Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How to Write a Press Release

1. Write the headline. It should be brief, clear and to the point: an ultra-compact version of the press release’s key point.
News release headlines should have a "grabber" to attract readers, i.e., journalists, just as a newspaper headline is meant to grab readers. It may describe the latest achievement of an organization, a recent newsworthy event, a new product or service. For example, "XYZ Co. enters strategic partnership with ABC Co. in India & United States."

Headlines are written in bold and are typically larger than the press release text. Conventional press release headlines are present-tense and exclude "a" and "the" as well as forms of the verb "to be" in certain contexts.

The first word in the press release headline should be capitalized, as should all proper nouns. Most headline words appear in lower-case letters, although adding a stylized "small caps" style can create a more graphically news-attractive look and feel. Do not capitalize every word.

The simplest method to arrive at the press release headline is to extract the most important keywords from your press release. Now from these keywords, try to frame a logical and attention-getting statement. Using keywords will give you better visibility in search engines, and it will be simpler for journalists and readers to get the idea of the press release content.

2. Write the press release body copy. The press release should be written as you want it to appear in a news story.
Start with the date and city in which the press release is originated. The city may be omitted if it will be confusing, for example if the release is written in New York about events in the company's Chicago division.

The lead, or first sentence, should grab the reader and say concisely what is happening. The next 1-2 sentences then expand upon the lead.

The press release body copy should be compact. Avoid using very long sentences and paragraphs. Avoid repetition and over use of fancy language and jargon.

A first paragraph (two to three sentences) must actually sum up the press release and the further content must elaborate it. In a fast-paced world, neither journalists nor other readers would read the entire press release if the start of the article didn't generate interest.

Deal with actual facts - events, products, services, people, targets, goals, plans, projects. Try to provide maximum use of concrete facts. A simple method for writing an effective press release is to make a list of following things: the who, what, when, where, why and how.
3. Communicate the 5 Ws and the H. Who, what, when, where, why, and how. 
Then consider the points below if pertinent.

  • What is the actual news?
  • Why this is news.
  • The people, products, items, dates and other things related with the news.
  • The purpose behind the news.
  • Your company - the source of this news.

Now from the points gathered, try to construct paragraphs and assemble them sequentially: The headline > the summary or introduction of the news > event or achievements > product > people > again the concluding summary > the company.

The length of a press release should be no more than two pages. If you are sending a hard copy, text should be double-spaced.

The more newsworthy you make the press release copy, the better the chances of it being selected by a journalist or reporting. 
Find out what "newsworthy" means to a given market and use it to hook the editor or reporter. 
(See http://www.prbootcamponline.eventbrite.com for hands on instruction)

4. Include information about the company.
When a journalist picks up your press release for a story, he/she would logically have to mention the company in the news article. Journalists can then get the company information from this section.

After the title, use a paragraph or two to describe your company with 5/6 lines each. The text must describe your company, its core business and the business policy. Many businesses already have professionally written brochures, presentations, business plans, etc. - that introductory text can be put here.

At the end of this section, point to your website. The link should be the exact and complete URL without any embedding so that, even if this page is printed, the link will be printed as it is. For example: http://www.ministrymarketingsolutions.com Companies which maintain a separate media page on their websites must point to that URL here. A media page typically has contact information and press kits.

5. Tie it together. 
Provide some extra information links that support your press release. See www.pamperrypr.com

If your press release is really newsworthy, journalists would surely like more information or would like to interview key people associated with it.

If you are comfortable with the idea of letting your key people being directly contacted by media, you can provide their contact details on the press release page itself. For example, in case of some innovation, you can provide the contact information of your engineering or research team for the media.

Otherwise, you must provide the details of your media/PR department in the "Contact" section. If you do not have dedicated team for this function, you must appoint somebody who will act as a link between the media and your people.

The contact details must be limited and specific only to the current press release. The contact details must include:

  • The Company's Official Name
  • Media Department's official Name and Contact Person
  • Office Address
  • Telephone and fax Numbers with proper country/city codes and extension numbers
  • Mobile Phone Number (optional)
  • Timings of availability
  • E-mail Addresses
  • Website

7. Signal the end of the press release with three # symbols, centered directly underneath the last line of the release. This is a journalistic standard. ###

 From http://easypr.com/
See www.PamPerryPRCoach.com too and join www.ChocolatePagesNetwork.com!

For free special report on what public relations agencies do and what they cost, go to: 
Free Special Report from Pam Perry, PR Coach

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Are You Making Enough As An Author?

Free teleseminar Thursday, April 29th and
discover strategies for boosting your income in
any economy!

Most non-fiction authors never begin to tap their financial potential, which is too bad because there are often some relatively easy ways they can make a whole lot more money.  

You're invited to a free telephone seminar on which you'll discover proven tips for creating spin-off income streams based on your book or expertise, how one non-fiction author created over $720,000/year of non-royalty income and seven other surprisingly easy strategies for quickly making a quantum leap in your
income as an author/expert.

To register, click here now: 

 Want to start getting paid to give speeches?
You'll discover how you can get started in the
lucrative world of speaking even if you're not
famous (yet). Get the Synergy Energy book
and get on the call! 

Those that show up, GO Up!

See www.PamPerryPRCoach.com too and join www.ChocolatePagesNetwork.com!

GET OUT THERE! PR Pro Shop: www.pamperrypr.com

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Help for those who want SIMPLE answers about self-publishing & book marketing


Are You Ready to Get Booked and Featured in the Media Like Never Before? Hear Rick Frishman, my mentor, RAVE about this.

I've been doing PR for 20 years. Rick Frishman has been doing it for 33. Wish we had that tool sooner!!!

 Listen to short “rant and rave” from Rick. Funny….

But seriously, this new secret weapon can get authors more speaking gigs and more media attention...instantly!

It's THE New "Totally Green" Industry Standard for getting yourself "seen" in this very crowded digital age. 

At last a solution that provides people like you (speakers, authors, coaches, trainers and consultants) with a quick, easy, cost-effective, cutting-edge tool that streamlines your marketing materials and generates your very own customized online media kit in just minutes!  “WOW!”

Make it easy for agents, publicists, clients and industry professionals to quickly and easily acquire your promotional
materials so that they can hire you and feature you in the media...instantly!

Now you can brand yourself efficiently and effectively, represent yourself the way YOU want to be perceived with a
 professional online media kit that you can be proud of!

It's time for the world to see the best-selling author, world-renowned speaker, industry expert that you were meant to be!

Learn how you can make it easy for the media to find you and book you by checking it out today! 

Best of success, Pam Perry, founder of 
American Christian Writers/Detroit Chapter
(ACW/Detroit) and author of "Synergy Energy" 

Listen to the Chocolate Pages show:
It's a PODCAST adding VOICE to the blog!


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Publicity and Publishing TODAY - The battle between Old School versus New School

Those Golden Days of Publishing are Gone!

In the golden days, an author would secure a book deal through an agent, publish the book, go on tour escorted by the publicist or media escort – and if they scored enough publicity, they’d become a “best selling” author. 

Or at the very least, the author’s book sales would cover the tour, pay back the advance and make the publisher some money. Profit was the name of the game – and the system was working – until about 2005.

Suddenly bookstores, media properties and publishing houses began to crumble.  The internet was the “game changer” and the traditional book publishing and promotion process have become ineffective.

Up until this point, the world wide web was for those techy-geeky folks and had no real impact on book sales. But now Amazon.com, print-on-demand, viral marketing messages, social media and powerful online communities have leveled the playing field.

Bookstores, agents, fat clunky press kits and publicists scoring traditional media are not the keys to an author’s success anymore.

There are tons of self-published or independent books that have made history – and surprised the publishing world. Like The Shack, a Christian novel by William P. Young was originally self-published in 2005. And as of February 2010, over seven million copies in print worldwide, spent seventy weeks holding the number one spot on the New York Times bestseller list, and it continues to remain in the top ten to date.

The success of The Shack demonstrates what word-of-mouth and community networking can do for a self-published book, but more interestingly, the market strength of religious books in the United States, within and without the book publishing industry.

So let’s compare old school and new school way of doing things:

Old School:   Traditional hard and soft-cover books
New School:  Digital books, ebooks, Kindles, ipad and other wireless reading devices are on the way!

Old School:  Book tours
New School: Blog tours & webinars

Old School:  Getting reviews in magazines and newspapers
New School: Getting reviews on Amazon and in book communities where readers hang out like Shelfari, goodreads, librarything.com, rawsistaz and more

Old School:  Web 1.0 (webmasters needed for HTML and complicated stuff)
New School: Web 2.0 (freedom - just a blogger blog or wordpress.com blog) Two-way communication!

Old School:   Mailing out ARCs, books and big press kits
New SchoolEPK(electronic press kits) and ebooks

Old School:  Media Escort
New School: Virtual Assistant

Old School:  Press releases emailed  and mailed to media
New School: SEO press releases sent or using online media matching service like Pitch Rate 

Old School:  Printing, stamping and mailing newsletters to mailing list accumulated over the years
New School: Sending out eNewsletters & continual email marketing campaigns using autoresponders and broadcast emails

Old School:  Creating & updating media lists
New School: Capturing emails of interested readers using an “opt-in” database program like aweber

Old School:  TV interviews

Old School:  Authors visiting reading groups and libraries
New School: Teleconferencing or streaming live to many groups at the same time from the comfort of your home via Skype or a bridge line

Old School:  Postcard mailings to readers, bookstores and organizations
New School:  Eblast postcard to thousands using target list brokers like Goodgirlbookclub, BlackGospelPromo, ChristianPRGroup, BlackNews.com,  or DetroitGospel.com

Old School:  Radio Interviews
New School: Podcasts and internet radio shows (heard online or downloaded via itunes)

Old School:  Magazine features
New School: Ezine Features

Old School:   Writing a column in newspapers
New School:  Syndicated articles submitted on article directories like Ezine using keywords and generating web traffic or writing a regular blog

Old School:  Stigma that self-published books “didn’t cut it” and that’s why they’re not with a major house
New School: Savvy self-published authors are doing it big, getting noticed, making money and living a successful career doing what they love – writing!

Old School:  Generating publicity in media outlets and getting no immediate input from audiences
New School: Building relationships, getting direct response from readers and creating communities online

Old School:  Getting radio, TV, Newspaper and magazine reviews
New School: Creating thousands of followers, friends and fans online who interact with you and are connected with you through your whole career
  Ministry marketing pioneer and PR Coach Pam Perry helps African American Christian authors garner publicity and leverage online strategies. As a 20-year PR veteran, she is also the co-author of
"Synergy Energy: How to Use the Power of Partnerships to Market Your Book, Grow Your Business and Brand Your Ministry."  

For a free MP3 of "What Every Author Should Know," go to http://www.PamPerryPR.com She's also the creator of the ChocolatePagesNetwork, a social network for Christian authors and the Chocolate Pages Show. 
She offers help at her blogsite: http://www.MinistryMarketingSolutions.com with her monthly Ezine and teleclasses.