Draft a Press Release for Your Micro-Entrepreneurial Business
To write a press release about your micro-entrepreneurial business, there are some necessary elements and a particular style you should follow. Drafting a press release for your micro-entrepreneurial business is easier than you might think, once you learn how.
Use third person in press releases
You have to write in the reporter’s third-person style even though you’re writing about your own company or your own activities. Third person means you’re writing as if you were a reporter and you make no reference to yourself (as if you were narrating). With third person, use words such as he, her, them, and it.
Think about how journalists write. When you read a news story on the front page of a major newspaper or a major news website, look to see how it’s written. The reporter writes about the event but isn’t part of the story being written.
You write in third person for the benefit of the editor. The editor (really the publisher) doesn’t have the resources or desire to provide a reporter for every event that comes along. You provide convenience; you write your story as if you were one of their reporters.
You help them with some content and do so as a substitute reporter, and in exchange you get the publicity that can boost your business. It is a nice-win.
Standard components of a press release
Here are the basic elements of a press release:
Headline: It should be catchy and attention grabbing.
Contact information: This information includes who the media can contact, including email address, phone number, mailing address, and contact person.
Dateline: The first line of the first paragraph lists the date of the press release, the city, and state.
Introduction paragraph: This paragraph is the most important as far as the media is concerned. As in a typical news story, it succinctly tells the who, what, why, where, and when of the event or development.
The body: The body usually is several paragraphs that provide details and background information.
What readers can do about event: This information includes what they can do if they want more information (for example, for more details, call . . . ).
Final paragraph: This paragraph offers extra or extraneous information that the media source’s editor may cut, including background information about the company or historical data.
The close: Press releases typically end with symbols such as ### or the old — 30 — which signifies the end of the press release.
Read as many press releases from other organizations (especially small businesses and business associations) as you can and use the preceding as your press release checklist. Doing so can help you build the valuable skill of writing a press release.
Hire a publicity professional to write a press release
For new micro-entrepreneurs getting launched on a limited budget, hiring a public relations person may be an expensive proposition. Using full-service public relations firms and the services of a true publicity professional can easily run into the thousands. However, if you’re interested in what a professional has to offer, contact public relations firms and see samples of their work and what media they work with.
If they reach the media that you feel will benefit you (and you can afford their fee), go ahead. If you do hire them, do a three- or six-month trial period so that you can evaluate them without obligating yourself to an expensive contract.
If you don’t need full-service public relations, then determine what specific needs in publicity you may have and pay for only that. For example, if you only need good press releases to be produced and successfully placed or media interviews, then just seek those services.
For paid services in terms of writing a press release, consider places such as eReleases, PRWeb, and PRLeap. For media interviews, consider Help a Reporter Out, Radio-TV Interview Report, and Alex Carroll’s Radio Publicity.
Where to send your press release
After you complete your press release, you need to submit it where publications, news sites, and other media outlets can see and possibly run it. You can either submit it directly or to publicity sites:
Directly to a media outlet: If you’re doing a gardening event, then certainly submit your press release to that gardening publication or site. Before you do so, make sure that you get the specific name and position of the contact person at that organization.
Call or email first and find out who to send the press release to. You may also be able to find a masthead on the website or in the publication that lists the editors.
To publicity sites: Many press release distribution sites are online. They can distribute your press release to media outlets that subscribe to it. Here are a few:
Do a search to see what you can find. Dozens of press release distribution sites are online.