Thursday, June 23, 2016

Should I Release A Press Release for My New Book?

June 23, 2016

Dear Cathy:

I just released my first book. Do I need to do a press release to put my book out there? New Book, Connecticut

Dear New Book:

The best way to capture the attention of news entities is to send out a “press release.” Press releases are also called “news” or “media” releases. 

You should distribute a press release when you are launching a media campaign; Rolling out a marketing campaign; Holding an event (seminar, luncheon, conference, party, etc.); Releasing a new product or product line; Announcing to prospects and customers that you’ve changed your location or are opening a new branch; Announcing that a company has made staff promotions or signed a new partner; and publishing quarterly and year-end financial reports.

Press releases are the most important documents to media entities. Media entities pay close attention to press releases because they are typically short and to the point. Many times if you don’t put your important events in a press release, it will be ignored by the media.

Nowadays, many news entities are accepting releases by email. Remember, these new entities can be members of your family, friends, and neighbors that will help you get your story out.

When constructing a press/news release it should be no more than 250 words (one page) double-spaced; It should have a headline that summarizes the story, helps the editor find the lead, and organizes the story; It is written in third person, never first person; A great release tells the story in only four paragraphs; Each paragraph should be less than thirty words; The purpose of each paragraph is to move the story along; Include a contact name and telephone number in case the media requires more information or clarification; Always date the release; If it is for immediate release (and it usually is), print those words after or below the current date; and if the release is to be held for any length of time, indicate the appropriate date.

Paragraph one of the press/news release contains the basic facts: who, what, where, when, and why. Paragraph two offers a slightly broader explanation of the basic reason for the release. Paragraphs three and four contain more information on the reason for the release.

Put the least important facts at the bottom. That’s where editors cut first, even without reading. For a small fee, public relations newswire services will circulate your news release for you.

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