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The 8 elements of a great Press Release

What you want your press release to do is to get an editor's attention and get him or her interested enough in your story to come out and interview you and make some pictures. If pictures are taken, you are almost sure to get a half-page to a full-page story out of it.

1. The top part of the press release should use the exact format described above for the FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE and the contact information. The contact information absolutely must be a phone number the will reach the contact person -- ideally the number should be answered by the contact person. A cell phone is great for this.

2. Next have a powerful and compelling one or two line headline in large print and in bold and centered.

3. The first paragraph should completely summarize your story and tell what it is about.

4. The second paragraph should be a direct quote from you telling what happened, what you are going to do or what you have done.

5. The rest of the press release should give a few more intriguing details about the story and include a few more quotes by you.

6. Keep the press release to a single page. This is an absolute must. Double space the press release and include an extra blank line between the paragraphs. If you have to, you can single space the last paragraph or two or use one and a half line spacing instead of double spacing to squeeze a little more information onto the single page.

7. The last paragraph should always start with, For more information . . . and give the contact information again. It should be the same information given at the top of the press release.

8. The very last line of the press release should be three # # # separated by a space between them and they should be centered. This does two things. It tells the reader that it is the end of the press release and it also tells the editor that he or she is dealing with a professional who knows how to write a press release.

Follow the above directions and you can turn out compelling press releases that will get you a ton of free publicity.

Press releases will get you links and that is how the game is played.

One last point: You should fax your press releases to the newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations. Do not send them to any person's attention. The person who picks up the fax from the fax machine will know who to deliver it to.

It's also a good idea to have a sheet with a list of questions already prepared (of course, questions that you can answer). This is particularly important for radio and TV stations that want to interview you.

You also want to have what is called a Bio ready, which is a sheet telling about you. Most of the time you won't need these, but by all means the sheet them already completed.

Now you are armed with the information you need to get a LOT of free publicity with press releases, so now go make it happen.


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