So here it is! The second half of press release writing blog has arrived. The first was released earlier, and focuses more on the steps you should take before and while you write your press release.

Instead, this is all about the tips I’ve found—both on my own and through research—that work best before you send out your finished press release. There’s nothing worse than putting together a great release and then seeing nothing come of it. These tips will hopefully prevent some of that trouble from happening to you!

  1. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. I was honestly surprised by the sheer number of articles stressing the need for grammar and spellchecking from PR professionals and journalists alike. Now is the time to be critical. Is this article meant for paper publications? If so, does it follow Associated Press stylebook guidelines? These are the guidelines that all news outlets follow when writing articles. No journalist is going to want to waste precious time correcting mistakes, particularly ones that could have been easily avoided with a quick reread.
  2. Is all the important information there? This is a good thing to double-check at the end. Make sure your contact information, or your client’s, is correct. Typically, I put that at the top of the press release first thing, because I don’t want to forget it. Same goes for your boilerplate, which is the small paragraph at the end of the press release to describe your client or company. It looks unprofessional, and you might miss out on any potential responses if you put down the wrong email address.
  3. Tailor to your potential audience. When you start looking for potential journalists and bloggers to pitch, look into what they’ve written. Don’t send a press release about a new app to a sports writer—unless that app is sports-related. It’s better to have 20 appropriate contacts than 100 random ones. You’re much more likely to get responses back that way.
  4. Good manners never hurt anybody. This is common sense, but it’s absolutely necessary. When composing your email pitch, be polite. Don’t expect a journalist to drop everything and pay attention to your one press release. You don’t want to burn potential bridges by acting rude or presumptuous.
  5. Share and share alike. Once you’re done with your press release, don’t forget to share it around. Sites like PRLog, PRWeb, and Cision all offer ways to distribute your press releases instantly. Even better, the first two are free! When you’re done with that, make sure to share those links on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and any other appropriate social media accounts. It’s free exposure, and it might even land you some contacts that you couldn’t reach otherwise.

At the end of the day, make sure that this press release is something that you would be proud to have attached to your name. If you can’t say that, then you probably shouldn’t be sending it out at all. In any case, I hope these tips helped you a little, and good luck sending out your press release!

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