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4. Is it written in third person? In other words, use "he/she/they." No "you" or "we."
5. Is it less than a page? Media people don't have time to read long press releases. Unless you have a darn good reason, keep it less than a page. For that matter, even if you do have a darn good reason, still keep it less than a page.
6. Are there grammatical or spelling errors in your release? Trust me, these are professionals. They'll catch your errors. And those errors won't leave a very good impression. At very least use your word processing's spell checker, but hiring a proofreader is an even better solution. Or you could simply have someone you trust read it. But definitely do something.
7. Do you have your contact information on release? Media people are on deadline. They don’t have time to search for your contact info if they need clarification or a quote from you. Make it easy for them – put your contact info in a prominent place.
8. Do you have any sales copy in there? Reminder: Press releases don't go to advertising department – they're for editorial. And editorial doesn't look very kindly on sales pitches. Nix promotional copy and just focus on content – if they use your story, they'll put your contact info in there.
While there are no guarantees with publicity, making sure your release follows this checklist will go a long way to garnering you publicity.
Michele Pariza Wacek owns Creative Concepts and Copywriting, a writing, marketing and creativity agency. She offers two free e-newsletters that help subscribers combine their creativity with hard-hitting marketing and copywriting principles to become more successful at attracting new clients, selling products and services and boosting business. She can be reached at http://www.writingusa.com. Copyright 2005 Michele Pariza Wacek