Writing a press release is probably the most basic of skills that a public relations practitioner should have. You can never claim to be in the field of public relations and media information if you cannot write a simple press release.
A press release is the most common and popular way to make the public aware of your company or organization. Press releases are sent to journalists and news editors who in turn make the decision to get your information published in the papers or make the appropriate announcements or news reports in radio programs or television shows. Press releases allow you to reach a broader and a bigger number of audience and gets you the publicity that you need to boost awareness and sales or advance your advocacies.
Press releases are written in the same way that news stories are, starting with the most important details in the first paragraph down to the least important details in the last paragraph. Most journalists follow a formula that is often referred to as the inverted pyramid. The heavy and most important announcements should be found on top. The reason behind this logic is the fact that most people stop reading after the first two or three sentences. If you place the announcement details at the end of your press release, most people will not be reading the information that you want them to get.
When writing a press release have all of the details checked and double checked. When making an announcement of a particular event or promotional activity, check if you have the event’s date, time and location properly written down. A “1” is entirely different from a “10” so scan these details carefully. You would not want the media making the wrong announcements to the public. Most of them will not spare you the extra paper space or the extra broadcast airtime to make the necessary corrections. Likewise, make sure that the names of those who are responsible for the event as well as guests are properly spelled out.
After you have written your press release, you can start sending it our through fax or email. Many public relations practitioners would even take time out to personally distribute them as this helps build good media relations. Writing a press release can be really easy once you get the hang of it. It takes lots of practice to master the skill and yet even more practice to master the art of public relations.
Press releases are important components in the field of public relations. Press releases allow you to get information around and it helps make journalists, radio and TV personalities and media practitioners aware of your organization or company. Press releases help promote and publicize your events and it helps advance your company or organizations’ objectives and advocacies. It is for this reason that many companies, organizations as well as individuals acquire the services of public relations practitioners as well as press release writers.
Public relations have become a necessary component in many corporations. It has in fact become very important that companies maintain a public relations department or outsource their publicity needs. The role that public relations perform for a company ranges not just from the dissemination of basic company information to the publication and popularization of activities and events. The public relations department also takes care of ensuring company and product awareness not just for the target market but among employees as well. Keeping employees of your company aware of the current company situation is essential in maintaining high morale and company pride among your workers which ensures productivity and work efficiency. Often, the public relations department also needs to contend with maintaining a good public perception or image to sustain sales and credibility.
Public relations practitioners and press release writers also help in disseminating positions and analyses on various issues. This is specifically true among public officials, especially those with critical electoral bids. Whether you’re a democrat or a republican, it has become increasingly necessary in American politics to make your stand known especially as the voting population becomes more and more aware and as elections approach.
On certain unfortunate circumstances, public relations also need to take important measures for so-called “crisis management”. A crisis arises in situations when a rival corporation launches a new product or if a product failure and a rift among leaders are publicized or sensationalized. Any situation that creates a negative image for your organization or company is often classified as a crisis and should therefore be managed. Crisis management involves containing damaging information, countering attacks and creating an image of stability. This often involves the media strategizing, the creation of various events, arranging press conferences and writing countless press releases, making it necessary to hire not just one but several press release writers. In a crisis situation, you might need to release not just one but several press releases in a day.
Technological advancements have long changed the ways and methods of press release distribution. Many veteran journalists and public relations stalwarts would have various tales of how in the good old days, press releases have to be written several days in advance in order to make press time. Several decades back, press releases have to be typewritten and mimeographed for reproduction. It would then be distributed by mail or they can be personally delivered to the newspaper office, the publishing house or the radio or television station.
A few decades later, technological advancements in the field of communication also paved for advances in press release distribution. After press releases are written, instead of sending it out in the mail, they are now sent through fax. Once the press office or the newsroom receives the faxed press release, it is checked for news worthiness and editors make the all important decision of either junking your press release or getting it published or aired in radio or TV programs.
In present day public relations, press release distribution has become simple and easy. Press releases are now sent with a simple tap on the keyboard and the click of a mouse. All you need to do would be to consolidate your mailing list of journalists and get rid of those bouncing email addresses. And because many journalists get a deluge of press releases every day make sure to keep your press releases short yet informative, with titles that are catchy and interesting.
Instead of just the traditional written news article serving as your press release, today’s technological advances also allow for video press releases. Video press releases are effective in a way as it gives a face to the quotes and gives journalists a clearer picture of the event beyond what has been written. However, not everyone would be able to easily access video press releases and video format compatibility could be a problem in some cases. It is always best to have your video press releases accompanied by a written press release.
A well written press release and a great shoot for your video press release will not serve its purpose unless it gets to where it should be. It is very important to ensure that your press releases are properly and adequately distributed so that in the midst of a crowded news room, you have a better chance of getting your event publicized and aired.
Corporations and organizations all need to maintain high levels of credibility, public image and positive perception. A good public image results to a consistent increase in sales or heightened business activity. This is often created by an effective public and media relations. As the old public relations adage goes, if you have a good product, make it known. This is where expert public relations practitioners and press release service providers come in.
There are several public relations companies that offer press release service to corporations and individuals in need of public relations services. Most of them have a battery of writers and media experts studying public perception trends. If you are looking for public relations experts or if you need a press release service provider to assist you, you can start your search online or browse through the yellow pages for public relations companies.
When choosing which public relations company to hire, find out if the company you are considering has an expertise in the service that you need. If you are a company in need of corporate communication assistance, check if the company has handled similar accounts before. On the other hand if you are a government office or a politician seeking public support, find out if the company has had several experience in electoral or political campaigns.
If you are intent on just getting press release service and not the entire gamut of services that public relations companies offer, you can best maximize the service by making sure that writers are given appropriate materials and references about your company or your platform and personal background if you are in the field of politics.
Services should include not just writing the press release but its distribution and dissemination as well. Press releases are mostly distributed through the email or through websites. In some cases press release can also be distributed personally. This way, you are able to get an immediate response from the editors and media networks and will immediately know if your press releases will be published.
Public relations companies usually have their own listing of media companies and networks that they can distribute your press releases to. It is useless to have hundreds of press releases written if you cannot get them out into the public, thus distribution is crucial. The distribution of your press releases could mean additional costs so make sure that you specify your needs.
Get services of public relations companies and practitioners who have long established contacts in the mainstream media. Many journalists moonlight as media practitioners so you might want to hire them as well.