How To Write A Powerful Press Release


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Regardless of all the changes taking place in the media the fundamentals are still the same. Learn how to communicate with the media

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How To Write A Powerful Press Release

  1. 1. With Michael Hart Speaker – Author – Talk Radio Host – Shameless Publicity Hound How to write a powerful Press Release Michael Hart Speaks. com
  2. 2. Michael Hart Speaks. com “ The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated” -Mark Twain While the future of the press release is uncertain… _________________________________________________________ HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  3. 3. Michael Hart Speaks. com The press release is still the primary and accepted method for contacting the press There are two major changes and they are… ________________________________________________________ HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  4. 4. Michael Hart Speaks. com Media Bling Distribution Methods ___________________________________________________________ HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  5. 5. Michael Hart Speaks. com For immediate release:    -< This opening should be used on every release you send > (Photo Available on Request)   -< If you use this option make certain you have a black and white photograph > Contact: Becci Collins (205) 776-2280 (205) 678-4710          [email_address] -< Contact info can be you and is mandatory > Basic Format. Text to the left margin HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  6. 6. Michael Hart Speaks. com     First Man From Alabama To Address International Convention -< Title of release, subject matter of the release – note the underline > <<Special note: The media loves “firsts”. More detail will be given later in this report. The word “First” was NOT highlighted in red in the original >> Other examples: -< Investment Specialist Wins Local Award > -< Sales Expert to Speak to Area Business Leaders > -< Grooming Your Cat Daily Can Add Years to Family Pet > -< De-thatch For a Carpet-like Lawn >     The title makes the release HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  7. 7. Michael Hart Speaks. com         Body of the release (Birmingham, AL – July 30, 1999)   -< Note city, state, date and parenthesis usage > Michael P. Hart of Birmingham has been invited to address Toastmasters International during their August convention in Chicago, IL. Each year Toastmasters from around the world gather to discuss organization business, learn public speaking skills and to hear some of the worlds best speakers perform. Mr. Hart will be one of a select handful of professionals, which include Morgan McArthur, Bob Richards, and the ever-popular Zig Ziglar. Mr. Hart, an internationally recognized presentation skills speaker, is making his second appearance at the convention in as many years. A feat few others, and no one from the state of Alabama, have accomplished in the seventy-four years since the organization was founded. -< Note the who, what, where, and why are established in the first paragraph > -< Name-dropping like Zig Ziglar and the mention of the rarity of this feat make the release more “ news worthy ” >       HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  8. 8. Michael Hart Speaks. com         Body and Bounce!       Upon learning that Mr. Hart had been invited to speak at the convention again, James Malinchak, associate editor for the Chicken Soup for The Soul series wrote to him saying, “I couldn’t believe my eyes, I opened the magazine (convention program) and there you were, again! Congratulations on two in a row, now let’s see if you can make it three.” -< Although not mandatory, a third party endorsement of the uniqueness of the story can go a long way towards revving up interest >   HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  9. 9. Michael Hart Speaks. com         Lets talk Titles!       This release had impact because the feat itself was rare for the media market. The TITLE exploited the rarity. Had I lived in New York for example, the story would have less impact since this accomplishment was less rare in that market. This does not mean it would not have worked as well only that the angle would have been different. Example: I did not finish High School. My experience comes from years of self-learning, trial, error, failure and experimentation. As such a release title in such a market might look like: “ High School Drop Out Addresses Worlds Largest Public Speaking Convention ” The title must sell the reporter/producer on why the local market will find the story interesting   HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  10. 10. Michael Hart Speaks. com         What the *&^%$       Mr. Hart will address approximately 500 attendees on such issues as personal motivation, how to overcome adversity and how to deal with life’s “little” obstacles. Additionally, his new tape program. Peak Sales Performance is Child’s Play will be made available through the convention product division prior to being released for general distribution in the United States. -< Here the reader is told exactly what the program would consist of, what would be taking place at the event. Also we were able to “plug” our newest product. The plug actually gave further endorsement to the significance of the event. Again the media loves “firsts”. They love to report on events and happenings before they are commonplace. The product rollout in this case provided the reporter another “first”   HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  11. 11. Michael Hart Speaks. com         “ Why” Should we care?         Toastmasters International is recognized as the world leader in public speaking and communication. The organization was founded in 1927, in California by Dr. Ralph Smedley. Considered one of the most diverse organizations in the world, Toastmasters has over one and a half million members in seventeen countries. -< Here I told about the sponsoring organization. If you are writing a release about an honor or award you have, or will be receiving, here is where you would give information about the organization bestowing the award upon you > HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  12. 12. Michael Hart Speaks. com         Who are You? Who Who Who Who? - Pete Townsend         Michael Hart is the President of Michael P. Hart and Company, a training and public speaking firm. He resides in Birmingham Alabama and is married to Nancy Hart. They have three children. ###   -< At the end of the release you may wish to share some personal information. This is optional. NOTE: This release was for a regional newspaper. Personal information of this sort is not a good idea if you are submitting to publications with national distribution. You may however mention where you attended college or any significant honors that would be recognized on a national level. EXAMPLE: Mr. Jones is a graduate of MIT, and has received numerous local and national honors. Additionally he is a member of . . . > HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  13. 13. Michael Hart Speaks. com         Don’t event think about it!                     -< These marks (###) indicate the end of the release. In theory they tell the reader you are done. In actuality they merely suggest you know how to write a press release. However DO NOT fail to use them. The press prefers to work with people they feel grasp their trade and work within the guidelines they themselves do. The use of these marks suggest you know what you’re doing. # # # HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  14. 14. Michael Hart Speaks. com         Surefire ways to make it to the round file                     <ul><li>What ever you do – don’t do this </li></ul><ul><li>Be overtly Promotional </li></ul><ul><li>Send your release to the wrong reporter/News Section </li></ul><ul><li>Expect reporters to promote your firm </li></ul><ul><li>Use your name or the name of your company to excess </li></ul><ul><li>Send as attachment if you email </li></ul>HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  15. 15. Michael Hart Speaks. com         More Don’ts                     *Write an article. The release is to stimulate a call (300 – 400 Words) *Ask the reporter why not? *Fail to follow-up Expect a call even if your release is chosen Use the words free publicity HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  16. 16. Michael Hart Speaks. com         Don’t words                     Want to make sure your release is, released? Then use these words *Paradigm *Unique *Empower *Amazing *Remarkable *Fantastic *Information Super Highway *Never seen before *Cutting edge *ANTYTHING ELSE THAT SOUNDS THIS STUPID! HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  17. 17. Michael Hart Speaks. com         Do – Do!                     *Contact reporters *Nurture relationships *Know who your sending too *Email w/o attachments *Mail on Wed – Fax, email on Thursday *Read your release – why should anyone care? *Emailing? Contact info at the end *Call reporters back – fast! *Be open and honest *Ask for help – reporters will help if asked HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE
  18. 18. Michael Hart Speaks. com         Let us know                     To book Michael to speak to your group call 866.238.5294 This program will be available for re-broadcast on our website Get Michael’s free marketing newsletter go to HOW TO WRITE A POWERFUL PRESS RELEASE For a free copy of this press release template email us with the words “ Release Template ” in the subject line to