Read these 9 How to Write a Press Release Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Freelance Writing tips and hundreds of other topics.
The online environment is very different. It isn't sufficient simply to write copy and have a designer drop it into the site. During the writing process itself, keep these things in mind:
• You need to understand how and where the copy will be working on the page
• You need to understand the constraints of writing for the web
• You need to understand the opportunities involved with writing for the web
What does this mean? It means acquainting yourselves with the skills and challenges of other people who work online (such as designers, programmers and usability engineers, to name a few).
According to magazine and newspaper editors, the most common and vexing weaknesses of the press releases they receive is a tone that resembles a sales pitch.
To avoid this, don't write directly to the reader. Also, edit out any adjectives that function primarily as self-praise. Remember, the editor isn't looking for sales material; he or she is looking for interesting and relevant content for his or her readers, listeners or viewers.
Focus on the customers!!!! Almost always, your press release for a new product launch should focus much more on the benefits to the buyers, rather than on the hopes and ambitions of the company.
*Readers, and thus media gatekeepers, want relevance for themselves rather than insights into the psychology and dynamics of product development.
The news media doesn't normally run stories on the theme of "coming soon." Rather, they focus on what has just occurred or what is happening now. So, if you want your free editorial coverage for something that has not yet happened (like a not-yet-complete book), you're not likely to get it.
What's happening now is what sells in the media world so focus on the present and not the future when making press releases—this will help you to get more coverage.
The design of a page has a huge impact on how your copy will be presented and how it will appear to the visitor. You need to understand what your designer is trying to achieve and write in a way that will work within the design.
If you don't have a basic grasp of design, you will find yourself at the mercy of your designer, without the opportunity to suggest alternative layouts that might better present your key messages.
Writing well for the web is, in many ways, a sub-set of usability. The text on a site certainly has a huge impact on the site's usability. Bad writing makes it hard for people to find their way around. Good writing helps, a lot.
*Good writing can compensate for a number of flaws in design, usability, and site architecture.
A good formula for writing a press release headline that speaks to media editors is to answer the question, "What's the benefit, and for who?"
This kind of headline enables the editor or producer to know at a glance why the product (or service or event) is newsworthy. It also helps the editor or producer to assess its relevance to their target market. In other words, get to the point in the headline.
*Use the headline to identify the final audience and the reason why that audience would be interested.
Does your intended audience really care? If not, you don't have a killer press release. Here's an example to illustrate the point:
When an annual prize has been awarded, the winner wants everyone to know how great he or she is. But will the reader really care?
It's far better to turn things around and not focus on the winner, but on something bigger. Use the act of winning as an indicator of some broader social or local trend. Look at the below. The winning of the prize might:
• Boost the morale of a local school
• Attract business
• Help a family get ahead
Look behind the obvious, narrow subject of the story - and find something broader that a larger number of people will care about. Make more people care.
Technology is crucial in today's world—don't miss out by being ignorant to it. As a copywriter you don't have to know how to write in HTML. But you should at least have an understanding of what it is and how it works.
*If you know about HTML it will help you understand how your text is being formatted, how it is being linked and how it is being read by the search engines. These are all things you need to know.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|