Press releases are essentially statements given to various media organizations for release or publication. Press releases can be given to virtually any type of media outlet. Press releases are often published or given media release free of charge to community organizations. Press releases can also be used by businesses to communicate new products or new services offered.
Understand the media outlet
Press releases can be used by any media outlet. Press releases can be used on television, radio stations, newspapers, newsletters, websites, e-zines, and even some magazines. There are specific formats and conditions to each specific outlet. For example, there are different formats for writing public service announcements for radio and eight printed press release and local newspaper. Understanding the conditions and services of each specific media outlet allows the press release to have maximum impact. Being able to communicate in a clear and concise manner is essential to writing high quality press releases.
Remember the 5W’s
Press releases are written to communicate specific information to a wide variety of individuals within the community. The first information to include deals with who. Press releases identify who is giving the information and who needs to know it. Press releases communicate from either a nonprofit organization or a business about events, products or services being offered. Communicating about the business or organization is key.
Making the connection between the business and the community is the purpose of the press release. Include appropriate contact information that includes address, phone number, and Internet location with an e-mail. Being available for the community to contact is important. Press releases should communicate the option of getting additional information or questions answered by this community.
The next item number and duration press releases deal with is what. This information gives details about products, services, or events that relate to general public interest. The information communicated should direct people within the community to the business or organization. For example, a nonprofit organization opening a raffle would want to communicate the cost of tickets, items being raffled, and the date of the drawing. These are all examples of describing what the press releases about.
Press releases also want to release the time and the date of the event. Telling about an event or who is holding the event does little good without communicating when the event is happening. Most stores released a weekly press release about sale items or featured events. Communicating times and dates is essential to nonprofit event success and to general business success.
Press releases also dictate the location of the event or business. Again giving other details with out giving a location would be fruitless. Be sure to always include the location of the event or business with exact directions if the location is difficult to find.
Press releases should give information about why the event or sale is important to the community. Without giving any reason why, press releases often fail to be successful. The question of why gives relevance to individuals within the community and gives reason for them to attend the event or shop at the sale.
Press releases communicate their needs and actions of organizations and businesses to the community at large. Before writing the press release understand what media outlets will be used. Also where to communicate the 5W’s: who, what, when, where, and why. Doing these few things will help create effective press releases and succeed at communicating with the community.