Tips for Putting Together Press Releases for Your Food Truck Business
One of the best ways to promote your mobile business is to issue press releases to your local media. You can distribute most of your press releases by email or through online distribution services, such as PRweb or PR Newswire, to editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and television stations. Using distribution services may lead to your news getting syndicated by all your local or regional media outlets.
If you plan to regularly send out press releases, you must be aware of the standard format that these media sources use and accept. Include the following elements in every release you write:
- Title or headline: Use headlines (like those you see in newspapers and magazines) to attract the reader’s attention. The headline is the first single line of text in the press release and tells what the press release is about, so it should be descriptive but not too long (try to limit your headline to 100 characters). Capitalize the first letter of each word and lowercase the rest.
A striking headline must communicate your subject matter instantly and convey why the content is new and interesting. It must grab the reader’s attention by creating curiosity while specifically defining the information provided in the rest of your press release.
- Date and place: Note the release date and the originating city of the press release.
- Introduction: Highlight the importance of the news in this paragraph, which usually contains three or four lines. The introduction generally answers who, what, when, where, and why.
- Body: Provide further explanation, statistics, background, or other details relevant to the news in the subsequent paragraphs, which comprise the body, or bulk, of the release. The body is a good place to share some personal quotes.
- Boilerplate: Include a short, standard “About” section that provides background on you or your company. You can use your Twitter bio as a template and simply expand on it. But don’t make it too long; this section should be only one or two paragraphs.
- Contact information: Don’t forget to give your name, phone number, email address, mailing address, or other contact information (such as your website URL or Twitter account) so editors can track you down.
- Ending: Insert a line with the characters “###” centered on it to indicate the end of the press release.
Check out the sample press release , which provides a story with quotes that journalists can use as the background of a longer story.
Here are a few handy guidelines for writing a press release:
- Write the news for journalists and media, not as articles or stories; if you do, a good chance exists that they’ll be rejected by the media. Unless you’re submitting your press release to be reprinted word for word, many journalists use the data and quotes from the press release to add to a story that they write themselves.
- Keep it short (five paragraphs at most in the body of your press release). If you write more than that, you risk losing the interest of the reader and you risk the press release being too long to reprint by some publishers.
- DON’T WRITE PRESS RELEASES IN UPPERCASE. Copy editors won’t use a press release in this format and won’t rewrite the press release to eliminate your all-caps text.
This is just a general set of guidelines for press releases; for more detailed information, pick up a copy of the latest edition of Public Relations For Dummies, by Eric Yaverbaum, Ilise Benun, and Richard Kirshenbaum (published by John Wiley & Sons).