Writing a Press Release
For instance, you are having an event to launch your grand opening. Between your headline and first sentence, or lead, you should answer the who, what, where, when, and why.
“Cute Boots will be having an open house on Saturday, May 1st at their 313 Main St. location from 1– 3 p.m. to celebrate the retail store’s grand opening.” Who? Cute Boots. What? Open house. Where? 313 Main St. When? 1–3 p.m. Why? Grand opening. The following sentences can be used to explain the how. How will you be celebrating exactly? Free giveaways, contests, refreshments?
If there will be a photo opportunity (ribbon cutting?) or interview possibilities, it’s always good to let the media know that as well. Press releases should always begin with the release date, the headline, and then a dateline at the beginning of the text. Always include your contact information in case they need more information. Generally, press releases end with ### so that editors know there is nothing more. There are plenty of examples online on how to format a press release.
It also helps if your press release can be written in AP Style, the style used by most major news outlets.
How to Make a Media Pitch
If you are trying to get a media outlet interested in covering your business or your products, a short pitch just might do the trick. A pitch is a shortened press release, of sorts, and can be prepared and presented in several different ways. If you have a personal relationship already established with an editor or reporter, you could pick up the phone and give them a call. “Hey, Julie, this is Amanda from Cute Boots. I just wanted to let you know that we’re just about ready to release our fall line and we have some great new looks. I think your readers would love a sneak peek.” Or, something similar.
However, if you do not have a relationship with the editor, or you are trying to establish one, a short e-mail would probably be better. Always try to address it to the appropriate person, you’ll be taken much more seriously. Make it short, give your name, your company, and in a sentence or two why you think your item/business is newsworthy for their publication. Always attach a photo. And, always give them a way to get in touch with you. Chances are if they want to feature you they will want to get a hold of you quickly.
Basically a pitch is a short teaser. Give them a little bit of information but offer them more. Don’t forget to include why you believe what you have is relevant and of interest to their readers. Why would they want to publish something that their readers care nothing about?
Guest post written by:
Dawn Berryman is the Founder of Market Mommy, an online marketing resource for mom entrepreneurs that tells you how and where to market your business. In addition to the website, Market Mommy offers a free e-newsletter that is published at least once a month, and a blog. Both offer great marketing tips, success stories and various features and hints that are valuable to WAHMS. Visit www.marketmommy.com or http://marketmommy.blogspot.com for more information!