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Writing PR

Distributing a press release to editors and news organizations is only half the battle. Writing a press release that will be published by the media is equally important. Press releases are public relations opportunities. A well written press release, can generate exposure in publications that could be worth thousands in advertising dollars, for a fraction of the cost.

Newsworthy News
Press releases should contain a newsworthy item and be written as an announcement--not advertisement. Releases can cover a wide variety of topics.

Ideas for Press Releases -

Plain English
Press releases should be written in plain language so that the general population will understand. Keep explanations simple. Press releases should be in laymen terms, avoiding overly technical language .

Focus on Facts
Press releases should not contain superlatives. Avoid "fluff" and focus on facts. Editors will often use copy from a press release, and if extensive editing is required they will opt not to use the release at all. The press release should articulate the news item, in a factual way avoiding qualifiers like "best".

Illustrate Benefits Not Features
Too often press release writers will use fancy terms to describe feature sets, all the while never conveying how a specific feature will benefit an individual using the product or service. It is important that the press release explain the benefit of the product or service. This is best done by providing concrete explanations and articulating time saved, money saved etc...

Headlines That Grab
Press releases only have a few moments to attract the interest of readers. The headline should be relevant, but should attract the interest of readers. Many websites use RSS feeds to distribute news headlines, often only the press release headline will appear, therefore it is critical that the press release headline be an attention "getter" while still remaining relevant to the release.

The first paragraph should contain a hook, to secure the interest of readers. You only have the first few sentences to keep the interest of the editors and readers.

Inverted Pyramid
The contents of a press release should be in an inverted pyramid with the most important item appearing first. Each succeeding paragraph should contain supporting information with the least important information on the bottom.

Contact Details
In the event that the media decides to print the press release, they may often wish to contact the company to obtain additional details or graphics for print publications. Be sure to include appropriate contact details in the release.

Press Release Analysis:
Example Well Written Press Release:
This release announcing a new application contains specific benefits in non-technical terms that the reader will understand.

Example Poorly Written Press Release:
This release announcing a new web site contains no contact information and the most important information appears last rather than first.

Press releases can be an excellent tool for increasing product exposure without incurring a significant expense. Consider how press releases can become part of your business marketing plan.

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage a wireless text messaging software company.


This article may be used freely in opt-in publications and websites, provided that the resource box is included and the links are active. A courtesy copy of the issue or a link to any online posting would be greatly appreciated send an email to .

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