In Press Release Writing: How to Write a Press Release Part 1, strategies and accepted practices for writing basic components of a press release were covered. This included how to write the title, contact information, release date and location information and the summary. In this article we'll cover writing the body, linking and quotes, the closing and the boilerplate. For the business person or individual concerned with driving relevant traffic to a news story, these are the most important components of press release writing.
1.) The Body
The body should begin by expanding on the summary. Essentially, the first paragraph of the body should tell the reader everything they need to know, while the remainder of the paragraphs expand on the summarized points. This means that the first paragraph should be an expanded version of the 5 W's.
Successive paragraphs should bolster or reinforce the first. For instance, in the mock summary in Part 1 of this series: "Content for Conversions announced free press release writing education for the public today. The article writing service and press release distribution company has made the writing strategies available online in order to assist individuals and businesses in developing their own press releases for a variety of purposes," we can see that there is a natural lead to follow up questions:
"Where online can one get this free education?"
"What are these 'variety of purposes'?"
The remainder of the body should be used to address these and any other follow-up questions that may arise. Therefore, a brainstorming session is often the best way to begin an outline for a news story.
1A.) Linking and Quotes
The body should contain links and quotes when possible to keep the reader informed and interactive. Links allow readers to explore your suggested web pages, while quotes allow them to gain a "flavor" of what real people are like in your news story.
Links should be included in appropriate anchor text in the first and last sentence of the news story and in the body once if you wish. However, keep in mind that your boilerplate will also have at least one link.
Quotes can help make your press release seem more natural and lend real credit to you or those who represent you. For press release writing that is done for a client, you can have the client fill out a questionnaire and create quotes based on it for their approval. Remember: quotes don't have to be something that has already been said - you can plan quotes based on what you know about your client.
Press release writing is much different than article writing and the closing is a perfect example of this. Whereas an article will summarize, review and conclude information that has already been presented, a press release won't waste time doing this. Instead it will impart all relevant information, and then close with a quick snippet that in some cases may be unrelated to the actual news content but still provides unique, interesting information.
For example, in the mock version of this news release, we will often write something like:
"Content for Conversions is a privately held company with plans for an IPO in 2013."
The closing statement should add value and if possible provide some intrigue to capitalize on later.
You only need to create a boilerplate once unless your information changes. The boilerplate is generally a few sentences or a paragraph that describes you or your business. The boilerplate is used repeatedly (unless information changes) and is always presented after the actual news story itself has ended. The boiler plate is very similar to resources boxes used in article marketing. Check below to see how a resource box can be virtually interchangeable with a boilerplate.
To indicate that your press release is finished, you'll type the following, centered on the page: