Press Release Tip 3
You don’t need the “5 W’s” in the first paragraph.
Busy journalists like the “5 W’s” (who, what, when, where, why and how) because they spend just a few seconds reading a press release before deciding whether to use it or toss it. So they want the key facts in the first paragraph.
This is referred to as the “inverted pyramid” style of writing, and it was fine bak when we were writing only for journalists.
But other people who aren’t journalists and find your press releases online might spend five or 10 minutes, or even a half hour, reading all the press releases at your website.
Later in the course, I’ll explain the two times when you’ll want to use the “5 W’s.” But now that you’re writing press releases so that anyone can find them, you can include one or more of these things in the first paragraph:
- An enticing question that pulls readers into the release.
- Relevant keywords that can be found by the search engines.
- A problem and a solution.
- Free tips or advice
- Your key message
- Something that explains who the release is written for.
In future lessons, you’ll see examples of all of the above.
Opportunity #3 to write a press release: An anniversary
If your company or nonprofit is celebrating an anniversary, write a press release. Most people, including journalists, won’t think that’s newsworthy. That’s OK. Use your anniversary as a springboard to announce something else that ties into your business.
For example, on your 5th anniversary, you can sponsor a contest and ask your customers to tell you about the most unusual way they use your product or service. On your 10th anniversary, you can have a special event like an open house. See How to Get Publicity for Your Company’s Anniversary. Here are ideas for promoting a law firm anniversary. And here’s a clever publicity hook for a company that’s been in business a long time and celebrating an anniversary.
Next: No hype or industry jargon.