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How to Write Perfect Press Releases

How to Write Perfect Press Releases

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Mentions in mainstream media sell products and build reputations. Stories might go viral on Twitter or YouTube but for a lot of people a story still isn't real until they've read it in a newspaper or seen it on the TV.The good news is that the media is hungry for good stories. A single morning show might churn through 20 guests in a single broadcast, for example. And just think about how many people, companies and products are mentioned in a single day's newspaper. The format demands constant, fresh information. That information has to come from someone. Why not you?The bad news is you have to know how to present your story before the media will pay attention. Journalists are busy are excited to work with tips from people who make it easy for them to do their jobs; but they're jaded by the time-wasters they hear from every day.That's why companies and serious business people invest thousands in the services of PR agencies. But all those companies are doing is taking information their client -- you -- already has and packaging it into the right format. Generally that means a press release. Two things you must know about writing a press releaseMost stories you read in your newspaper started as a press releaseMost press releases never get readThe media mythWe love -- and the media likes to perpetuate -- the image of journalists in trench coats and fedoras doing the rounds, cultivating inside sources; buying them drinks in smokey bars; and basically beating the bushes to see what stories they can turn up.The press release realityThe reality is that journalists are too busy for anything so time-consuming and hit-and-miss. Staff journalists need to turn in a certain number of stories a day or week; freelance journalists need to turn in as many stories as possible to make a living.Journalists need stories to come to them. That happens when people and businesses know how to write a great press release.Writing a press release is easy when you know howI've received thousands of press releases as a journalist for publications like the Financial Times, Esquire, GQ, and the International Herald Tribune; and I've written hundreds more as a public relations professional, so I know that comparatively few public relations professionals are writing good press releases.That's spectacularly bad news for the clients paying them to write those releases.Why most press releases failYou'll slap your head in disbelief when I show you in the book the simple reason most press releases fail. How is it that highly paid public relations professionals get something so basic so wrong?The releases I wrote for clients resulted in coverage all over the world.You can do the same for yourself once you understand how to avoid the easiest and commonest mistake in public relations writing.The dirty secret of media releaseThere's a dirty secret the media doesn't want you to know. But I'll tell you what it is and how it's going to help you in writing and pitching your story.Be your own public relations professionalIn How to Write Perfect Press Releases I have distilled everything I know about presenting stories to journalists into a plain-English guide that will turn you into your own PR expert.You'll learn by example:The mistakes that lead to most press releases never being read (and how to make sure yours is read)Why you need an angle and a now-factor (and how to give your writing those edges)What journalists are looking for (and how to write it for them)The dangerous Small World Syndrome (and how to find the bigger picture)How to find the right publication and the right journalist (and how to fit your story to them)The anatomy of a press release (and how to format and structure your release to maximise the effect of your writing)How to find a "lead" for your story (and how to make sure you don't "bury" it)An example release to use as as sample press release templateA book worth studying (that's why it's used in university PR courses)