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How to write an effective press release

A press release is similar to a news story that is written in third person with the objective to display to an editor or reporter the news value of a particular person, event, service or product. They are usually in the form of an e-mail, fax or snail mail and can also be a part of a full press journal that is sent to assignment editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, and/or television networks. A press release is also know as a news release, media release or press statement.

It is a prepared, written or recorded publicity news announcement. Its main aim is to announce something that has some news value in a formal printed statement by a company about its activities that is written in the form of a news article and given to the media to generate or encourage publicity. It seeks to attract positive media attention for publicity of the products marketed by the clients. Press releases are also used to announce any kind of a news conference. Unlike a news release, which is a collection of facts summarized by journalists and published in the news media, a press release is developed to be sent to journalists or PR agent in order to support them to develop articles on the subject, which is usually biased towards the objectives of the author.

The most common features of a press release are the headline mainly for attracting  the attention of journalists and briefly compile the news, the dateline which includes the release date the name of the city from where the press release is initiated, the introduction which is usually the first paragraph in a press release, that highlights the general idea of the entire press release, the body that explains with the help of statistics, background, or other details the core part of the news and the media contact information which contains the name, phone number, email address, mailing address, or other contact information for the PR or other media relations contact person.

One of the most crucial things to remember when writing a press release is to ensure that the information is newsworthy, as the purpose is to inform the world of your news item, since good press release answers all of the basic (who, what, where, when and why), providing the media with useful information about your organization, product, service or event. One also has to remember to start the press release with a brief description of the news, then distinguish who announced it, and not the other way around and also ensure that the first 10 words of your release are effective, as they carry the highest weightage. One of the most important “Don’ts” in writing a pres release is to avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy language as they tend to divert the journalist form the main focus of the press release.

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