PR 101: A refresher for every press release writer

Ten tips for creating a press release that will grab a reporter’s attention.

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Editors and journalists are inundated with articles, press releases and story ideas. Your press release has a much better chance of making it into print and gaining favorable media attention if you follow these 10 simple guidelines.

Telling your story:

1. Write a catchy headline.

The headline is typically bold and a size larger, but you’ll need more than a font to grab attention. To be effective, headlines have to make sense and sum up your story with 10 important key words.

2. Be newsworthy.

Not everything is news. Tie your story to current, newsworthy issues or events if possible. The fact that your company upgraded the in-house telephone capabilities isn’t news. Becoming a drop-off point for Cellphones For Soldiers and collecting hundreds of cellphones is.

3. Tell a story.

Start with the basics: who, what, when, where, why and how. Your press release isn’t necessarily about making a sale. It’s about providing useful information about your company. Make it interesting and easy for journalists to write about you.

Improving your story:

4. Be brief.

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