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Writing a Press Release: The Medias Dirty Secret

There's a dirty little secret about press releases that the media doesn't want you to know. The fact is, most of them travel directly from the sender's computer to the reporter's trash box. Or from out of the envelope into the "round file."

That's part of the reason reporters don't like to be asked "did you see my press release." They probably did, but they threw it in the trash so they don't remember yours specificially.

But you do still need press releases sometimes. (Like, when you have news.) So when you do, remember this.

You may already know that every press release has a headline - a short title - and a lead, or first paragraph. What you may not know is that virtually nothing else in your release matters!

The job of a release is to attract and pique the reporter to read on. Keep the "head" and the "lead" snappy - and short. Make them compelling, intriguing, and grabbing.

(But still true, please. This is no time to emulate a supermarket tabloid. Do not claim, for instance, that famous stars are among your clients, just because the former quarterback of the high school football team uses your services.)

To get the best chance for publicity from your press release, put as much time into carefully crafting these two inches of your masterpiece as you allot to writing the entire rest of the release. I am not kidding!

Ned Steele works with people in professional services who want to build their practice and accelerate their growth. The president of Ned Steele's MediaImpact, he is the author of 102 Publicity Tips To Grow a Business or Practice. To learn more visit or call 212-243-8383.


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