Were you ever taught how to read a newspaper article? Maybe that sounds funny, but I remember it distinctly. I want to say it was around fifth or sixth grade for me. The most important information was supposed to be in the first and last paragraphs. The first paragraph had a catch, something you care about, and the last paragraph offered closer or a possible next step. It occurred to me that that’s applicable for us if we ever want to write, or help write, press releases.
(Disclaimer: I can’t say I actually subscribe to any papers.)
Journalism is a formidable realm. It contains, I think, some of the best writers and minds of our age. Now, it’s a power that can be used for good or ill, and editors carry a tremendous responsibility for the floodgate that modern journalism has become.
Nowadays people don’t necessarily read the way they used to. Articles aren’t necessarily written the way they used to either. But the ability to glean important facts is important and structuring a short piece of writing in a way that fulfills expectations . . . that hasn’t gotten old. In fact it’s gotten increasingly necessary the less text people read.
Yep, folks, first and last paragraphs. It’s good to have a catch (local boy, for example) and an event (book signing) for a press release. And, surprise, surprise, local newspapers may be very happy to run an article you literally hand over to them for their perusal. 🙂
So when you sit down to write press releases, think of your audience and, frankly, remember you’re selling yourself as a expert in a field, an author worth buying, a person worth seeing. Your field may be a field usually recognized as a field. 🙂 Or your a student of the human psyche, a storyteller, an author who takes what is cryptic and lays it out in black and white on a page.
Anyone else want to share any tips?
Also places to “release” with a press release:
- Local newspapers
- Local radio stations
- Your blog
- Other bloggers (including, ahem, me)
DO PROOF IT! DO HAVE SECOND AND THIRD EYES PROOF IT! 🙂
Yes, sometimes places have their own submission guidelines. You can look for those.
You can pay others to distribute it, but . . . I’m not sure corporate press releases are quite the same as an author prepping his or her own.
Feel free to also do a casual flier for local bulletin boards!
Picking the time . . . I advise after you can make sales.