- Type, never handwrite. Double space, use BIG margins, and leave lots of white space. Editors use the white space to edit.
- Avoid BIG letterheads. They take up space on the page and can shout, “my message is weak, but look at my credentials.”
- Type the press release on your stationery.
- Name the contact. Skip a few lines below the letterhead and list the person to call for more information. Listing a home phone (or cell phone / beeper) in addition to the business number indicates your willingness to be helpful. It is best to have the contact someone else other than the President or owner of the business.
- Provide release instructions. Either FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE or FOR RELEASE MONDAY JUNE 8TH. Do not leave too long a time, though, or your release will likely be buried or forgotten. If possible, leave off the date so you don’t become dated.
- The headline should catch their attention, snappy without giving away the whole picture.
- The first two words are the place where the story originates (city, state) put it in parentheses and put three dots after.
- Write concisely. The first paragraph should answer the 4W’s: who, what, where, and why.
- The mechanics: Keep the release to one single page, if possible. If you need more than one page to complete the release put – “more” – at the bottom center of the page and be sure the pages are numbered. The succeeding pages should be “slugged” that is, tagged with an identifying headline or subject reference, for example: “ANOTHER GREAT SEMINAR – 2.”
- When you reach the end of your press release, use either four # signs centered in the page or – END – centered in the page.
By Rick Frishman
Reprinted from “Rick Frishman’s Author 101 Newsletter”
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