How To Write A Press Release
What Is The Purpose Of A Press Release?
When you write a press release, you should have a clear idea of what exactly you are trying to achieve. A press release is like a news announcement in written form. It’s created by a company, organization, or individual (like a musician or a band) to share something important and newsworthy with the public. The main goal is to get this news picked up by the media, like newspapers, TV stations, or online platforms.
Table of Contents
Overview Of A Press Release
So, what are the main aspects of a press release? What are you trying to do?
Sharing News: It’s used to announce something big, like the release of a new album, an upcoming concert tour, or a major collaboration.
Attracting Media Attention: A press release is designed to catch the eye of journalists and bloggers. If they find your news interesting, they might write about it, giving you more exposure.
Controlling the Message: You get to tell your story exactly how you want it to be told. This way, the facts and details are clear and straight from you.
Professional Touch: Sending out a press release shows that you’re serious about your work. It’s a professional approach to sharing news.
Wide Reach: A good press release can spread far and wide, reaching lots of people, including potential fans, other artists, and people in the music industry.
So, a press release is essentially your way of making a big announcement in a formal, professional manner, hoping that the media will help spread the word to a larger audience.
Typical Press Release Content
Don’t just submit a background on your band. You have to relate something which is newsworthy. Remember, you are telling everyone a significant piece of news, and trying to get the reading public to be interested in, and ultimately buy your music and your brand. Don’t write an advert. If turns out like that, do it again.
Just because you find something interesting doesn’t mean somebody else will. Your audience has to find your news interesting. So ask yourself, why the subject of this press release is interesting? There has to be something unusual or unique. CDs are released all the time, what makes yours stand out? Was it recorded, mixed, and mastered in 5 days? Did you take 10 years to record it? All the vocals recorded backward, and then reversed? The album cover has been banned and shops will only sell it in a brown paper bag?
You can see why publicity events, even publicity stunts, often accompany new CDs or videos.
The point is, to pick an angle, and connect all the dots for the reader. Importantly, connect them to you. The angle provides the hook. If you are writing about an achievement, connect it to you, and the events that lead up to the achievement, with an emphasis on the positive.
Your press release has to provide the media with appropriate information about your product, or event.
Answer 5 Questions
When you write a press release ensure that you answer these 5 questions:
By answering all of these questions you will make sure that all the key facts are included.
Get the message over in the title and the very first paragraph. Use the rest of the press release to go onto more detail, and give some context to the news.
When you write the press release, write it to be targeted at the media who will ultimately use it. Journalists will often use a press release as source material for a fuller feature, so it has to contain a good level of information and be well-written. Commonly press releases will be edited before publication, but this is not always the case. Sometimes your press release will appear exactly as you wrote it.
Avoid cliches. Avoid hype! the exclamation point (!) is not cool. Avoid jargon, use the minimum you have to, to get the point over.
Make your release relevant to current events and issues. Stick to the facts. If you find that you are adding too much embellishment, yet again re-examine the need for this press release or the angle you are taking. The media are a suspicious lot. If they think your story sounds far-fetched and too good to be true, it is your credibility that will be damaged.
Don’t be too wordy. Use enough to get the point across. If you are struggling to get more than a paragraph you need to really question the news-worthy-ness, and or angle of your piece. Don’t use a passive voice “entered a contract with…”. Say “signed to”. Use strong verbs. Don’t say “The band played a very good gig and went down well”. Say “The band was brilliant and the crowd loved every minute”.
Try to use quotes from band members and those associated with the band.
Before you use a quote or use the name of a company, get permission before you use it.
When you finish the press release includes a short paragraph that describes the band, with a very brief history. You know “Formed in 2002 the blah blah band has gained a large following. 5 guys and 1 girl playing the length and breadth of the country were spotted in September 2004 by Chas McMac, CEO of Big Chewy Records. September 2005 saw them being voted “best band wearing jeans” at the much acclaimed Twisted Music Awards.
Press Release Presentation
- DON’T USE ALL UPPERCASE. Use mixed case letters, otherwise, it is likely to get ignored.
- When writing your release, use the correct grammar. Not like me. If there are too many errors, editors will reject the release.
- Write your release in a word processor. Don’t type directly into an online form.
- Don’t embed HTML. If the press release makes it onto a non-HTML medium it will be unreadable.
- Don’t list your contact email address within the press release. This is an open invitation to spammers. However, your mail address may still be included by the publisher.
- Include a summary paragraph.
- Avoid using logos or trademark names, without explicit written permission.
- Format your press release, like a press release:
- The headline is Written in Title Case (the first letter of each word is capitalized, apart from articles of 3 letters or less and prepositions)
- Aim for titles of less than 150 characters. Don’t End Titles With a Period
- Use regular sentence form for the summary paragraph. Don’t just repeat the title, say it in a different way.
- Use the format: City, Region, Country (SONGSTUFF) January 1, 20xx — Start your text here…
- Include your contact details:
- Role (if not band member)
- Company (if not band)
- Street Address (Optional)
- Telephone (Optional)
- Web Address
- A contact email address is normally required for submission and is often included in online publications.
- Include any necessary statement to cover liability etc if necessary.
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