One of the most difficult aspects of writing a press release is sticking to the point. The first version that a writer creates may contain twice as much detail as what is needed. The writer tends to become ‘attached’ to the piece, and may see it as a work of art. Sadly, this is a surefire way to get your press release submitted to the circular file… as in, the trash can.
Many journalists will say they commit tiny murders every day as they slash and cut their beloved masterpieces in order to make their piece the proper length. Each adored word, pondered over and perfectly chosen, takes on a life of its own. Yet, each word or phrase may suddenly meet an untimely death on the Editor’s floor.
In order to prevent your press release from being ignored, follow these guidelines:
- KISS- Keep It Simple, Silly! Don’t beat around the bush. Be concise, make your point direct, and state your facts. Imagine you are creating an advertisement and you have to pay for every word you add to a press release. Make sure every word counts.
- Save the superfluous words from your verbose lexicon for a novel or dissertation. A press release is not the time to impress your high school English teacher with your flowery descriptions or elegant prose. The more length you add, the more lost your readers become.
- Remember that most media members will cut extraneous comments and details from any story if they are short on time or space.
- Ask someone else to read the press release aloud to you so that you can hear any awkward phrasings, note the run-on ideas, and judge the length of it. Force yourself to defend every word you use.
These tips should help you pare down your press release to ensure that it makes your point without a lot of hype. This takes some practice, but your media members will thank you for making their job easier.