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I slogged through writing a press release last year on my own, and it was pretty bad. It wasn’t all that clear and didn’t get picked up by anyone, but at least it took me a long time! I’ve been dreading the creation of this year’s version, but I have new hope now!
Before you write and issue a press release, ask Is there news value in this story? Too often businesses write press releases about topics that are not newsworthy. Fact: if the journalist does not consider it newsworthy and engaging, it won’t get coverage.
So what do you need to write your press release? To start, you’ll need a computer on which to type your story and send it to the media.  Almost all newspapers, as well as TV and radio stations – even the smallest ones – prefer to receive material electronically.  That makes it easy for them to edit, and also means that they don’t have to do anything to set it up to go into print or be read on the air.  (If you’re submitting to a website, you have no choice but to do it electronically.)
Focus is your friend when it comes to press releases, and it helps to have a clear goal in mind. What do you want the people reading your press release to do? Do you want them to write about your new release, your upcoming shows, your Battle of the Bands win…you get the picture? Choose a very specific promotion goal to build your press release around.
While it can be a useful background document for journalists, a press release isn’t a story. If you want to maximise your chances of getting press coverage, you will have to tweak your idea, and your release, for different publications or programmes. You can find more information about how to find journalists’ contacts details in this article.
Try to give a good reason for why a reporter in Pittsburgh would want to cover you: Is one of your band mates from the area? Did you have a particularly memorable experience the last time you visited? Maybe you’ve already been reviewed by a given writer and want to invite them to hear your new songs. Whatever the case, have a template that can be revised with each new recipient. Otherwise, your carefully crafted press release is likely to end up in a spam folder, or worse, the trash. 
As such, people often hire experts to write press releases for them. While this is a great option, and an expert is a fantastic go-to for quality, professional press releases, you can also write your own.
Send the press release out in a timely fashion. Sent too early, people won’t remember it; sent too late, they may already be committed to something else. Two to three weeks in advance is a good timeline.
For any well-written release with genuine news, a paid press release service is the most cost-efficient way to earn legitimate media placements, confirmed by valid media monitoring and measurement reports. If you your own media contact list as your primary method of targeting specific journalists and news outlets, the paid news release services can and should be used to supplement and backstop your targeted media relations efforts.
Signal the end of the press release with the word Ends in bold. After Ends, write For further information, please contact and list your details or those of an appointed person. Do give a mobile number if you can, so that journalists can contact you easily. The more accessible you are, the better.
Teamwork will go very far in helping to develop an effective press release. Collaboration is how some of the finest marketing pieces are created. So why limit the idea of the piece and its composition to just your ideas? Rather, brainstorm with a few others and co-create and co-write the piece together. This will result in unrivaled clarity and perception, and it can drastically enhance the quality as well as the reader engagement of the release overall.
Don’t send large bulk emails. Some channels don’t want any email attachments or accept press releases only via their website. Find out about their preferences and send either individual emails or BCC’ed emails to small groups with similar requirements. When approaching a content producer individually, let them know that you’ve actually read or watched their work and understand the subjects they cover. Be genuine, not a suck-up.
Finally, keep it under one page. The people who can get the word out about your app get dozens of pitches a day…just like yours. The longer it is, the more likely it is that they will hit the delete button.
Be as provocative as you can – Most media, especially in large cities, get tons of releases every week, so you want to make yours stand out. Find an eye-opening aspect to your release, or at least make sure your points are strongly emphasized. For example, perhaps pro-life and pro choice activist groups are working together on teen pregnancy prevention, or real estate groups and housing activists are working together on a housing initiative. In both these cases, the organizations involved might use their unusual situations to create press releases the media would snap up.
It is always a good idea to monitor trending topics that relate to your business, such as popular hashtags on Twitter or new industry buzzwords (be wary of using too much jargon though). By optimizing your press releases for software searches, as well as traditional search engines, you will increase visibility of any release.