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Is the press release dead?

Is it still worthwhile writing a press release?

The press release – as old as time itself. Does it still work? Sure it does!

A well-written press (or news) release is always useful. Because a good press release is written up to journalistic standards, so as if a reporter had written it. It does not have all the fluff, ad copy text or a single exclamation mark. Instead, it is, in the words of Joe Friday, just the facts – or the good old five Ws.

All these facts need to be in the lede, or first paragraph – put all the news upfront, don’t bury it in the middle. So just get straight to the point and tell us:

  • What is going on?

  • Who is involved?

  • Where will it take happen?

  • When will it take place?

  • Why what does it mean, why is it relevant?

On January 30th at 2 p.m. the President of Mars will host an open house for earthlings at the Town Hall in Anytown, USA. All are welcome.

Then some background (or the how):

This first open house by the Martians, and they hope to explain why they are coming to earth.

Then a quote:

“It is great to have the Martians join us,” says Anytown Mayor, James L Mildew.

A good release should fit right in the pages of a newspaper – and if the news is not all right there, tightly presented, it will fail.

Basically, the media has 8-second window to read through your press release, or delete it. If there is no news, they will click “delete.”

But, don’t stop there!

You can post your release to your blog, or as a link to social media. There age lots of free and paid service that will run it online for you too.

In fact the well-written release will have us much life online as it might in hands of the media.

How far it goes is up to you.

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