Press Release Tip 48
Write for the Web
Online marketing expert BL Ochman says the rules for writing press releases for the web are different than the rules for writing them on paper.
Make sentence and paragraphs short.
White space is your friend. It makes reading from the screen easier.
Nothing is harder to read than a solid block of copy.
Use the simplest possible word and sentence structure.
Read it out loud and make sure you don’t get stuck on complex construction.
If you trip on a word in the midst of reading a sentence aloud, rewrite the sentence.
Use bullet points whenever you can.
Here’s a before-and-after sample of a truly dreadful 506-word release. BL reworked it into a compact 296 words that explain the news right up front. In both versions, BL’s comments are highlighted in brackets. The name of the company has been changed to protect the guilty.
Aged Corporation Launches Latest Cellular Phone Safety Breakthrough
ST. Agnes, MI — Aged Corporation, a leading manufacturer of cellular phone safety solutions, today announced the first cellular phone headset radiation shield of its kind in the wireless market. [This lead does not give us a clue about the breakthrough.]
Tests conducted in the United Kingdom in November 2000, revealed headsets increase the amount of cellular phone radiation penetrating a user’s head by more than 300% when compared to holding a phone against the ear. In December 2000, the British government reversed their earlier endorsement advising consumers to use headsets as radiation exposure safety devices. [This info should be in the lead.]
Available in May 2001, AgedGuardTM Headset Radiation Shields prevent up to 98% of the radiation emitted by cellular phones from being transferred through headset wires, and deflect up to 99.9% of the radiation emitted from a headset earpiece. Frequencies up to 2.6 GHz. are supported. [And here is the story angle at last!]
“There are misconceptions among wireless consumers who believe they are protected from cellular phone radiation if they use a headset,” said M. David Kramer, President and CEO. “The wire between a phone and earpiece serves as an antenna and radiation emissions from the phone are transferred via the wire to the earpiece.” [Finally, here is what they are selling. How much does it cost?]
AgedGuardTM Headset Radiation Shields consist of two components that are installed without tools, including:
A reusable device which clamps over the headset wire above the plug that inserts into the phone
A hypoallergenic lightweight foam cover which fits over the earpiece.
The Headset Wire Shield fits all wireless phone headsets and blocks up to 98% of the radiation transferred up the wire to the earpiece without affecting sound quality, thus eliminating concerns about absorption by organs such as the liver and kidneys. When combined with an Earpiece Shield, shielding effectiveness at the ear is up to 99.9%.
The initial Earpiece Shield model fits all round-shaped “in-the-ear” headset models currently sold, including EarBud and EarGel models.
Both components will be available individually or as a complete set. The set includes one Headset Wire Shield and two Earpiece Shields, one of which is a spare, and can be used with any cellular phone headset having an in-the-ear round earpiece. Headset Wire Shields for larger wire diameters and other Earpiece Shield styles are being considered for future production.
AgedGuard™ Headset Radiation Shields allow users to enjoy the convenience of a headset while being protected from the radiation.
Aged products are sold by worldwide authorized dealers. For more information about Aged products and dealer locations, please visit the Web site http://www.agedcorp.com or call (211) 588-9239. In addition, the site has industry information, articles and scientific studies on the effects of cellular phone radiation.
About Aged Corporation: Since 1974, Aged Corporation has offered a unique spectrum of technology based solutions, ranging from fiber optics, wireless communication and laser products. Aged Corporation is based in St. Louis, Missouri, and is privately held.
Aged™ and AgedGuard™ are trademarks of Aged Corporation. Patents are currently pending on each component of the Headset Radiation Shield.
Matthew E. Brunnworth
[Note from Joan: Notice the problem-to-solution angle in the headline and lead.]
Even Cell Phone Headset Users Get Radiation;
Aged Corp’s New Headset Shield Blocks 98%
ST. Louis, MO – Using a cell phone headset can expose you to up to 300 times more radiation than holding the phone to your ear according to a recent British Government study. Now a new headset radiation shield by Aged Corporation can block 98% of that radiation.
The new AgedGuardTM Headset Radiation Shields fit all wireless phone headsets and block up to 98% of the radiation transferred up the wire to the earpiece without affecting sound quality, thus eliminating concerns about absorption by organs such as the liver and kidneys. Frequencies up to 2.6 GHz. are supported and the product is available in May.
Growing evidence shows that headsets are not giving cell phone users the radiation protection originally claimed, says M. David Jaker, President and CEO of Aged, the leading manufacturer of cellular phone safety solutions.
He notes that in December 2000 the British government reversed its earlier recommendation that consumers use headsets as radiation exposure safety shields, after new evidence about headset dangers emerged in tests conducted in the United Kingdom in November.
“There are misconceptions among wireless consumers who believe they are protected from cellular phone radiation if they use a headset,” Kramer said. “The wire between a phone and earpiece serves as an antenna, and radiation emissions from the phone are transferred via the wire to the earpiece.”
Aged products are sold by worldwide authorized dealers. For more information about Aged products and dealer locations, please visit the Web site http://www.agedcorp.com or call (211) 588-9239. The site has industry information, articles and scientific studies on the effects of cellular phone radiation. [Refer to an onsite press room where voluminous info can be provided.]
Opportunity #48 to write a press release: New clients, customers
If you’ve taken on a new client or customer, write a press release. It’s best to check with the client first, however. If you’re a consultant who teaches companies how to deal with problem employees, that’s not something the new client would want broadcast to the world.
If your new client is part of a trend, that could be something that you could include in the press release, or in a pitch to journalists. If, for example, you’re an executive recruiter, and more companies are adding unusual perks for the spouses and families of executives who they want to lure, let the media know.
Piggybacking on emerging trends is just one of hundreds of ideas I urge you to consider in my ebook “How to be a Kick-butt Publicity Hound,” a one-stop shop for anyone who needs to learn the basics of how to build a publicity campaign, or super-advanced tricks. Read more about what you’ll learn in the updated Sixth Edition.
Next: Makeovers for different audiences.