press release ghost writing services

Custom press release ghost writing services.
Every business needs an effective press release writer.

By- Mike Branom

Press releases are so ubiquitous in today’s world, it almost seems impossible that anyone would need to learn how to write them. But take it from a former journalist: Bad press releases are everywhere.

Even more, there are 31 flavors of “bad.” One might take forever to deliver the goods, while another doesn’t deliver at all. Or if it’s not typos undercutting the message, then jargon and acronyms throw up a smokescreen. And some would be just fine had the gang from marketing not demanded the hype be turned to 11, burying the news under a barrage of bluster. (The worst will combine these flavors, like a Little Leaguer ordering a postgame “suicide” sno-cone from the snack shack.)

I’d like to share some basic tips for how to draw up a quality, customized press release, lessons learned over a lengthy career as a reporter then from time spent as a government communications director.Businessman reading press release in newspaper.

Know your audience

Before you draft a single word you’d better have in mind who are the intended recipients of your release, because they’ll determine just how it’s written. News about a tech breakthrough that’ll be pitched to industry insiders, an educated readership can be assumed. But pitching the same news to a mainstream media outlet, it’s best to lean in the direction of a reader who knows next to nothing.

While this seems like a basic point, it can be challenging! The most common pitfall is a mismatch between the audience and the writer’s knowledge. An engineer pecking away at MS Word may create an impenetrable thicket of a release, while a marketing intern handed dense source material may be at a loss to understand just what the news is, let alone package it. So make sure your writer has the chops to deliver what the readers want.

Points aren’t just for pencils

After you’ve drafted the release, cut everything but the opening paragraph. If it’s impossible to learn what the news is from just that, chuck it all and try again. Your opening graf MUST carry the mail — full stop. A guaranteed way to have your release ignored is by forcing the reader to hunt for the news. If you’re releasing a new product, give its name and what it does. Announcing a new hire? Same thing: Name, title, and function. This is not the medium for your writer to show off the M.A. degree.

All press releases are advertising; this ad just looks like a news story

Keep this in mind no matter the news you’re announcing, even if it’s bad. Yes, you’re recalling a defective product — because you’re committed to quality. Yes, you’re conceding the election — but your campaign amplified important messages and so laid the foundation for future victories. Is this spin? Of course. But this is may be your only chance to frame the issue on your terms, so take advantage while you have the initiative. (Keep it at a reasonable volume, though.) Again, it seems like obvious advice. Yet it’s often not followed, and former journalists-turned-flacks can be the worst about this.

For a recent example, I turn to sports writing (my vocation for many years). A university’s athletic department was firing their head football coach, who had struggled after a great start. But after the press release recapped the coach’s achievements, things quickly went off the rails. How so? The coach’s failures were rehashed! In a straight news story, providing background for the firing makes perfect sense. But in the context of the release, it appeared the school was trashing the guy on his way out the door. And, woo, was it noted by the national media. The punchline: Writing that release was a former sportswriter, now working for the athletic department.

Timeliness is next to godliness

If your press release concerns something that already has happened, then get it out ASAP. But if it’s for news happening in the future, you’ll need to find the sweet spot so your audience has enough time to plan its coverage but not so far off that it can get forgotten. Again, this is a basic that’s often ignored. I can’t tell you how many times I had to decline to cover something interesting because I only found out the day before. And in the other direction, let me pass along a (paraphrased) conversation I, as a crime reporter, had with a rural police department’s public information officer:

ME: “Hey, I just got your release about you breaking up a major burglary ring. It’s great and all, but when did this all go down?”
POLICE PIO: “Last month!”

Needless to say, no story was written.

Keep it short

A custom press release should be no longer than one page — and that’s going to include a header, contact information (more on that below), and perhaps boilerplate about the company. What you say should be brief yet punchy. You’re trying to tell the time, not explain how a watch works. That said…

Provide background info, but somewhere else

Attachments will be your friend here. Announcing a hiring? Send along the full bio/CV and headshot separately. Legal proceedings? Link to the filing or provide a PDF of it. Rolling out a new product? Include a one-sheet that goes into greater detail. A confession about reporters: They’re busy and lazy. So if you provide everything needed for a story, there’s a good chance your words will get published near-verbatim.

Notably quotable

A quote is where you can really let it all hang out, with the developers gushing about the company’s better mousetrap, or the defense attorney blasting the opposing counsel’s mendacious and bullying tactics. The entire point of providing a quote is — ready for this? — to get it quoted! So you want to craft words that portray the business/client in the best light possible. This can be another tough one for former journalists because we never had the freedom to make up quotes. (But, ooh, that would’ve been fun.)

Reach out and touch someone

Finally, your press release always should list a point of contact, with an email address and phone number. This is essential for any follow-up questions, requests for interviews or more information, and it also gives reporters another source for stories that might only obliquely involve your company or client. For example, if months ago you sent out a release on an agriculture company hiring a new CEO, wouldn’t it be nice if you could get your point of view about tariffs into the media? With reporters now in possession of your contact information, that can happen.

We can draft your press release cleanly and quickly

If you’re too busy making news for self-promotion, or maybe you don’t trust your writing, turn to Ghostwriters Central for your press releases. We can turn around a draft in a matter of hours, empowering you to get out your message while its fresh.

Press release writing services are billed on an hourly basis; information for press releases can be found on our ghostwriting rates page.

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