Writing effective press releases is one skill that you can definitely use to promote your business, products and services. Press releases are similar to articles but they include newsworthy information and often include quotes by a person that is relevant to the information. Once you’ve constructed a quality press release, you can submit it to both online and offline sources, often for free. There are many online press release sites such as Free Press Release, PRLog, PRWeb Direct, I-newswire and the list goes on and on.

Writing effective press releases means following a clear-cut format and using appropriate content. In general, you should include a header for offline sources which includes your name and contact information. For online sources, you will just fill in the necessary information and your header will be generated by the site. The title of your press release should be in all capital letters and if possible, include a sub-header which capitalizes the first letter of each word. Make sure that the body of the press release (350-450 words) contains several paragraphs and is not all lumped together. And finally, you will have a closing line that invites readers to contact you for more information.

The headline is the most important part of the whole press release. It must be compelling but not promotional. The editor who reads your press release is looking for a good story that will impress his/her readers, not all of the benefits that your product or service offers. A good headline might be “DISCOVER HOW INTERNET MARKETING IS CREATING MORE JOBS FOR THE UNEMPLOYED” for example. A sub-title to this might be: “Former Executives Raving About Their New Found Income Possibilities.”

The rest of the press release should be used to back up what you stated in the title and sub-title. You’ll also want to use some quotes here which will add to the credibility of the press release. A good rule of thumb is to have three to four short paragraphs. Use the last paragraph to do a soft type of promotion. Here you can describe what you and your company offer to the public.

Finally, at the end you will invite readers to contact you for more information. Include your name, email address and even your telephone number if you feel it is appropriate.

General tips to keep in mind are to avoid really salesy, hpyey or overly promotional words and phrases such as “revolutionary”, “One-of-a-kind”, “unique”, etc; always use the third person–never use the words “I” or “we” unless you are quoting someone else; keep it short and simple; and look at other good examples of press releases to get extra guidance.

It might take a few tries to start getting the hang of it but before you know it, if you follow these basic guidelines, you’ll be writing effective press releases without even thinking about it.

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