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Constructing a successful press release

From: Monday Productivity Pointers

Video: Constructing a successful press release

My name is Jess Stratton and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointer. I told you how to write a letter of recommendation in a previous video. Now the most important thing that needs is a really compelling headline.

Constructing a successful press release

My name is Jess Stratton and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointer. I told you how to write a letter of recommendation in a previous video. Well, today, I'm switching to tell you about another common letter you may have to write one day, a press release. This is just a good skill to have in general, which is why I felt compelled to sneak one into a Monday Productivity Pointer. A press release is a document with a very specific format to be sent to news outlets as a way to get announcements out to media sites, such as online web sites and even local newspapers and local news channels.

So, knowing why one would send a press release is key to being able to write a good one. Here's something to keep in mind before you start. A reporter gets lots of stories coming in all the time from all different places. Like non-profits and neighborhoods and schools. Your sole job in writing a press release is to make it as easy as possible for them to run your story. And grab their interest, so the reporters feel like they have to talk to you to find out the rest of the story. That's why you're doing this.

Now I did call it a story. I did that to help you realize that a press release is about a newsworthy event. You need to make it as compelling and exciting as possible. It's really not just about an announcement that you have, or an ad. So a list of features that your product contains isn't newsworthy. So it's about making the reporter interested enough to find out more and to contact you about it. So you have to actually find a way to turn that announcement into an actual newsworthy story. Try to feel like you're doing the reporter's work for them.

Find the value in your announcement. Why would people want to know this? So let's dive in and just like the recommendation letter, we're going to start with the structure. Because knowing the structure of how to put it together is half the battle. So you do need a data release at the top, so when the news can be made public and most cases you can just write, for immediate release, because whenever you send it out to them they can use it. You also need to worry about length. Your press release should fit comfortably on one page The next thing it needs is some contact information and we will put this at the bottom of the page and I'll show you that, but you also need good contact information right at the top.

Now the most important thing that needs is a really compelling headline. This is where you turn your announcement into news. So for my example, I have a newsworthy headline of, the top gadgets parents are asking for this holiday season. Again the first few sentences here are key. It's important to know that if the first few sentences of your press release aren't read, you can be 100% sure that the rest of it won't be read either. So, don't hold back any key information in that first paragraph.

Get it all out as quickly as possible and leave the rest of the paragraphs for supporting information. So, here's my first paragraph. I have one quick sentence. Is your favorite gadget on the list? Technology coach Jess Stratton has compiled a must-have list of gadgets to make the lives of busy parents easier. So, now I've told them who I am, and what I've done, and why I've done it. It's me. I've compiled a list of gadgets, and I've done it to make the lives of busy parents easier. And I got that all out right in the first sentence.

Now, in the next paragraph, I can put some supporting information, such as maybe some key things that are on the list itself. While it's not necessary, a quote in a press release is helpful, and it also does lend a more newsworthy feel to a release. The final paragraph can be a small boilerplate with information about the company. Which is helpful for reporters to know. Who's actually involved, what the company is, and who's actually submitting this press release anyway? So here's my boiler plate, way down at the bottom.

It's just some basic information about the company. Now always include a, For More Information section. Here's mine. For additional information, your contact name, a phone number and email address. So remember, make it easy for the reporter. Your story can't get run if there's no way to get in touch with you. This is why, in the For Additional Information section, it's very important to include an actual contact, not just a generic company phone number with no name attached to it.

So, if you have to write a press release, now you'll know how. You can just rewatch this video, and remember, the most important thing is to make your announcement newsworthy

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Monday Productivity Pointers

115 video lessons · 47294 viewers

Jess Stratton

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  1. 4m 59s
    1. Using Doodle for easy group scheduling
      4m 59s
  2. 9h 56m
    1. Welcome to the series
      1m 13s
    2. Running a group meeting with coworkers
      7m 19s
    3. Recording and marketing chat on air
      8m 30s
    4. Creating a quick presentation
      5m 37s
    5. Presenting from an iPad or computer
      3m 36s
    6. Migrating your accounts to
      9m 55s
    7. Setting budgets and goals
      7m 4s
    8. Collaborating on team documents
      5m 53s
    9. Creating an online photo gallery
      4m 58s
    10. Kickstarter: Setting up your project
      10m 41s
    11. Driving traffic to your project
      5m 48s
    12. Conducting a voice call with a virtual team
      6m 40s
    13. Adding video and chat notifications
      4m 7s
    14. Accepting a payment with Square
      4m 35s
    15. Using the Square Wallet
      2m 32s
    16. Setting up shop on Etsy
      6m 31s
    17. Tracking your Etsy sales with Shop Stats
      4m 9s
    18. Raising your Klout score
      7m 3s
    19. Earning Klout perks
      4m 55s
    20. Skydrive: Collaborating on team documents
      4m 56s
    21. Skydrive: Accessing files on the go
      2m 57s
    22. Setting up Google alerts to track your data
      5m 5s
    23. Removing a page from the Google search index
      4m 42s
    24. Browsing privately in public
      4m 38s
    25. Cleaning up your session before logging out
      5m 8s
    26. Troubleshooting a remote computer with TeamViewer
      3m 42s
    27. Taking screenshots from a PC
      4m 12s
    28. Taking screenshots from a Mac
      3m 36s
    29. Setting up Find My iPhone
      3m 36s
    30. Using iCloud to find an iPhone
      3m 49s
    31. Sampling color from the screen
      5m 27s
    32. Using for inspiration
      3m 22s
    33. Get an audio clip onto YouTube using iPhoto
      5m 49s
    34. Creating playlists and customizing your YouTube channel
      5m 41s
    35. Record your screen using QuickTime
      3m 14s
    36. Record your screen using CamStudio
      2m 34s
    37. Using Tempo Smart Calendar when you are going to be late
      3m 9s
    38. Using Twist to let your customers know where you are
      3m 38s
    39. Using Wunderlist to track multiple projects
      9m 0s
    40. Use the Wunderlist browser extension to create tasks on the web
      5m 46s
    41. Using Smart Mailboxes with Mac Mail
      6m 52s
    42. Customizing the Mac Mail View
      7m 13s
    43. What's a firewall?
      7m 36s
    44. What is the Cloud?
      4m 42s
    45. Creating your own recipe with IFTTT
      7m 19s
    46. Browsing existing recipes with IFTTT
      5m 7s
    47. Installing the Feedly browser extension
      6m 34s
    48. Customizing Feedly
      6m 53s
    49. Understanding the basics of Twitter
      9m 9s
    50. Using Tweetdeck to handle multiple accounts
      9m 14s
    51. Working with URL Shorteners
      5m 45s
    52. Using
      8m 31s
    53. Creating Quick Parts to re-use text
      6m 19s
    54. Moving your Autotext to a new computer
      6m 7s
    55. Shutting off access to social networks
      6m 18s
    56. Hiding taskbars
      2m 36s
    57. Exploring the iOS 7 Update
      10m 7s
    58. Running a productive online meeting
      3m 44s
    59. Getting meeting minutes faster
      6m 47s
    60. TextExpander for Mac
      7m 6s
    61. Breevy for Windows
      3m 44s
    62. Using Smart Folders on a Mac
      5m 52s
    63. Using Windows Libraries
      4m 25s
    64. Finding large attachments in your email apps
      5m 13s
    65. Use Ninite to install all your PC apps at once
      3m 30s
    66. Use Get Mac Apps to install your Mac apps at once
      2m 56s
    67. Creating a disposable email address with Guerrilla mail
      4m 7s
    68. Creating an email address that lasts only 10 minutes
      3m 16s
    69. Finding and adding local vendors to enhance your iOS reminders
      3m 45s
    70. Adding geofencing to Find My Friends
      3m 20s
    71. Turning a Word document contract into a PDF
      4m 1s
    72. Turning a PowerPoint presentation into a PDF
      4m 10s
    73. Resetting browser site passwords
      7m 11s
    74. Disabling toolbars, resizing screens, and accidentally closed tabs
      7m 42s
    75. Identifying your wifi's weakest link
      7m 59s
    76. Setting up dual band speed on your router
      7m 36s
    77. Add your social media activity to your website
      8m 54s
    78. Using WordPress mobile to update on the go
      4m 48s
    79. Matching the header row on your spreadsheet files
      8m 20s
    80. Using a formula to merge first and last name columns
      5m 58s
    81. Using JoliDrive to browse cloud app data
      5m 11s
    82. Using JoliDrive on an iPad
      4m 31s
    83. Finding deals on eBay using misspelled listings
      4m 18s
    84. Searching for promotional and coupon codes online
      5m 52s
    85. Sending real postcards from your computer with Postagram
      4m 25s
    86. Using Postagram to send a real postcard from your smartphone
      3m 55s
    87. Getting to Inbox Zero
      11m 4s
    88. Using existing GMail labels with Mailbox
      3m 19s
    89. Adding 2-step authentication
      3m 39s
    90. Enabling in-app PIN codes
      3m 31s
    91. Accessing your digital movies
      5m 20s
    92. Copying movies onto a device
      3m 25s
    93. Using Genius Scan to scan your documents
      3m 34s
    94. Sending your scans
      2m 41s
    95. Using Acrobat to ink sign a PDF
      4m 49s
    96. Writing a letter of recommendation
      7m 49s
    97. Constructing a successful press release
      4m 48s
    98. Troubleshooting wireless security
      4m 48s
    99. Writing a claim letter
      5m 22s
    100. The best reasons to try online chat customer service
      5m 9s
    101. How to do a firmware update
      6m 34s
    102. Siri, your iPhone assistant
      4m 48s
    103. Writing an email that gets read
      4m 51s
    104. Writing an email that requires action
      2m 54s
    105. Your Blu-ray questions answered
      3m 50s
    106. Using LittleBit to photograph your goal progress
      3m 9s
    107. Exporting WordPress blog entries
      3m 28s
    108. Understanding how Office 365 works
      5m 9s
    109. Using Waze for crowdsourced GPS
      2m 58s
    110. Downloading your Facebook timeline
      3m 10s
    111. Scheduling email with Boomerang
      4m 24s
    112. Google Labs for Calendar
      2m 58s
    113. Finding missing songs in iTunes on your iPhone
      2m 10s
    114. Requesting your Twitter archive
      2m 59s

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