Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > College of Business and Entrepreneurship > Kansas Small Business Development Center > Press Release
Advertising keeps your company in the public mind, but publicity that appears as news is often more trusted by the public. Anyone can pay for ad space to say something great about their business, but when it appears in a news story, the public recognizes it as credible.
Many businesses have newsworthy events that can be turned into effective publicity. Consider these events for your business:
-Openings-Expansions or new location-New staff and promotions-Community activities (i.e., sponsoring local programs)-New services or products-Awards-A new catalog, brochure or newsletter-Timely tie-ins with national holidays-Company milestones-Financial news-Someone in the company has an article or book published-Studies you've completed-Change in pricing-Seminars or speaking engagements-Success stories based on clients-Fund-raising events for the local community-Scholarships-Projection or trend forecasts
-Employee training or certification
Writing a news release can be simple and straightforward, once you know the rules:
Be sure it's news! If your news release is hype, or thinly-disguised advertising, or your own editorializing, it won't be printed.
Use simple, direct sentences in short paragraphs. Your writing should be primarily short sentences (an average of 15 words), but occasional longer sentences will break up the monotony. Just make sure you're presenting a series of facts in as direct a manner as possible.
Use common language. While you need to write in everyday language, avoid colloquial expressions, abstractions and jargon.
Make it short and to the point-no rambling. Newspaper space is at a premium. Just ask an advertiser how much it costs. Don't waste everyone's time; get right to the point. Limit your release to 1-2 pages, double-spaced.
Stick to the basic format of the press release. Editors are busy people. If your release is poorly written or doesn't conform to the newspaper's style, it's often not practical to contact the author and then rewrite the release.
Send early, send often. Send news releases 1-2 weeks in advance of events (check with editors for more specific deadlines). Press releases must go through several steps before appearing in print, so allow plenty of time. If for some reason your press release doesn't get printed, just go on to your next newsworthy event, and the next. Newspapers are under no obligation to use your release, so don't call to ask when your release appeared or why it didn't. (Also, don't try to leverage news space by promising to advertise with the paper. News and advertising are two completely different departments, and no editor appreciates this kind of bribery.) Eventually, when the paper has space for more local news, your news will be printed.
Portions excerpted from: The Smart Business Supersite. http://www.smartbiz.com