A $25 Million Press Release–Successful PR Campaigns–Entrepreneur.com

5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Why did you click on this article? I bet the headline had something to do with it. So many press releases display boring headlines (“Our Company Is Going To Attend An Obscure Sales Conference Somewhere”) and even more lifeless copy in the body of the release. This is not the sort of story that ends up on the front page of The New York Times. It isn’t the sort of thing that gets argued about on The View.

Below, you will find the secrets I have learned over the years–I’ve sent many releases, some good and some bad–and if I had known these tips from day one, it would have saved me a lot of time.

Shorter Is Better

Many companies and individuals think that a press release is the opportunity to give every conceivable fact about the organization–when you were founded, your CEO’s middle name and hobbies, your company’s “vision.” This is simply wrong; a press release like this is the equivalent of stopping someone in an elevator, handing him a copy of your novel, and demanding he read the whole thing in front of you. Instead, treat a press release as a teaser or elevator pitch–something you could comfortably say to someone in about 30 seconds to one minute. If you need to give more information, you can always link to an information-rich PDF file or longer release on your website.

“A good press release should be between 200 and 400 words,” says Todd Pree, owner of Mass Media Distribution LLC. “The shorter the better. The idea is to have just enough info to get the reporters excited and ask for an interview.”

Just as you wouldn’t give someone a three-hour lecture in order to get a phone number at the bar, you don’t need a 1,000-word release to get booked on a radio or TV show. Keep it short, accurate and intriguing; respect the journalist’s time. As an example, check out this very typical release[1] showing how personal buzz tactics can help you keep your job in a bad economy. No one in the media cared and the response was minimal.

1 2 3 4