Thursday, February 7, 2008

Debra Wilson Explains the Why & How on Press Releases for Writers

This evening we had the opportunity to hear from PR expert, Debra Wilson, on the basics of the writing and distribution of press releases.


Debra provided the group with a basic press release format along with the following helpful tips:

  • Focus on what the reporter/reader will care about.
  • Grab their attention with your headline.
  • If at all possible, answer a "how" question as well as who, what, when, where and why.
  • The first paragraph is key so make it count.
  • Use a "banner" paragraph at the end of your release that describes your organization.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Never use more than two pages.
  • Keep in mind that editors receive hundreds of press releases.
  • Write in third person.
  • Study press releases that others have written (search online).
  • Make sure there are no spelling errors. Most releases are printed exactly as you send them.
  • Use a quote when possible.
  • Address your release to the appropriate person.
  • If you send via e-mail to multiple contacts, address them in a blind copy.
  • Give the reporter a few days before you follow up with them.
  • Be available to editors and reporters. If they call or e-mail you, respond quickly.
  • Don't give up!

Debra also serves as FCCW's VP of Membership. Thank you Debra for the great information.

This is the first evening that we started collecting membership dues. 

Total Attendees at today's meeting:  7

New members joining today: Ron Moore, Inez Holger, Mary McCormack, Lorraine Haataia

Total current members: 4

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