Press releases are an effective way to build your presence online, generate publicity, and get the word out about a newsworthy event, such as a announcing a blog tour, book release, or book signing. Many people shy away from creating press releases, but once you know the basics, writing these on a regular basis can become second nature. In this post, we cover 7 quick tips for writing a great press release.
For a successful book publicity campaign, we recommend distributing 1 press release a month. A press release should include all of the information that a reporter would need to write a news story about it. The essential components of a press release are a headline, lead paragraph, main body, background information, and contact information. Try to shorten your press release to 1 page or less. If it is over 1 page, then it is too long.
1. Write an attention grabbing headline. Be creative and think outside the box. It should intrigue the reporter to read the press release to find out more information.
2. The lead paragraph should expand on the headline, and entice the reader to follow through with reading the rest of the press release. The lead paragraph is also sometimes referred to as the “hook.” It should be newsworthy, relevant, and attention catching. The lead paragraph should be 2-3 sentences.
3. You should use the body of the press release to back up any statements you make in your headline and lead paragraph. Get the facts out – who, what, when, where and why. Use quotes from reputable sources. Don’t beat around the bush, get straight to the point. If you write too much fluff and irrelevant material, no one will stick around to read your main message or cover the story.
4. Make it interesting. A long, boring rambling press release does not hold anyone’s interest. When you are writing the press release, do not make it personal by using “I” or “We”. Write the body of the release as a reporter would, reporting on a news story, using an impartial voice. Understand your audience and write something that they want to read. By giving your audience what they want, you guarantee that they will read your press release from beginning to end and actually share the information.
5. Avoid using hype filled phrases; they do nothing to enhance your press release. In fact, phrases such as “state of the art” can be a real turn off for readers because it gives the press release a sales feel. Hype and excessive punctuation such as exclamation marks remove the professional feel from your press release. Remove your instinct to use your press release to sell. You are simply giving information, not trying to make a sale. The information that you give should be useful and to the point. You have plenty of time to make a sale once you get some traffic to your web site.
6. The last paragraph of the press release should have a sentence or two of background information, a link to your website, and contact information.
7. Proofread your press release carefully. Nothing removes credibility faster than obvious typos or grammatical errors.
A great press release is one of the most important tools you can use to connect with people and let them know about your news. Learning how to craft an attention grabbing press release is one of the best weapons you can have in your book publicity campaign.