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Style Guide for Email Press Releases

E-mail press releases are typically shorter than their hardcopy counterparts. Most email press releases are about 500 words organized into five short paragraphs.

Size Matters

Remember that e-mail software, such as Microsoft Outlook, have ‘fixed set limits’ on the size of messages that they can receive. Long messages get truncated. 

For this reason, avoid sending lengthy or unformatted press releases. Keep them below 500 words. If they need to be longer, send a link to your website.

Use the Web for Support

Put photographs, biography's of company executives, white papers and other supporting documents online where reporters can access them at their convenience. 

Don’t send these in the email as they clogs up inboxes.

For example, if you have just completed an online survey of web shoppers, in the e-press release include a snapshot of the results in first paragraph with a link to the URL where the complete survey results are published. 

URLs to screenshots etc. of your products can also be included in the email.

Be Nice to Dinosaurs

Some reporters have restricted access to the web. For this reason, always include a contact method for those who prefer to have materials mailed to them by snail-mail.

Note - Don't attach photographs and supplemental information with e-mail when contacting a reporter.

The Really Important Stuff

Give your press release a gripping subject header and headline.

Cover the five W's: who, what, where, when and why in the first paragraph.

Include all types of contact information including an e-mail address for the press contact and website address of the company.

Reporters will often choose to call a company representative rather than wait for an email response. In addition to e-mail address, include contact phone numbers.

Refer to client endorsement from a 'non-biased' source. Get permission from these sources to use their remarks in your press release in advance.

Close with a short paragraph containing background information about the company. This could be a synopsis of company activities, such as how long they have been in business and areas of expertise.

Other Tips

Web-based PR does not differ from conventional PR in that one's ability to write and organize information well is rewarded with press coverage.

The combination of a sharp subject header and a clever "spin" works very well in a congested Inbox.

Journalists tend to respond faster to writing that describes how a product solves a business/consumer problem.

Highlighting a new business, consumer or health trend is another way to position your story.

You can also get press coverage by riding on a breaking news story by alerting the media to your client's expertise on that particular subject.

PS

Be prepared to act fast if you sense an opportunity. Time the sending of your news release right and you can receive a windfall of publicity.

Electronic press release delivery is an excellent tool when a story has a limited lifetime or when a news window is open only for a limited time



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