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How to Write a Good Press Release

The secrets of power writing and crafting great content

In charge of writing content? Here’s a quick read to restore your faith in the power of words.

"Avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys - to woo women - and in that endeavour laziness will not do."

John Keating, Dead Poets Society

It won't help with Content Marketing either.

Yes, language is beautiful when used in all its poetic glory. While Content Marketers write to convert readers and set forth a call to action, it doesn't mean we should write like robots. There's still an art to it, if we do our jobs right.

Whether you're launching a new product or churning regular content for your company, the difference between writing and crafting can make or break great content. Crafting content takes practice and natural talent. We can't make you Hemingway overnight (although we tried), but we can give some tips on how to write a good press release.

1. Remove anything that slows the reader down

I mean big words and long sentences. The moment you begin to lose your readers they’re milliseconds away from clicking "back", never to return. A little melodramatic, but you know what I mean. Keep the average sentence at a maximum of 12 words. At least that’s how Apple’s acclaimed copywriters do it.

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Vintage Apple advertisement

2. Great titles capture scores of readers

A good title captures both the essence of the story and the attention of a casual passerby, using only a few words. However, you can get away with lengthy titles if you make up for it with wit. Check out Buzzfeed's headlines below.

Those are long-ass titles that use short and simple words (that make no one any wiser). And yet they are gripping. One thing they all have in common is that they all spark curiosity in their readers. They never give anything away, they just hint at it.

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*tip: If you do go for this headline style, try not to over-promise so as not to disappoint readers.

3. Don’t state the obvious

This makes readers lose interest, too. People continue reading when there’s something new, something that’s not obvious, something that adds to their knowledge. For example, don’t tell them you provide quality service. Tell them why you provide quality service.

Every competitor in your industry says they’re the best. So don’t forget to say why.

4. Choose you words wisely

When writing a press release, speak the language of your customer. These involves doing research on who your brand should be addressing. Second point, use more verbs than nouns. Using more action words can drive better call to action. And lastly, use trendy and catchy words like "smart", "hack", "huge" and "critical", for better click through rates.

“Use the words your customers use. Speak their language and your copy will convert. Your business will grow.”

Henneke Duistermaat, Unbounce
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That's all folks! If you want more great tips, here are five templates you can use when writing a news release or press release:

And before we say goodbye, here’s a reminder of why you should love being a writer:

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” 

John Keating, Dead Poets Society

Words are powerful. They can also convert customers.