How should you start your press release?
Will you lead with:
· A question that invites interest?
· Provocative stats that alarm people?
· Wild predictions of something big?
· Bold statements that demand attention?
· Major accusations against a known entity, person, or institution?
· A confession or secret exposed?
· A joke, quote, or fact?
Your opening salvo is so, so important. The media has no time to waste and reads things quickly and abruptly skimming for certain ideas, terms, or concepts. They need to know right away, without bullshit or fluff, what exactly are you offering them? So be straight to the point, but be bold, confident, and creative.
Don’t bury a big reveal or your most shocking element. See the first paragraph or two of your press release as the key real estate to win the media over. They will stop reading if you haven’t lured them in early on.
I would suggest that when you look to put a media pitch together that you jot down key points that you want to make. They don’t initially have to be in any particular order. They don’t have to be complete sentences or even spelled correctly and written in a consistent tense. Just free think. Let the ideas pour out.
Then, after your mind dump releases your ideas, facts, and questions, begin to arrange them in an order of priority. Piece them together like a puzzle. One thing should lead to another. Cut out the least important stuff. Go light on details. A pitch is just a teaser – something to alert the media there’s a good story, but not so detailed as to tell the entire story.
Your introductory paragraph sets the pace for the rest of the press release. It dictates what will be discussed and in what style. Are you pitching a news story? A human interest piece? A profile piece? Your first paragraph will tell all.
Your press release breaks down into these parts:
· Headline – keep it short and snazzy
· Subheadline – supports the headline
· Opening two paragraphs
· A quote or two from you
· 5 to 6 bullet points reflecting key messages
· Concluding paragraph that summarizes things
How you start off will dictate if they read any further or want to follow up with you. Once you craft your press release, go and read it as if hearing it for the first time. Do those first few paragraphs really grab your attention? Are they the strongest things you can possibly say? If yes is the answer, then put your pen down and send it out.
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.
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