Professional press release writing tips, help you get the most out of your press releases.
While The Press Wire uses the standard industry term of “press release” throughout our pages when we discuss your submissions to the media, the appropriate term would be “news release.” What you are writing will many times be posted “as is” by industry news outlets. The following tips gathered from numerous adult industry editors and publicity professionals will help you to craft news that gets attention from the media.
Your press release needs to be newsworthy.
For an announcement to be considered newsworthy it should have a broad, general interest to the target audience and a strong news angle. Some of the best coverage will be given to news that concerns a new product, an addition to an existing line, a new company or website launch, events and performances by adult performers. In addition, your release needs to be written in a journalistic style, rather than a marketing style. It should be objectively written as though a reporter were writing the story for you. Most importantly, your release needs to “inform” people, not just sell them something. Phrases to avoid in a press release are “Now only. . .”, “Special discounts . . . “, “Buy this. . .” and “Operators are standing by. . . .” You should not include prices in your press release, unless they are a significant part of the story. Pricing is only newsworthy if a company is closing and liquidating their stock, or if there is a very important price break, say rebates for all DVDs purchased on a special date or for a special cause. If your press release reads just like an ad, it is not a press release. No editor is interested in running a free ad, for you. They want to be paid for ads, just as you want to be paid for your products, services or performances.
Give good headline.
An effective headline can make the difference between an editor covering your story or hitting the delete button. To create an effective headline, keep the following points in mind:
- Your headline should take up no more than 75 characters in total.
- The headline should include the name of the company issuing the release, the event name or the name of the product or performer.
- The headline should provide an editor with a tantalizing snapshot of what the news release is about. This is a critical consideration, as many editors only look at the headline when deciding what news to run.
- Do not include the terms “Company”, “Incorporated”, “Limited” or their abbreviations unless they are necessary to clearly identify the organization, i.e. Press Wire Worldwide, Inc vs. The Press Wire.
- Do not use exclamation points or dollar signs in your headlines.
- Please refrain from using all capital letters in your headlines. This does not play well in modern style sheet usage, as yelling is rude.
- Also be aware that using “smart quotes” options and other macros used in document formatting software, may cause strange outcomes when an editor copies text from your press release into their web software.
Size does matter!
Your press release should convey all of the necessary information and substantiating quotes in less than 600 words/one page typed out in 12 point Times Roman font. Keeping your message concise and to the point will make it much easier for editors to judge the value of your story, and give them incentive to carry it. However, press releases with less than 50 words are usually considered advertisements and will not be run as news releases. Please do not fill your press releases with words like “great”, ‘wonderful”, “exciting”or “special” either.
Don’t bury the hook!
While it may seem like a great idea to put the true topic of your news release in the fourth paragraph of a three page document, it will not win you any friends in the press. These are very busy people and they don’t have time to find out what the story you are trying to convey is all about. If an editor wants more information on your story, he/she will contact you for that information directly.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind:
- Get to the point quickly and back it up with quotes and evidence.
- Use proper grammar and punctuation. Check for typos, and don’t just rely on spell check!
- Always address the questions who, what, when, where, why and how in your news release, and preferably within the first two paragraphs.
- Double check all of the phone numbers, emails and URLs cited in your press release.
- Read your release aloud to see if it makes sense.
- Include quotes from the principals involved in your news story to convey opinion or affiliation (or “hype”.)
- Don’t forget to put your contact name, release date, dateline, website URL and phone number within your release. Also make sure you are available for phone calls and emails after sending the release out.
- Your release should be written objectively and focused on the news aspects, as if the writer has no affiliation with the company.
- Do not use pronouns such as I, we, us, our, your, etc. except in direct quotes, as you should be writing in third person style, as a reporter.
- Do not use hype in your press release, unless it is presented in a direct quote, (i.e.: We make the best damn widgets in the entire United States). However, it is okay to inform the reader of your status in your industry in the rest of the news copy.
- If you plan to include “boilerplate” information about your company place it in the last paragraph, after the editor’s signal that the story is over (###)*. The headline for this section should read “About (insert your company’s name here).” Boilerplate information is rarely put into print by editors–in fact, it shouldn’t be–as it is only for the use of the reporter and not the public.
*Please see A Sample Release for more information.
A word about ammo.
Bullet points were once the rage in press releases, however they have fallen by the way side, due to the fact that so many news outlets do run press releases “as is”. If you feel that you must use bullet points, do so sparingly and only when you need to designate information under a particular topic heading when you have multiple topics. As an example:
The Day-glo Vibrator includes;
- Multi Speed selection
- Water resistant housing
- Phylate free PVC construction
The Go Anywhere Vibrator includes;
- Multi Speed selection
- Fully submersable, water proof housing
- Wireless connection controls for your laptop up and down keys
Frankly, the use of bullet points is more suitable for an ad, and not a press release. If you have enough multiple products or that much information that you need to differentiate, you are better off putting out multiple press releases, so you get added coverage for your products and your company!