How to write a press release

Often overlooked until the last minute by many organizations, the press release is often one of the most powerful tools any organization can use.

The words are free and – with a well-placed and targeted campaign – can turn a disaster into an opportunity, a grim financial season green and an overlooked event into a heralded success.

But press releases need a hook, or purpose. Each mush be treated as a news item and focus on the most interesting element at hand. Say an event is planned. What’s the most interesting piece of that event? Is a big name performer coming? What will people want to read about?

There is also the need to get all the relevant facts into the press release without going overboard by using too many words. Be brief. Or as many in the advertising business say, “Keep it simple.”

The writer need not be Hemmingway, or for that matter, try to be. Just stick to the details, get them right and try to be straightforward without using a lot of useless adjectives.

Here’s a list of must haves:
• Date of event
• Time of event
• Location of event
• Date when press release was written
• Telephone number where a contact person can be reached
• A quote from a person organizing the event
• Logical, straightforward writing
• And most importantly remember this phrase “who, what, when, where and how.” Because that’s what your release should answer.

Professional Exchange Service Corporation can help. Our company provides state-of-the-art communications and information services and administrative management for nonprofit membership associations and for-profit corporations. For more information, call 559-228-6140.