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Articles & Tutorials

Press and Public Relations

by Bruce Whitehead

Summary : Did you ever read about a website in a newspaper or magazine? Did you ever see a site profiled on television or hear about one on the radio? Did you realize that many such stories begin their lives as press releases?

You can't buy the sort of publicity you get with coverage by the press. But the fact remains that print and Internet editors still rely heavily on corporate press releases for story ideas. A lot of publications print press releases word for word!

A press release is not an entry in an almanac; you have to find some excitement. Your sentences should read like news, and your angle should be strong and consistent throughout the entire article.

Keep your release between 300 - 500 words. A program like Microsoft Word will do a word count for you and save your document in a universal format, you can send around the world. Any more and you risk losing your piece at a glance. If a writer wants more, he or she will call you. Make your first paragraph answer as many of the "Five W's" as possible: Who; What; Where; When; and Why.

Use quotes. Quotations make news articles come alive. In general, the second or third paragraph should begin with a quote.

Stengthen your message. Send your email, fax or letter with a bold headline.

Use conventional formatting. Start the release with your headline. Then the body text ... Then add the following:

For more information Contact:
Name, Title
Company Name
Phone Number
E-mail Address
Site Address

Now that your release is ready, search Google for sites that do 'press releases'. You will find plenty of portals and sites that you can submit your press release to, for free!