Increase media exposure with the Power Of Press Releases

What is a press release?

A press release is pseudo-news story, written in third person that seeks to demonstrate to an editor or reporter the newsworthiness of a particular person, event, service or product.

How is a press release used?

Press releases are often sent alone, by e-mail, fax or snail mail. They can also be part of a full press kit, or may be accompanied by a pitch letter.

What is the proper press release format?

Here’s a sample press release template you can use to format your press release correctly:

 

Your Company Logo

 

Contact:  Your Name,                  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Your Address

Your Contact Number

Your email address

MAIN TITLE OF PRESS RELASE GOES HERE IN CAPITAL LETTERS

Sub Title Goes Here In Upper and Lower Case

 

Paragraph 1

 

Paragraph 2

 

Paragraph 3

 

“Boiler plate”

###

 

If you would like more information about this topic, or schedule an interview then please contact Your Name at 1234567890 or email at ab@cdefghi.com

 

What to put into your release

In terms of what to put into your release, one of the easiest ways is to link your release with an up and coming National Promotion.

I have included a list which you can download here.

Let’s use World Asthma Day on May 4th.

 

This is something that is relevant to me as an asthma sufferer and something that I can use in the local media to raise awareness of my classes if I wished to.  Now that I have selected my topic and can write the press release.

The headline

The headline should be something which attracts the local press attention and should NOT sell what you have to offer.  That is really important.

State your most exciting news, finding or announcement in as few words as possible. Emulate the headlines you see in the newspaper every day.

Bad Press Release Headline:
LOCAL FITNESS INSTRUCTOR TEACHES A GREAT CLASS EVERY MONDAY 7-8 WHICH HELPS PEOPLE WITH ASTHMA

Good Press Release Headline:
ASTHMA RELATED ILLNESSES ARE RISING. WORLD ASTHMA DAY AIMS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THIS CONDITION. FIND OUT THE SYMPTOMS AND WHAT ONE LOCAL INSTRUCTOR IS DOING ABOUT IT.

The Press Release Subhead

Basically, the press release subhead gives you the opportunity to flesh out your angle and further hook the reporter, without stepping on the drama of the press release headline.

Here’s a headline/subhead combo I might use for this press release:

ASTHMA RELATED ILLNESSES ARE RISING. WORLD ASTHMA DAY AIMS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF THIS CONDITION. FIND OUT THE SYMPTOMS AND WHAT ONE LOCAL INSTRUCTOR IS DOING ABOUT IT.

With costs of asthma topping £996m a year and with over 6 million people suffering from asthma in the UK, World Asthma Day believes that it is vital that you know how this can be treated and prevented.

The Lead paragraph

The lead paragraph includes the who, what, when, where and how of the story. If the reporter were only to read the lead of a good press release, he’d have everything he needed to get started.

There’s no room for BS, hype or sell. Just the facts.

Bad Press Release Lead
Local fitness instructor Lincoln Bryden’s classes which run on Monday nights 7 – 8, include body conditioning exercises, stretching, and a cardio vascular section which is great if you have asthma.

Good Press Release Lead
The recent pictures of David Beckham with his asthma pump, highlights the fact that anyone can suffer from asthma.  Although it can affect breathing, with proper treatment, there is no reason that asthma should impact yours or your child’s life.  In fact an estimated 75% of hospital admissions for asthma are avoidable and as many as 90% of the deaths from asthma are preventable. Local instructor and asthma sufferer Lincoln Bryden knows the importance of being active, and the positive effects that it has on his asthma.

The Rest of the Press Release

The balance of the press release serves to back up whatever claims were made in the lead and headline. So you can either quote experts, or give more facts about the condition.  So you could spend a paragraph talking about the effects of asthma on the body and how exercise helps.

Paragraph example:

When a person with asthma comes into contact with something that irritates their airways (an asthma trigger), the muscles around the walls of the airways tighten so that the airways become narrower and the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and starts to swell. Sometimes sticky mucus or phlegm builds up which can further narrow the airways. This makes it difficult to breathe

Paragraph explaining the benefits of exercise:

The asthma sufferer who exercises frequently actually reports having fewer attacks than when they did not exercise. The reason for this is simple. Physical exercise improves overall physical health and whenever we’re in good physical shape, out body’s cope much better with any complaints and illnesses that challenge us, including asthma.

Paragraph talking about World Asthma Day and what you are doing about it

The theme of World Asthma Day 2010 will be “You Can Control Your Asthma.” To this end Local instructor and asthma sufferer Lincoln Bryden will lead a fun fitness afternoon at blah blah blah leisure centre on 4th May from 2-4.  All proceeds from the day will go to the Global Initiative for Asthma

Finally, spend a sentence or two describing your company and what you do:

Lincoln Bryden has been a fitness instructor and personal trainer for over 20 years.  He has travelled the world teaching classes to a variety of instructors and provides advice on all matters of health and exercise. To find out more information about his fundraising day please contact him on 123456789 or email him at my@email.com

This paragraph is known as the “boilerplate” — an old newspaper term meaning a block of standard text that’s used over and over again (e.g. the explanation of symbols on the stock price page). In this case, it’s text that you might use at the bottom of all your releases.

Place your boilerplate right above the # # #’s.

One more trick: below the ###’s, add a line that says something like:

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Lincoln Bryden, please call him at 123456789or e-mail Lincoln at my@email.com

This method is really powerful in attracting local publicity for you and your services.  By linking your press releases to National Events, it increases the chances of your releases being picked up by the local press. Remember there is something happening every month so if you were lucky enough to get a press release featured each month, when ever someone thinks about fitness in your area, your name will be the first one that comes to mind.

Remember to download your year’s worth of National Health promotions here.

Please pass this information on to any other instructor that would benefit from this material.

There is loads more business tips and advice with practical demonstrations included within the Fitness Training Academy.  You Can Get Access For FREE.  Click here to find out more

 

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