Yesterday, we talked about some overall points about press releases. Now, for the standard press release itself.
At the top of the page, upper left corner, put either "For Immediate Release" or "For Release on [date]". In the upper right corner, type "Contact: [Name & Phone Number]".
Centered below that is your headline. This should be interesting to the paper and its readers. "I Won! I Won! I Won!" is only interesting to you. Larry Brill used this as a heading for a news release he sent out about a contest win: "Austin Author Named 'Worst Writer in America'" Now, that would catch your attention.
Write about 3 or 4 paragraphs, double-spaced, with an extra space between the paragraphs. Hook them with the first paragraph, and try to think like a journalist -- get in the who, what, when, where. Then follow up with 2 or 3 paragraphs that expand on the opener. In Larry Brill's 2nd paragraph, he put a quote from the contest coordinator. The third paragraph succinctly summarized the contest itself and told where and when Larry's winning entry would be published. The third paragraph told about Larry and ended with a quote from him about the contest win. The final paragraph was one line: "Brill is available for interviews and can be reached at [phone #]."
In addition to giving your contact info for interviews, be sure to include other vital data. If the release is primarily to publicize your book, include the full title, publisher, cost, whether hardcover or softcover, the publication date, all information for ordering, and your website address. If the release is to publicize a book signing, make sure you give the time of the signing, as well as the date, and the name of the store and its street address and phone number.
Editors get tons of releases. If you want yours noticed and run, you've got to make it interesting and newsworthy. If it's news, there's a good chance they'll run it. If it's an ad, you gotta pay to have it run.
6 months ago