strengthening SEO performance on the web.
More to Come from Prime Scripting
Here at PrimeScripting.com, we intend to provide you with more free guides to improve your professional writing. Visit our blog regularly for updates as well as on our social media profiles (links are at the top and bottom of the page). We have a lot more expertise to share with you. (Photo credits: Quinn Dombrowski and watchwithkristin)
By Mike Porter