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PRESS RELEASES: How To Write Them. A PR Lesson For Beginners.

Hypothesis and welcome to PR decoded today

We are going to talk about press releases because it's a question

I get asked a lot how to do them how not to do them what you should do and what you shouldn't do I

will link below to

a cheat sheet that I created some time ago on how to create the perfect press release or how to create a press release that

Gets attention. I know it's difficult

And I know when you're the brand owner and you're you have so much information that you need to get out there

I know that sometimes

Prioritizing it and keeping it concise and short in one press release can be you know

Sometimes nearly impossible. Lots of you aren't natural writers. You don't necessarily feel comfortable in the space will really understand

You know, what are the governing rules of a press release? What what's allowed what's not allowed?

So that's what we're going to talk about today how to do it how not to do it and how you can do it

Let's jump in press releases

I think if I had to hazard guess I'd say I'd written about 500 million of them in my career

I have written corporate ones. I have written ones that are supposed to be funny

I've written ones about services I've written ones about dog food. I've written ones about everything you could possibly imagine

I'm not a natural writer

I found it very difficult to get my head around press releases and to create something that was actually interesting to read

And I think it took me a good

I'd say a good couple of years of actually just getting on and doing it and

Practicing and losing the fear of it to really master the art of it

And so let me just tell you how I always always approach press release

Right the most important thing of any press release is your headline

Your headline is what it has one purpose and that's to get your press release read

There is no other purpose for a headline. It has to be short concise snappy to the point

It doesn't have to be funny doesn't have to be relevant irreverent. It doesn't have to be super clever

It has to be to the point and it has to have a spoken interest right Spock

Spock someone should actually

over click on if you're sending it via email and

Read your email or to read the rest of your press release if it's on a piece of paper or whatever, right?

So that's a focus of your subject. I always come back to the subject at the end

I leave it until the end and then after that I Marlo for that much longer than on my lava

Everything else because I know its purpose is to get my information read people make press releases too long

to pages unless you're spacing everything out nicely and you know, you've got a 1.5 sort of like

Line spacing gapless nicely set out. That's fine. If you've got 2,000 words of text squeezed onto two pages

It's never going to get read

I promise you it just won't like so many people agonize over press releases like agonize and I look at them and they're like

Oh, but I both words and you know

We're all busy with all got a lot on if you think about how if you get an email from someone and then you click?

On it if it all that sounds interesting and then you just see all of this copy

What's the first thing that goes through your mind? I haven't got time to read this

This just looks like if someone needs to send me all this information off the bat then you know

It's probably not going to be that interesting. You just need your press release to have

to get the interest of what of the person that you're sending it to now if you have

Targeted your person your journalist your influencer correctly and thoughtfully and strategically

Then they will already be open to what you've got to talk to them about, right?

So make that headline as I said doesn't need to be clever irrelevant. It has to be to the point

So make sure that you I would say focus on that last because that's the bit that really you should be spending your time on

So concise try and keep it to one page if you can two pages at the absolute maximum as long as I said earlier

It's not word heavy. Lots of images is good

If you're sending it via an email, make sure those images are low res and they're embedded

Into your press release and not taking up huge space

so many people will just send a

Journalist or editor or an influencer a copy of a press release with a picture attached to it. That's

High-res and will just clog up their email

And the first thing if you get high-res in email through like that, it will just go straight into bin

Everyone just deletes them because they can't afford to have that sort of size email sitting in their inbox so you won't even get read

Irrespective of how good your title is, okay

So no big images attached if you do want images in there, which I highly suggest that you do. We're all visual people

Then make sure that they're very low res and they're embedded within the press release. So there is low res as possible

So word countdown images are fine. We know what the title has to do

I think get to the point in the first paragraph really really quickly

Stop trying to sell tell a story or paint a picture. The story comes as the supporting message

Okay, if you're selling a product or a service?

Just get straight in there. What is it? Why is it good?

Right and why is there nothing else that exists like it you want all those?

Who what when why how things the first thing is? Like, what is it?

Right and what is it that you are selling? And why is it different? Why is it unique?

Why is it special what we need it right that all has to go into the first paragraph, but how you made it?

how you discovered the ingredient that's in it and all of those kind of things comes in the supporting message and the supporting materials you

Can always create a sort of a hot sheet

Which is basically like a one-pager that is then supported by all of the rich

Information that the journalists might need as you know as the second face

so if they buy into what you're sending on the hot sheet and they're

Interested you can just say that you can send them all the supporting

Materials or just send them a link where they can go to your website and go and find out the prices and blah blah blah

And whatnot. Although some of them are quite

Time pushed straight lazy, so do like always make sure that you include prices

Size of something and stockist where you can buy it and that all goes at the end of the press release

There's a kind of note to editors right make sure you include your website your social media channels and all of those kind of things

Now what you don't need to do is within your press release is

please don't do this because it's really embarrassing and people do it all the time and it just

It doesn't endear you to anyone

it is certainly not endear you to someone who is a writer by trade and that's to use hackneyed terms and

screamers so exclamation marks if an exclamation mark is basically

admitting to the world

You're not clever fun or interesting

In the sense of a press release hackneyed phrases at the end of the day who doesn't want this

honestly avoid them by the plate because they're really cheap uses of words and they get overused which is why they're called hackneyed and

They just make you blend into this sea of sameness boringness

Been there done it a million times before, you know, they don't show any

They won't give any curiosity to the journalists. Want to get to know your brand better?

If you are going to include anything like stats facts and figures make sure they are all

Qualified with a source. So if you're saying four of ten people

Don't wash their faces before they go to bed. Don't take off their makeup before they go to bed

make sure that you've included where that

Statistic has come from in the source material of the notes to editors at the bottom of your press release

because nobody no journalist is going to use any type of statistical information without double-checking that it comes from a

robust source, if it's something that's been overused someone sent me a press release the other day where

it was about

underwear and

They tried that they were doing a really good story like good

They were trying to come up with a hook because it wasn't a new product or a new brand that made hook bra

And they

Were talking about how most women are wearing bras that our two sides is too small

That story has been told a million times before I could see exactly where they were coming from, but it's not gonna work

It's not gonna get anyone's attention. So we talked about things like

You know

this company also had bras that were for women had had mastectomy and they were really

Beautiful bras and it was coming up to September

So we were talking about doing something very specifically about sorry October breast cancer awareness month. Then you've got more of the stories interesting

It's more relevant. It's more

It's newer it's fresher. It's not already out there

Okay

so really if you haven't got anything new to talk about and you want to try and generate some

PR and some editorial coverage you really need that hook you really need that story

It's news. So you've got to find that story. What was I saying before that screamer's?

Spelling punctuation on please

Check it double check it check it again and get someone else to look over it and check it. There is nothing worse than

Press releases with spelling mistakes in them. They reflect incredibly badly on the brand and the person that has sent them, you know

Especially things like, you know, sometimes you might if you stared at something so hot for such a long time

You might not notice you've put in complement with an e when it should be an I but a third

You know someone else costing a fresh iover that will be able to see that so make sure that you check because it really does

Speak volumes about who you are. So spell check grammar check, you know

comments in the right place for stops capital letters all of those kind of things and just keep it lean concise to the point and

Relevant to the person that you're sending it to and then you will be absolutely

Rockin, don't fear them. Just keep doing it. Do it do it

Do it do it as many times as you can, you know, don't don't lose faith

It's practice makes perfect when it comes to press releases and there is a very short formula. I've just talked for it

You can definitely definitely leverage this into your own business and write the press releases of your dreams

Have a good week

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Know if you're finding this

Information useful and how I can make it more useful. Have a great week and I will see you next week