Press release lecture

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Press release lecture

  1. 1. Press releases <ul><li>effective press releases </li></ul><ul><li>how not to write bin material </li></ul>
  2. 2. Effective Press Release <ul><li>… today we will… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… refresh some fond memories… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… see why it is important to write decent press releases… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… look at some bad press releases… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… to learn how to write good ones… </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Effective Press Release <ul><li>… what’s a press release? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Is a pseudo news story, written in third person, that demonstrates to an editor or reporter the newsworthiness of a particular person, event, service or product.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>- publicityinsider.com </li></ul>
  4. 4. Effective Press Release <ul><li>… some harsh truths: what journalists think </li></ul><ul><li>(why you should hate journalists – part 1) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Too many PR people don’t know the difference between news and advertising..” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Why don’t PRs READ our publication first?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ PR people should target their material more selectively and try to write more for individual publications.” </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Effective Press Release <ul><li>… some harsh truths: what journalists think </li></ul><ul><li>(why you should hate journalists – part 2)… </li></ul><ul><li>… they bin 9 of 10 press releases… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… according to a study in the US, which surveyed 123 daily newspapers; reported by IABC News… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… chief reasons were… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… lack of local or regional tie-in (not newsworthy)… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… advertising puffery… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… too long and cumbersome… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… arrived too late… </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Effective Press Release <ul><li>… some harsh truths: what journalists think </li></ul><ul><li>(why you should hate journalists – part 2)… </li></ul><ul><li>… in Britain the Eds aren’t that mean… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… they bin only 8 of 10 releases… </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Effective Press Release <ul><li>…some more harsh truths </li></ul><ul><li>(why you should hate journalists – part 3)… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1) Journalists don’t care about helping you… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2) Journalists are hassled all day by PR people and they're pretty much sick of it… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>3) Journalists don't care about your website, your book, your products or your life story, unless... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>… You are providing something that helps make their job easier -- that is, a really GOOD STORY </li></ul>
  8. 8. Effective Press Release <ul><li>Think like a reporter… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… develop story ‘angles’ from a journalist’s perspective… not a business-owner’s… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… in other words, make your release newsworthy… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… figure out what is special/new/unusual/interesting about the product/event/whatever you are promoting… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… then highlight that… </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Effective Press Release <ul><li>Think like a reporter… </li></ul><ul><li>… if your client wants to push his new product XYZ, which is an improvement on the old XYY, how will you go about finding a news angle? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… ask what XYZ can do that XYY can’t </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… is it cheaper? lighter? faster? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… will it be launched by Britney Spears? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Effective Press Release WHAT DO YOU NEED ON THE PAGE? The structure of the press release……. Effective Press Release
  11. 11. Effective Press Release <ul><li>… write it right: headlines… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… keep it short… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… keep it simple… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… just the central idea, nothing more please… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… use short words… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>…‘ cut’ for ‘reduce’, for instance, ‘live’ for ‘reside’, ‘food’ for ‘sustenance’, ‘job’ for ‘employment’… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… put ‘action’ words… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… words that show activity. Eg: ‘opens’, ‘launches’… </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Effective Press Release <ul><li>… how to NOT write headlines… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… Braindead launches new product XYZ after phenomenal success of XYY for better sleep… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… try: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… Braindead launches enhanced sleeping pill… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… Cheryl to launch Braindead pill… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… or even… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… Cheryl goes on new pill (for tabloid)… </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Effective Press Release <ul><li>… how to not write headlines… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The world’s best sleeping tablet is here! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The King of Coma returns! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Remember, this is not an advert. So cut out the fluff </li></ul>
  14. 14. Effective Press Release <ul><li>… write like a reporter… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… your headline and first paragraph should tell the story (inverted pyramid is the best bet)… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember the who, what, where, when </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try to be fresh and avoid cliche </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… write ‘active’, not ‘passive’… </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Effective Press Release <ul><li>write like a reporter… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>stick to facts… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>avoid hype phrases… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>…‘ breakthrough’, ‘unique’, ‘state-of-the-art’… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>write from a journalist’s perspective… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… never use ‘I’ or ‘We’ unless it is in a quote… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>keep it short… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… three pages: uh-uh!. Two pages: Okay. One page: GOOD… </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Effective Press Release … how to not write a lead… Offering 15-second transmission speed, an easy-to-read liquid crystal display and a 5-page automatic document feeder, Sharp Electronics Corporation recently introduced two new low-end facsimile models that boast a number of features not usually found in comparably priced units. The UX-101 and UX-111 facsimiles have now joined Sharp’s successful line-up of personal home office facsimiles. The Sharp Electronics Corporation has launched two low-end facsimile models with features that are not found in comparably priced units. The UX-101 and UX-111 offer 15-second transmission speed, and a five-page automatic feeder.
  17. 17. … how to not write a lead… Dignity in Dying launches groundbreaking new advance decision Dignity in Dying, the leading organisation campaigning for greater patient choice at the end of life, has launched a groundbreaking new advance decision (the new name for living wills). The Dignity in Dying Pro-Choice Advance Decision will be released on October 1st - the same date that the Mental Capacity Act comes into force, making advance decisions statutory. The new Pro-Choice Advance Decision, which has been approved by top lawyers, adheres to the main purpose of making an advance decision: that patients can refuse treatment in the case of a loss of mental capacity, even if it results in the shortening of life.
  18. 18. Effective Press Release … last word “a news release should be like a piece of plain wood which others can cut, shape, polish, paint or use as they wish. The cutting, shaping, polishing, painting or special use must not be pre-empted by the sender…”
  19. 19. Check out the following <ul><li>http://www.journalism.co.uk/press-releases </li></ul><ul><li>Press releases on the ‘media’ section of good company websites eg BBC. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.responsesource.com </li></ul>

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