Writing a Press Release: The Design Basics

Big corporations like General Motors and Coca-Cola spend thousands of dollars on press kits with specially-designed folders, full-color stationery, digital photos and lots of other goodies. Does this make a reporter more likely to do their story? In my experience, the answer is no.

Regardless of the appearance of the information, there are two basic things in a press release that lead to free publicity. Useful information, and several different contact methods.

A reporter almost expects a big company to have flashy press information. But they certainly don't expect or even want it from you.

Cut unnecessary costs by skipping the fancy, flashy press kits with glitter and ribbons. It rarely helps.

Instead, invest time in coming up with information that will appeal to the reporter and to her readers. Useful information gets ? and keeps ? a reporter's attention much better.

And after you compile that information, make sure that it's going to be easy for the reporter to find you when they want to use the information. Every piece of paper or email you send the media must have your contact information: phone, fax, mail, web site address, and e-mail. Putting it on the outer folder, or top sheet alone, just isn't enough.

Ned Steele works with people in professional services who want to build their practice and accelerate their growth. The president of Ned Steele's MediaImpact, he is the author of 102 Publicity Tips To Grow a Business or Practice. To learn more visit http://www.MediaImpact.biz or call 212-243-8383.

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