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– Eric Hardenbrook

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10 Steps for a Successful Press Release

Get on your soap boxMaking Your Press Release Work

So, you have and event coming up that you need to get the word out about but, NOT on the evening news, after they needed to be there. What do you do? Where do you turn to make this happen?

Posting your event on Facebook will let your loyal followers know about your plans, as will a series of Tweets or posting some photos on Pintrest but, how do you pull from a new crowd? How do you best expand your following and introduce them to the terrific products you offer? How do you introduce them to your newest service?

Several ways come to mind but one I’ve suggested to several clients lately is the good old fashioned press release. Yep, you heard correctly! When done well, a press release can generate traffic, brand recognition and sales.

Here are 10 things to keep in mind when crafting a release that will get noticed

  1. FOCUS! Determine what is newsworthy about your event and focus on those features.
  2. Press releases are usually short. Know your point and get to it!
  3. Imagine the thousands of releases that are reviewed by editorial staff every day and make things easy for them. At the top of the left margin, in all caps, type “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE”followed by your contact information (name, title, address, phone and email address).
  4. Make the topic evident at a glance by placing a bold headline just above the body of your release. Think of a newspaper. Your headline should include key words about your event, what makes it newsworthy in just a few words.
  5. Place your dateline in the first line of the text body. Your dateline should include the city the release originates from and the date (BEND, OREGON – May 23, 2012).
  6. This is not a novel. No time for character development and the like. Be sure and include all vital information in your first paragraph: who, what, when, where and why should all be mentioned here.
  7. Lead your reader into the remaining paragraphs with a teaser, some peripheral facts or other tantalizing tidbits. You are appealing to several types of readers so include the facts and appeal to their curiosity.
  8. Include a resource in your closing comments that directs the reader to more information on the topic. If they want more information you can fill that need for them with a link or reference.
  9. It’s good to indicate that you’re at the end of your release by including three hash marks, “# # #” or this mark, “ -30-” centered at the bottom of your page
  10. If you’re submitting a printed copy (the news agency you’re submitting to will let you know if they want a printed copy) Use good paper and a high quality printer. It would be nice, after all this work, to make a good impression and have your release be well placed.

If your releases are local or industry specific, consider doing a little research on the reporters covering your area or topics. What do they like to write about? What have they written about in the past? How can you help them to meet deadlines, come up with new material and generally help them get their job done well? By selecting the right journalists and supplying them with material they need when they need it, you can develop a mutually beneficial relationship that can get you noticed time after time.

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