5 Tips to Writing a Publishable Press Release

 

If you thought of marketing as making promises, then press releases are the proof in the pudding. They offer an opportunity for you to spread the good news that your organization keeps its promises! But what good is a good news-story that no one reads? Let’s cover a few tips to getting the media to actually publish your good news!

1.      Provide all of the information.

Journalists know that there’s no point in publishing something that doesn’t answer the 5 Ws: who, what, where, when and why. So take the guesswork out of the equation! As you write your release, provide the answers to these 5 questions.

2.      Use AP style.

Want the press to pick up your story? Speak their language! Make an AP Style Guide your new best friend. Keep in mind important rules like:

–          Use a person’s full name on first reference, and refer to them by their last name every time after that.

–          When it comes to listing a person’s degrees, keep it consistent. You have two formats to choose from – Bachelor’s Degree in Communication, or Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

–          Write out numbers one through nine, but you can use figures for anything more than 10.

3.      Keep it simple.

If you can say it in one word, why use 3? Save your flowery and beautiful writing for that novel you’ve always dreamed of writing. Instead of using “the entirety,” just say “all.”

4.      Leave off the Oxford comma.

We know! It may hurt your heart… but journalists are no-nonsense people. Nothing extra, and no wasted time! To them, commas only exist to provide clarity. If they can nix even one, they will – and the one they love to hate is that Oxford comma.

5.      Be mindful of deadlines.

If you are pitching stories to local newspapers, find out when their deadlines are so that you can be sure to beat it! It may not be possible to promote a Friday event in Thursday’s paper if you send the press release on Tuesday. Work ahead as much as possible!

Team 25th’s Top Work From Home Tips

 

Working from home for the next few weeks? Take a few tips from the experts of working from home (ahem, Team 25th) on how to stay motivated and sane!

As a team we have come together to provide you with our best practices for a successful day in the home office – whether that be your couch, bed, patio or actual desk (no shame in the home office game)!

●      Get up at the same time in the morning and get ready for the day. Even if you’re just switching from nighttime pajamas to daytime pajamas, it’s a trigger to your brain that it’s time to work.

●      Stick to a regular work schedule. Get dressed and once you’re ready to go to work,  walk outside then count to 10 and walk back in the house like you are entering your office.

●      Walk laps around the house for about 5 minutes in the morning and afternoon. It stretches your legs and gets the blood flowing. It also helps to let your brain relax or  work through any issues.

●      Go to work. Whether working from a home office or in an office building, it’s important to separate personal time from work time. This will help to avoid merging the two and avoid feeling like you are working all the time.

●      Utilize Google Hangouts to be able to talk in real-time, you can ping each other with text or video at any given time.

●      Block time segments for calls and actual work time. For instance, Mondays I stay away from booking any calls or Friday afternoons, if at all possible. Any other calls that I book, I try to keep closer to other calls so that I can get them done for the day and then transition to focused work.

●      Use Shared google docs and sheets frequently so you can collaborate and track changes.They’re the best for collaboration and not clogging up your desktop or files.

●      Start practicing “got it” email confirmations. Even if you don’t have time to fully respond, just acknowledging that you have received a request or email and the handoff of project work, is important.

●      Quality playlists are key.

●      Set the alarm so you get up and stretch my legs once an hour even if it’s just to get more water or go for a potty break or check the mail.

●      Find a quiet place away from interruptions of spouse/kids (as much as possible), and try to find more than 1 place in your home where you can work. It’s good to have some variety.

●      Check out for lunch and step away from your desk, or eat lunch at your desk and spend your “lunch break” on a walk outside!

●      Block time to check on family (you may need to work a bit longer, but it’s important to check in with everyone in the house)

●      Drink a lot of water

●      Turn your phone off or set it across the room (if it isn’t part of your job to be on it)

●      Open the windows to get fresh air

●      Keep your desk/work area clean and organized so you aren’t distracted

●      Have a separate area where you can sketch ideas/brainstorm vs. where you actually work

●      When your eyes start to cross at your computer screen, stop and do a small household task – like put a load of laundry on to wash, or wash your dishes from breakfast… Do 1 thing that takes less than 5 minutes. This will help break up your day and get you moving without getting sidetracked. (Because who wants to abandon work to do chores all day?)

●      Remember the coffee pot works all hours of the day, not just the morning.

●      Play music or have a TV on for background noise so you feel like you’re not alone. It keeps your energy up when you hit the wall around 2-3 p.m.

●      Get in exercise and movement during the day, even if it’s a brief walk!

●      End your day with your Top Six (The Ivy Lee Method) – choose the top six items that need to be accomplished the following day, so you know where to get started and have a list to come back to when you get pulled off task during the day. This helps to maintain focus and also settle your mind that the workday has ended. This is especially important on Friday, to be ready for Mondays.

●      At the end of the day, close the office door. It’s too tempting to go in and check one more thing.

●      Don’t check your email after 8 p.m. It’s too easy to run to your office and reply on your computer – When that door or computer is closed, IT’S CLOSED!

As a team, we hope you found something on this list that inspires you or that you find helpful in your new normal! And remember – Team 25th is always here to help you, invite us to a Google Hangouts meeting any time you need a little refresher!