Press Release - How to


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How to write a press release

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Press Release - How to

  1. 1. Freelance Musicianthe press release & how to write one in-class exercises Chris Baker
  2. 2. Beyonce press release
  3. 3. What is a press release?• a press release is a written communication directed at members of the news media announcing something newsworthy• they are mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to assignment editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations & television stations
  4. 4. The Press
  5. 5. Effective press release writingkey issues• all about persuasive communication• news story format• editors trash outlandish promises - "the best ever“ "one-of-a-kind”• very specific formats for writing press releases
  6. 6. "press release" letterhead• top left-name organization, address, phone number, and method to reach you, such as fax and e-mail• top right-"News Release", "Press Release".• standard letter size (8" x 11") or legal size (8" x 14") paper
  7. 7. Press release format• should read "For Immediate Release“ todays date or "For Release on ...“ date to be released• same line, on right margin, type "For more information, contact:“ & name of person available for questions from media
  8. 8. Text• brief summary of topic or the release• follow "Who, What, Where, When, Why"• this may be your only opportunity to get attention• good press release follows an inverted triangle• needs to begin with the most important information• next paragraph should contain slightly less
  9. 9. Text continued• detailed data in the middle and below• designed to transmit facts• opinions should be expressed in quotes• usually sent via fax• type "###" on the first line after your text is completed to denote end• if release goes over page, type "MORE" at the bottom of the first page• retype the title and the date on page two ∴ no question which release page 2 goes with
  10. 10. Text cont.• dont write release from own viewpoint• grab the attention of the reader• write what would interest them• focus on what the public pays attention to!
  11. 11. Headline
  12. 12. Headline• 10 words or less• need to grab the attention• should summarize the information in the press release, exciting and dynamic• think of it as a billboard• must stand out!
  13. 13. Opening paragraph• sometimes called a summary lead is critical• explain - who, what, when, where, why & how• must summarize the press release, with the following paragraphs providing the detail• must contain the hook: the one thing that gets your audience interested
  14. 14. inverted pyramid
  15. 15. The body• use inverted pyramid, most important information and quotes first• inverted pyramid used so that if editors need to cut the story to fit space constraints, they can cut from the end without losing critical information
  16. 16. Closing paragraph• repeat the critical contact information, including the name of the person, his or her phone number and/or email address• make sure information is newsworthy• tell the audience why they should continue to read it• start with a brief description of the news• distinguish who announced it
  17. 17. Magazines
  18. 18. Hints & Tips• avoid fancy language• deal with the facts• provide ALL contact information• have something with substance• know who youre writing to• know lead times• monthly magazines - lead times of 2 to 4 months• dont annoy with follow-ups
  19. 19. Hints & Tips• keep your database up-to-date (editors/journalists)• get names right• update your web site with the "news" before sending your release• do not call editors on their free phone numbers
  20. 20. In-class exercises
  21. 21. Press release exercise 1• Using the internet research dance artists basement jaxx• create retrospectively a press release for their ‘raindrops’ single• Use the aforementioned format
  22. 22. Press release exercise 2• prepare a press release for your forthcoming show• you must determine the angle of the release• think closely what to include & stick to the format discussed