Thursday, July 23, 2009

What is a Press Release?What is a press release?

Press releases are articles that give news people a story about you or your accomplishment that will be placed in a newspaper or other media. Most all authors once their book is slated for release need to learn how to write a press release.

Some ways to make your press release shine are:

Keep it in third person. Write about your book or yourself as though you are your best friend telling someone else about you.

Keep it short. Most news media place press releases in slots that are slimmed down. They usually have no place for anything over two pages. This means you are going to have to stop being so wordy and say what you mean in as few words as possible.

Keep the reader involved. If at all possible include your book signings, release date, etc. so that interested parties will be encouraged to do something. Action on the part of a reader is always a good thing.

Keep it exciting. No one wants to read a news story, especially human interest, if it isn’t moving, exciting, or otherwise newsworthy. No different for your press release.

And lastly, think of who will want to read about you or your book and try to target a place for publication of your press release that will garner the most interest, ie. where will this press release fit into? A newspaper editor is a very busy person, and you don’t want to make any enemies at the local rag.

If you include a bio, a headshot, and a jpg of your book cover, you will have an entire press kit, and you know, this article has reminded me I really need to update mine. Hope this has helped you!


s.w. vaughn said...

Great tips, Kim! You're right - authors should definitely have a good press release ready.

As a quasi-PR person, I'll offer another tip: try to make your press release read as much like a newspaper article as possible. A lot of news outlets will choose press releases to print (or include online) on the basis of how much reworking is needed. If they can basically copy and paste your release, you have a better shot at getting picked up.

Kim Smith said...

Good advice, SW!

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Ah, thanks for reminding me that I need to get going on my next press release. Ack. I'd forgotten! Good advice, Kim, as always. ;o)

Marta Stephens said...

Good points everyone! To add to what has already been said. These necessary elements of a standard news release come right out of my PR handbook.

1)Print on one side, double spaced.

2)New flag: Make it absolutely clear that the infomation is intended to be a news release.

3)Release Date: Typed between the flag and the text type & underscore in all caps FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

4)Contact information

5) dateline (city or origin, date of release)


7)Information typed in order of importance (inverted pyramid)

8)Boiler plate-Identifies in 2-3 lines who the writer is.


Warren Adler said...

Excellent advice, Kim!

Kim Smith said...

Thank you Warren!! And thank you for stopping in at Mb4! We love having you here :)