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Friday, February 24, 2012

5 Ways To Become A Better Press Release Writer

Writing just might be the most important skill you can have.
It doesn't matter how many reporters you know or how unique
your story angle is, if you can't write a compelling press
release that instantly sucks readers in, everything else is

Unfortunately, too many press release writers never improve
their writing skills. As a writer, it's easy to fall into a
trap of writing everything the exact same way, using the
exact same layout and the exact same buzzwords time and time
again. But like the saying goes, "The definition of insanity
is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a
different result."

Simply put, if you're tired of your press releases not
getting results, you need to try something different. What
you need to try is writing them differently.

Here are 5 ways to become a better press release writer.

1. Don't fall into the template trap - Is it just me or do 9
out of 10 press releases read exactly the same? It's always
"ABC Company, the leader in the (insert name of industry),
recently announced their (insert buzzword)..." It's all the
same , and it makes all the press releases blend together.
Remember, reporters and buyers both have seen a lot of press
releases. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you have
to break free from this template, plug-and-play style of
writing. Dare to be different and creative. Just make sure
you still get to the point and answer all the main

2. Get to know the product and company inside and out -
Whether you're writing press releases for your company or
you're a PR pro writing them for someone else, you need to
spend time getting truly familiar with the subject you're
writing about. Try to steer clear of the common buzzwords
and slogans that sometimes get attached to products and
companies. Instead, focus on the problems it solves, the
pain points it alleviates for customers, who the customers
are, and other important details. This will allow you to
create a more detail rich, less generic press release.

3. Know what your audience is looking for - Recently, we
talked about how there are many different press release
audiences today. Your press release could be for traditional
media, new media, buyers, investors, affiliates, or search
engines. Know your audience, and understand what type of
information and style is important to them.

4. Cut the fluff - No matter who your audience is, they
share one thing in common: They're starved for time. They
just want the most important information delivered to them
as quickly and clearly as possible. In the past, we've
talked about press release length, and the point is that
there isn't necessarily a specific word count you should be
aiming for. But instead, you should be focusing on finding
ways to deliver your message as succinctly as possible
without losing clarity. Try printing out your press releases
and slashing through fluff (unnecessary words and info) with
a red pen.

5. Practice daily - The only way you can get better at
writing press releases is to practice every single day. Even
If you're writing press releases you'll never send out, it's
still important to get that practice in. When practicing,
try out new writing techniques and work on your improving
your weaknesses.

What tips would you give to press release writers trying to
polish their skills?

Shine on,

Mickie Kennedy
CEO, &