Writing a Worthwhile Press Release

By admin1 • December 28th, 2011

Click on the “press” or “media” link on most websites and there is a long list of press releases issued by the company. Most of them go no further- they are parked on the website until doomsday and never get picked up by anyone. With a little work on the part of the PR writer, it doesn’t have to be that way.

The problem with a lot of business press releases is that they are generated in house by a corporate communications person who also writes the newsletter and organized the last company picnic. Just because the person is in the communications field, doesn’t mean that he or she knows a thing about press releases. Most corporate PR writers with no journalism background and no PR degree work within a specific, generic PR template. These can be found on any number of websites and are all pretty much the same. These press releases are very flattering to the company and certainly get the writer a pat on the head for all the compliments, but they don’t do a job.

An effective press release doesn’t read like it was written by the company. It doesn’t sound like its entire existence is for publicity. It reads like a news story that happens to have a few items in it about the company, its product, its founder, etc. Anything less is not likely to be glanced at by anyone in the media. Believe me. As a reporter I threw out enough of those releases to make my own tree. When seeking a press release writer, seek out someone with an acceptable level of experience directly in the media, rather than just generic writing experience. A tech writer is not the right person to try to publicize your company. A PR writer is.

L. Shepherd


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