In our Building Buzz class that I am teaching tonight — The Press Release & The Pitch — we’re covering how to write a press release, different versions of the standard press release and when each version is appropriate, and the Do’s and Don’ts of pitching. So many new and existing small business owners we work with have never learned the appropriate format and writing style for the standard press release. Granted, there are times when a full press release is not warranted and also media outlets who do not require nor even enjoy receiving full standard press releases, but as a journalist, I still believe it’s important for small businesses to understand the basics because it will at the very least help them craft their story pitches to reporters and editors.
So I thought I’d share our very basic Anatomy of a Press Release here with all small business owners.
(<– your logo here)
Main Headline in Less Than 80 Characters
Subheadline that expands on the headline
City, State (Day, Month, Year) – Lead paragraph with lead sentence in 25 words or less. The lead paragraph should stand on its own and answer the “who, what, where, and when” questions. You can start with an attention grabber that first answers the “what’s in it for me?” question, or you can start with the straight facts. This is where you solidify the tone of the subject.
Then you move into the supporting paragraph with more details. This is where you can add secondary information that is important beyond the who, what, where, and when; this is often where you can include the “how” and “why” details.
The third paragraph is often where you would include a quote to support your news and/or continue with more details regarding the subject. If you include a quote, the source should be someone who is the closest to this particular topic and is the main expert on this topic.
The fourth paragraph is where you wrap up & add the “for more information” line. (“for more information, please contact us at (888) 888-8888, info(at)xyzcompany(dot)com, and visit us on the Web at www.xyzcompany.com.”)
About XYZ Company
This is where you create your boilerplate about your business. You will want to include the name of the founder, the year the business was founded, business headquarters, one line about the business mission, and web address. You may also include important information such as your service area, top earnings information, recent large scale press, type of clients, and any other information that boosts the business brand.
posted by Marlynn
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