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Thursday, December 22, 2005

Writing a Good Press Release

A press release is a good way to announce something big about a business. Business owners may use a press release to tell about how their company raised money for a local charity or about how new technology they are using will impact the community. A press release is a tool by which a business owner can advertise their business without actually trying to sell to customers.

When writing a press release the business owner needs to keep in mind that news editors are not looking for an advertisement of a business. They want something news worthy that people will be interested to read about. The information also needs to be current. For example, if a business owner that sells computers would like to do a press release he could write about a new computer feature that is revolutionizing how people use computers. This would be interesting and at the same time he would be able to tie in his business because he sells this new technology.

To put together a press release there are five points that need to be considered. The press release is constructed in a fairly consistent manner with each of the five points included. It is very important that the business owner writes a press release following the general guidelines. An editor will not rewrite the piece, so having a printable copy sent the first time will better ensure the press release will be printed.

1. Headline. The headline is the title. It should be eye catching and draw the reader into the story. This is the one shot where the business owner can grab attention and get someone to read what he has written.

2. Subhead. This is a short introduction that expands upon the headline. The subhead gives the business owner more of a chance to draw in the readers attention.

3. Lead Paragraph. News is reported from end to beginning. The business owner will use the lead paragraph to tell the major facts of the story. This paragraph should include who, what, when, where and how.

4. Remaining paragraphs. The rest of the press release is used to explain in further detail about the story. The business owner should keep it brief.

5. End. The end of the press release should include a little information about the business owner and his business. This should only be a few sentences long and just informative.

The press release is used to tell about something interesting, not to sell. A press release that is written to sell something will not be accepted by an editor. The newspaper business is about providing information and it is important that when writing a press release the business owner keeps that in mind.

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