Every kind of writing has a different “code.” There are tricks of form, word usage, sentence length, and punctuation. Each form has its own style – its own convention.
Press releases are no different.
You’d have thought I would have written a press release months ago about my SIX DEGREES project, but I’ve been hemming and hawing. I’ve written press releases before. I’ve read articles about writing press releases. I’m pretty good at converting my content to a specific form when I have an example. This shouldn’t have been a sticking point for me, but for whatever reason, it was.
The sticking point was the knowledge I’ve gained since my last press release.
There are a few approaches to writing press releases:
Publishable article of related content
The event announcement is straight forward. The sticking point for me was finding the right headline. Really. I’ve gotten very particular about my headlines. I run checks on each and every headline for anything I post or pitch. It took me a while to get to this point. I had to get rid of expectations I had around headlines to get out of my own way.
A publishable article of related content requires a brainstorm of related content. This type of press release is essentially a story pitch in press release format. It should be sexy by somehow catching the reader’s imagination.
When I think about this kind of press release, my brain blanks. I could force the issue, but I don’t think it would be pretty. I’m more likely to succeed with the first, more traditional press release at this point.
Now, you may think, “Alexis, your books are launching next Monday. Why write a press release at this point?”
A press release is always a good idea, even if you’re dragging your feet or not sure exactly where to send it. Here’s what you do (and part of what I’ll be doing after I share this post) for a more traditional event announcement release:
Find a press release example online – there’s about a million.
Put your info in the template.
Tweak it until you smile (or at least lose any nausea/tension you felt about this).
Find a list of press release sites where you can list it (that make the most sense for your needs/content) – submit your release.
Find a list of local outlets/stations/newspapers – send your release.
Find a list of local clubs that have interests related to your book – send your release.
Keep track of where you send your release in a simple spreadsheet, or if you’re tech savvy, a database.
That’s it. That’s the magic sauce. With that, I’m going to finish a third cup of coffee in hopes of producing a shiny press release myself.
Let me know how yours goes! I’ll put mine on the site shortly! 🙂
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