Press Release 101

The press release is often the most direct and cost-effective way to present your service, product, event, or business in general to any relevant audience. Though many variations exist, the basic pattern is both elegant and easy to compose. And for our purposes, the simplest way to organize your statement will involve answering a set of questions.

How can you name the service quickly? This will be your headline, and it will flow forward into the body of your brief presentation. If you are describing an art exhibit, for instance, name the artist, venue, and time, and follow it up with a relevant comment regarding what your audience will find. Is there a special value, or sale? Does the product represent a new technology or forum?

Remember to keep it short, generally less than a page. Imagine that your audience has only seconds to spare for your flyer, and never forget what you want the reader to do with the information you will have provided. Do you want a large crowd at the demonstration for your new microchip, or do you need for people to switch from cable to satellite TV? This is precisely where the foundations of good journalism will serve you best. Give the what, where, when, how, and why.

And make it funny, if you dare. Humor can be very disarming, for example, and since you’ve certainly spent a great deal of effort or time to create your service, you can use details from that process to enhance its appeal. Did you work for years on the software, and what precisely required the lion’s share of that time? The answer to this one might lead you to write that your technology came after a so-called “Aha” moment, complete with comic strip bubble and accompanying light bulb.

Short, sweet, and to the point, and with the delicate addition of attractive framing, this is the royal road to making your work’s result stand out. Inform, but also tease. If the Fall Line is your best yet, then a reference to being “blinded” by beauty is not at all out of the question. You want your target customer to feel that urge to attend/purchase/switch, and as most of us know from reading advertising copy, there are certain emotional benefits we get when we actually do what the sentences suggest. Take what a new smartphone might offer, for example, such as the sense of having distant family members right there in your home for a visit. Imagine these boons, write them down as goals, and find a concise way to make the connection with your reader quickly.

Last but not least for your consideration is the contact information. You are creating a brief but urgent thought in someone’s mind, after all? There should be additional questions. Where can tickets be purchased? Who is the contact person for bids?

Bringing it all together, as you can see, is as easy as answering a list of short questions!