Nine Musts of a Good Press Release
by Nancy Rathbun Scott
1. A catchy title, one that makes a promise, written in the present tense.
2. A lead paragraph that grabs the reader by stating a problem the readers have (e.g. Americans eat too much, business owners are too stressed, employees need affordable health care).
3. A follow up paragraph that states the solution to the problem (write in the third person, as if someone else was talking about you or your product, never in the first person). Make sure what you say is factual and establishes you as the authority. Include quotes from yourself or others (use in moderation).
4. Follow-up copy that is educational. Reveal some secrets (not all), preceded by a transition lead sentence introducing a new thought.
5. Last paragraph - a little hype is okay here. Use the word "you" (example: if "you" want to look like a million bucks).
6. Three pages, double-spaced is okay (it's just enough to fill a magazine page).
7. After the ### write the "call to action." Include where you can be contacted for more info, a free consultation, a complimentary whatever.
8. Include a side-bar of information such as how-tos, ways to, or what you didn't know.
9. Double-spaced copy with wide margins; page numbers at the bottom of the page that read "page 2 of 2, page 2 of 3," etc.; a date of release; the name, phone number, and e-mail address of a person to contact for more information.
Nancy Rathbun Scott is a business writer living in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached at Visit for more information.

@2004 Nancy Scott