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Writing and Distributing Press Releases

June 02, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 182

Too many small businesses give up on using press releases before they've really got going. Often, initial disappointment discourages them from using them to raise their profile. Once you understand the basic rules to follow, and that not every press release will get results, then it becomes easier to tackle. Here are some steps to follow to help put together your press release and get it to the right people.

1. First, you need to identify the news angle. It may sound simplistic but it's actually one of the most difficult aspects to get right - to really understand the news in your story from the perspective of the journalist. First and foremost journalists want human interest and you have to look at your story from that slant.

2. Once you are clear on the news angle you need to decide on the type of press and media to target - national, specialist, local. Ask whether the story should go to the newsdesk or to a specialist journalist - business, finance, health? Is the story better suited to some types of media that others - newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, online?

3. Research your press and media as much as possible - do a search online for journalists who have covered your topic. It's a good way to see what has already been reported and whether journalists have particular areas of interest. Get to know the programme, website, publication and find out about deadlines, the key person to contact and the best way to make an approach.

4. Write the copy as clearly and concisely as possible answering the key questions: who, what, why, where, when and how? You must get the essence of the story in the first paragraph. It's esssential that your story is relevant for any journalist you approach. While it's tempting to pull together a large media list and fire off your news story, it's much better to be targeted.

5. Use an attention grabbing headline. Unless you attract attention straight away then the journalist won't bother to read on and your press release will just be discarded.

6. Tailor your approach to the journalist as much as possible - both in issuing the press release and following up with them.

7. Keep a track of where you send your press releases. You can simply use an excel spreadsheet to keep up-to-date with who you have contacted and any response you've had or actions you need to take. Putting this information into table form also gives you a handy 'one glance' view of where things stand.

8. Be wary of free distribution services - you need to ensure that your story goes to the right people and that you can follow up with them.

9. Don't be afraid to contact journalists direct and to follow up with them on stories you have issued. They need stories from people like you to help them do their job.

10. Finally, don't give up. Getting coverage can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle but persevere and your efforts will pay off.

Access more free articles, tips and information on how to make the most press releases by visiting:

Debbie Leven is an award winning PR expert

Source: EzineArticles
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