Breaking the PR Rules
Most experts will suggest that you stick with the traditional press release form and put your name, address, and contact information at the top. My response has always been, “why?” The first few lines of your press release may be all that gets read. Don't sacrifice that all-important space to mundane information. Come up with an interesting headline that is centered on the page, and immediately start with your story. Keep the information on how to contact you at the bottom of the page. If your story interests them, believe me, they'll call, no matter where you put your number.
Break the rules that don’t make sense. Too often we stick to a form simply because that's the way it's been done before. If there is a practical, advantageous reason to do something differently, do it.
On the other hand, don't try to be novel or unconventional simply for the sake of being different. In other words, don't use oversized paper, or use unconventional script, or write cryptic or convoluted sentences just to try to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack. Chances are, it will only work against you. You want to catch the media's eye, but you don't want to shock or startle. Keep the release clean and easy-to-read, and remember, no amount of inventiveness will make up for the lack of a good hook or story.
At the bottom of the page, make sure to let the media know who you are and how they can get in contact with you. Have your phone number and contact person clearly listed.
Stand back and look at your release with an objective eye. If you knew nothing about your business or product, and you saw your press release, would it make you want to learn more about the topic? Would it pique your interest? If not, you're headed in the wrong direction. Bounce it off other people; get feedback. Don't send it out until it says exactly what you want it to say, in the way you want to say it. And never, ever, ever let it be longer than one page.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2008