Learn to get the word out in this press release writing course
PR professionals have been married to the traditional news release format since Ivy Lee created the release more than 100 years ago.
Why, then, do we need a new approach?
With 2,500 releases going out each day — that’s one every 35 seconds — the impact of your traditional news release ain’t what it used to be. In fact, fewer than 50% of all traditional news releases ever get covered, according to PR Newswire’s own research.
“Since I attended Ann’s PR writing class and started implementing her tips, every press release I’ve written has been picked up by the media. That’s what I call ROI!”
— Stephanie Sobotik, senior manager, global marketing communications at Freescale Semiconductor
Read more rave reviews
But in this PR-writing training program, you’ll learn current best PR-writing practices from the Public Relations Society of America’s “national writing coach.”
Think Like a Reporter
Some 55% to 97% of all releases sent to media outlets are never used, according to Dennis L. Wilcox and Lawrence W. Nolte’s Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques.
So how can you create PR pieces that are among the 3% to 45% of those that actually get the word out?
Learn to develop story angles that readers want to read (and that journalists and bloggers want to run):
- Fill in the blanks to a great benefits lead: Sell the story and stand out from the crowd with these winning lead formulas.
- Move from event to impact: Transform your event, speech or meeting coverage into news readers can use to live their lives better.
- Steal secrets from Silver Anvil winners: What do nationally acclaimed PR writers do that you don’t do?
Master the Anatomy of a News Release
Prose is architecture, Ernest Hemingway famously said. It’s not interior design.
Are you building a compelling foundation for your PR pieces? Or are you still using structural techniques you learned when you were 19?
Learn to organize press releases that grab reader attention, keep it for the long haul and leave a lasting impression:
- Choose a structure that increases readership, engagement and sharing. (The one you’re using now is probably doing the opposite.)
- Steal a trick from The New York Times: Trade in your bloated fact pack for snappy synthesis leads. They work for everything from social media to thought leadership.
- Build a better lead with our fill-in-the-blanks approach.
Rev Up Release Readability
How long should your press release be? Your headline? Your lead?
Learn “the numbers” you need to measurably improve your readability:
- Write a one-minute release: Journalists rarely spend longer reviewing releases.
- Write by numbers: What’s the right length for your release? Your paragraphs? Your quotes? Your sentences? Your words?
- Measurably improve your release readability. PR pros in our press release workshops have improved readability by up to 300% with our cool — free! — tool.
Write Killer Bites
Reporters in one study who were asked to rank news release elements placed quotes dead last — after the boilerplate and the dateline.
Learn to turn lame-ass quotes into scintillating sound bites that reporters will actually use:
- Write tight bites. Even a lame quote will sound better when you use our quote length targets.
- Put a quota on quotes. Steal a trick from The New York Times to avoid overquoting.
- Avoid the worst PR clichés. PR Newswire sees 1,284 of these in a single month.
Reach nonreaders with releases
People skim 67% of news, according to a recent Harris Poll. Just 19% read news word-by-word.
Learn to write news releases to increase readership, make your message look easier to read — even get the word out to flippers and skimmers:
- Write links that don’t get lost on portals. Plus, avoid the wrath of Google by adding one essential element to your links.
- Make your press release 47% more usable by adding a few simple elements.
- And more … Learn other PR writing best practices from the author of PRSA Strategies & Tactics’ “Writing With Wylie.”
“This is the best writing class I’ve attended in my 25-year PR career.”
— Mark Alden, PR manager, National Semiconductor
I’m ready to learn to write a great PR piece!
I’d like to:
- Book Ann for an in-house or association workshop.
- Register for NOT Your Father’s News Release online, Aug. 31-Sept. 28.
- Browse all writing workshops.
- Learn about our writing coach, Ann Wylie.
Questions? Contact Ann.