Posts tagged ‘press release’

Writing Effective Press Advisories

Public relations professionals have an array of tools for attracting media attention. One of those tools is the press advisory. The press advisory is somewhat different from the press release, both in format and goal.

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The goal of the press advisory is to notify the press of an occurrence or event you want them to cover. Press advisories can be issued as far in advance of an event as necessary. Your ultimate goal is to have reporters place events on their calendars or within their futures file so they can plan accordingly to attend and cover the event. As a general rule of thumb, if you issue a press advisory more than one week in advance, it is a good idea to conduct a follow-up advisory one or two days before the event to ensure reporters have not forgotten about it.

The format of a press advisory is also much simpler than a Media Relations Handbook, by Bradford Fitchpress release. The headline of an advisory should be clear and concise, consisting of no more than two paragraphs. Key information should be given in summary form and include the event, time, place and subject of the event. It can be a challenge to provide enough information in the advisory to entice the media to cover it, while at the same time holding back enough information to ensure you do not inadvertently scoop yourself.

When writing an advisory, provide information on what reporters can expect if they decide to attend the event. When appropriate, also include background information on the organization staging the event. Also use your web site to provide additional information.

Include a note that information within the advisory is not to be released. While this may be generally understood, it is always better to be certain rather than to have information released that you did not intend to have publicized.

To learn more about making the most of press releases and advisories, consider TheCapitol.Net’s Advanced Media Relations Workshop.

Reference: Media Relations Handbook, by Brad Fitch, Section 2.7 Press Advisory

For more information about media training from TheCapitol.Net, see these resources:

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Writing Effective Email Press Releases

The basic tool used in public relations is the press release. Ultimately, the goal of a press release is to convince the media to do a story. At one time, press releases were printed on paper, however, today press releases are most often exchanged electronically.

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The email press release is now the format preferred by most reporters. While some basic information has remained the same in the electronic press release, an email press release differs somewhat from a printed press release.

First, try to avoid attachments to your press release. Unless the reporter is actually expecting the attachment, all releases should be made within the body of the email text message. Firewalls at some news organizations will automatically block an email with an attachment.

Media Relations Handbook, by Bradford FitchThe subject line of the email should replace the headline. This is the most important line of your press release and you have an extremely small amount of space to grab the reporter’s attention. At most, you have five words to sell the story, so choose them carefully.

One of the advantages of the email press release is that you can include URL links to more information. When it comes to the basic format of the release, remember to keep contact information at the top of the release, followed by the headline and then the body of the press release. While email may be a slightly different format, reporters are still accustomed to the traditional paper format.

Make sure you never include any text formatting, such as underline, bold or tabs as some email programs ignore them. If you need to use bullets, use stars or dashes. The entirety of your release should be kept to a minimum of 500 words and between four and six paragraphs.

Always test out the release by sending it to yourself first.

Finally, if you are going to send the release out to more than one reporter, include the addresses as blind cc’s. Never make the mistake of broadcasting a reporter’s email address.

To learn more about the best way to craft press releases and other media relations tips, sign up for TheCapitol.Net’s 1-day course Media Relations for Public Affairs Professionals, or the 2-day Advanced Media Relations Workshop.

Reference: Media Relations Handbook, by Brad Fitch, Section 2.5 Email Press Releases

For more information about media training from TheCapitol.Net, see these resources:

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