Press Release Seminar
Writing an Effective Press
Chip Weinert, Editor
Wind Tracks Magazine.
It doesn't matter what business you're in: you
need more exposure. The more people who are
exposed to your business, the better your chance
of doing MORE business. You don't have to be a
media expert: you all have imagination, ambition
and common sense, and that's just what's needed
to get positive publicity.
All media are looking for "news." You can
capitalize on this. Your new product is news.
Your new employee is news. Your weekly barbecue
is news. Your shop mascot just had puppies;
that's news. ANY EVENT is news and worthy of the
To distribute this new, three things should be
considered: 1) how to write about them, 2) the
format you use, and3) how to get them
Assign one of your sales staff (or yourself)
the job of writing one press release a month
and sending it out to any and all magazines,
newspapers, radio and television stations,
major customers and suppliers.
Don't spend more than a half hour on writing
Remember "The ABC's" of writing. Accuracy,
Answer the "Who What When Where Why and How?"
questions and get out.
One double-spaced page is all the space you
Make sure that the person who's reading it can
see all the info on getting back in touch with
you at a glance.
Use the sample
format as style guides.
Type-written in 12 point type double-spaced one
page on your letterhead. It's a good idea to have
a handwritten note to the person in charge. It
makes it more personalized. Something like, "Hey
Chip, the latest issue looks great! Thanks for
the coverage!" always gets my attention.
ALWAYS, ALWAYS include some type of camera-ready
art. Even if it's just your logo! Editors don't
want to see "gray pages."
The best package consists of three items:
An action shot showing the product in use.
If you're promoting a person use an action
shot that shows the person's face.
A studio-type shot with the product or person
against a solid color background.
A camera-ready version of your logo and/or the
logo of the product and/or service discussed
in the press release. Product samples are
great, but still include a camera-ready
Don't expect the publication to take a photo
3. Getting them
Know the deadlines.
Know the name of the person who's responsible
for gathering news about the subject you're
promoting at the time. It may be the Sports
Desk, Community Calendar, Business, etc.
depending on what your message is. Check the
publication's mast head for names, addresses
and phone #'s.
Also check Bacon's Publicity Checker and
Bacon's Radio/TV Directory. (800)621-0561.
After you've found the right person, invite
them to your event or to come take a free
Frequency: BOMBARD 'EM! Drown them
in your messages. The more times they get
something from you the more your chances of
getting it into print. Don't be discouraged or
call to complain if nobody uses your release;
just try again the next time.
The two things to remember are: be brief with
your words and include a graphic. I had a
journalism professor who told me that a good
Press Release should be like a woman's dress,
"Long enough to cover the subject yet short
enough to keep it interesting." She has been
proven right time and again. Just don't
procrastinate: if you don't do it, there's always
someone else who will.
written press release
written press release
[This article was reprinted with
permission from American Windsurfing Industries