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How to Write Press Releases

If the thought of writing a press release makes you cower, you’re in the right place. When you’re done reading this article, you’ll be writing press releases like a pro - well, maybe not, but for sure you’ll have learned the most important points for writing a press release.

To start with, let’s review what a press release is all about.

What’s a Press Release?

In the simplest definition, a press release is an informational document released to the media. Its purpose is to furnish journalists with information that is correct, interesting and to the point. Get it? It’s nothing really complicated.

In all actuality, press releases are ‘cookie cutter’. The moment you get the hand of writing them, the rest is simply to fill in the spaces. There’s a standard format to which press releases must conform. Media houses receive dozens of press releases a day; they have established standards and expectations that a press release must meet just to be read, not to mention be published.

What this means is that your press release must be written ‘as is’, without even altering one word, and then you can be sure it conforms to journalistic standards of that specific medium.

Format of a Press Release

Firstly, a press release is always printed on a company letter head, or at least on a paper with a company logo. The name, address, website, and phone number of the company should be clearly printed at the top of the page.

Then the major heading should be PRESS RELEASE written in all caps, bold and centered. If it is for immediate release, indicate this in all caps just above the title but on the left margin. The name of the contact person should be below the wording, with all the contact numbers printed too.

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The Title

The title or headline is the next most important feature of a press release. Note that it should always be in bold and centered. The title of a press release has to be short, snappy, and catchy enough to grab the journalist’s attention so that they read on.

Content

Next comes the gist of the whole press release – the content. This is the body of the press release and its where all the useful information goes. The start of the body includes the date and place (city) of origin of the press release. The real content of the body is pretty basic: who, what, when, where and why.

In the first paragraph, there should be brief details of what the press release is all about. The second paragraph should explain the following in detail: who should care, why you need to care, where it can be found, and when it will happen. In addition, there should be a few ‘informative’ lines in the second paragraph to give the press release a personal touch. Such things do well with journalists.

Without a personal, human feel to a press release or a story, a journalist will find it boring.

The third paragraph is basically a sum up of the press release plus additional information about a company, with contact details clearly printed out.

This is basically all there is about press release. What’s left of you is to practice again and again until they start to flow off your fingers and submit your press releases to other distribution sites.

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