1.1. Press release - is a short announcement to the press.
1.2. One of the most "revolutionary" discoveries for marketing managers, and sometimes some of the CEOs, is the idea that direct advertising in our age is not very effective, and that it is much more useful to place a short article about a product or service in a newspaper or magazine.
Alas, the article has often very promotional style, and most often do not work because author has no time or the energy for it, and revolutionary idea dies on the vine.
In contrast to the article a press release is a short note, which requires much less time and effort to write it.
1.3. The second, yet not less "innovative" invention is a method of presenting information in such an article. First, they say, you need to create a problem which emphasizes how hard life is in the era of modern information and technology. Then, with the smile of a man promoting a gum or washing powder, the reader is informed that a magic bullet to solve all the problems was invented, and there is this last chance to get one from a certain company.
But more often it turns out that the frightened reader switches his thoughts from “magic bullet” to something else.
1.4. Press release is used as a tool of PR-activity of the company and is allocated in the same breath with such advertising and marketing activities like direct advertising and feature articles.
The peculiarity of the press release as opposed to commercials and themed article is that it is a short message containing some news. The ultimate goal of press releases is to build and maintain a company's image in the eyes of the public.
2. What to include in a press release
2.1. Provide information, not advertising.
It is rather difficult to tell the difference between information and an ad, but there are two clues: information is not story about what you sell but how you live.
Press release is not usually written in a conversational, narrative style, but in a telegraph way, more impersonal.
2.2. Press release is written about some event; it is built around news and is created as a reaction to some information occasion. Hence, the content of the release is usually associated with a certain time period. For example it could be a message about an automobile exhibition. Thus press release differs from a paper, which often is based on a theme, for example, features a new product.
2.3. General topics for press releases
Reports on the establishment of new companies, the development of new programs (including individual), work on new projects for enterprises, introduction of various information systems, seminars, presentations, press conferences, competitions, participation in exhibitions, export and import activities, opening of new websites, contests, quizzes, etc.
3.1. The structure of the press release, the list of main components:
Information about the company/companies
Info on product, commodity, service
3.2. Title is a mandatory part. The shorter it is, the better. Should contain the basic idea in the message and, if possible, should be bright, interesting and memorable.
The skill to coming up with titles is a separate story. Different approaches and techniques may be used.
3.3. Summary - a very desirable part to be included.
The author should answer the following question in just one sentence: "What do I (the author of the release) want to say?" Summary is not usually published in the media and is mainly used for technical purposes to determine to which category the message belongs.
For the writer of press releases, at the same time, it is a very useful work on understanding the meaning of the written material. If the idea of the press release cannot be expressed in one sentence, then it needs to be redone.
Additionally, you can use such probing questions as "Why is this release written?", "Who is it written by?", “What is the purpose?”
3.4. Main Part
The main content of the release. It is advisable to stick with the rule of five questions: "what, where, when, who and how many?", i.e. Answers to these questions , in fact, make up the basic content of the release.
It goes without saying that it is important to specify the names of events, organizations, dates, places, names of people mentioned, etc.
The recommended size of the main body is about a half A4 page, or about 1.5 thousand characters. But, depending on the theme and content of the news message, the volume of press releases can be varied at the discretion of the author.
3.5. Contact information - a very important part for the company and the author of the release. It is advisable to first specify the details of quick contacts - phone, e-mail.
Is necessary to indicate the full name of the author, or the contact person to whom it will be possible to address comments or questions, if necessary.
Website address, if any, is also very desirable.
3.6. Information about the company
It is an optional but desirable part of the release. A brief message about what kind of company it is, what it does. If the release is referred to several firms, for example, the two companies signed a cooperation agreement; it is desirable to provide information about both. All this helps the interested parties to better understand the message.
At the same time you do not want to abuse this part and go to cram all sorts of advertising texts, because it gives the impression of a not solid company.
Nor should we pretend that the company is so well known that the editors must know everything in advance.
Example: Microsoft press releases always contain brief information about the company at the bottom.
3.7. Information about a product, good or service
Again, Microsoft corp., for example, sometimes uses this part of the release, when it comes to some changes associated with their goods, services etc. For example, some conducted promotional campaign presenting some software is held. The product description is just briefly mentioned in the release, but in this section, as it were, outside the main part, a more detailed picture is drawn.
Again, do not abuse this part and do not openly advertise your product here.