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How to Write a Press Release

This article is the third and final post in the Press Release Series. You might enjoy reading the first post, ‘Five Ways to Generate Publicity‘ and the second, ‘Six Steps to a News Worthy Press Release‘.

Who better to ask then an editor and owner of a locally distributed publication on what the most important components of attracting an editor’s attention would be then the editor herself. After I had written the first two articles, I decided to ask the gorgeous Nicki Klock, editor of Vancouver Family Magazine if she had any input for us. And since she also happens to be a dear friend, it was an easy request to ask. It was uncanny how similar her response was to what I had written in the second article, ‘Six steps to a News Worthy Press Release‘. In fact as soon as I read her answers I immediately shot over the article (still in draft phase) for her to chuckle at. Here it is, straight from the editor’s mouth (or keys)…

Keep press releases very short, and include a link and a photo if possible. Embed everything in the email, rather than attaching, as downloading an attachment is an extra step that most editors won’t bother with.

Target your local audience. I usually ignore national press releases, and almost always read local ones, because they are relevant to my audience.

And the most important, in my opinion: Pitch an editorial angle, rather than just a general announcement. For example, this might not catch my attention: “New photography business opens in Vancouver, Wash.” but this would: “Local photographer and mother of 3 donates time and talent to capture images of stillborn babies.” Don’t rely on editors/publishers to turn you into news–you need to do that.

Follow up phone calls work. I have had several publicists both local and national call me to follow up and because they brought something to my attention that I had initially either ignored or forgot about, we were able to either include it in a story or use the product in a contest, etc.



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