3 (More!) Tricks for Writing Knife-sharp Press Releases
I'm in a writing-theory mood today, so I thought it might be a good time to give some more advice on writing effective, interest-seizing press releases. It's a topic that interests me a bunch, partly because I'm a big nerd and love talking about the structure of words and sentences, but also because I get about 10-billion awful press releases emailed to me a day, so I figure a little writing instruction could go a ways to easing my own electronic suffering. I've written a bit about press-release craft before, in two other posts from a few months back, which I'll link for you all handy-dandy here and here. Otherwise, not much else to say I suppose, let's just get right to it!
1. Numbers are Good
When you can, add numbers to your press releases. They make facts stick, and immediately create context for readers to understand the scale of your accomplishment. Here are two examples to show you what I'm talking about:
(No Numbers) Harold's Pen Extravaganza Hires Some New Staff
(With Numbers) Harold's Pen Extravaganza Hires 5 New Employees
See how the second option is immediately seems like a better accomplishment compared to the first? The scale is clearer ("Five new people? That's kind of a lot!") and the effect on the reader is better. ("They must be doing really well to be able to hire so many people!")
You can, and should, apply this "numbers trick" whenever possible. Are you announcing new products, or 250 new products? Did you have a record third quarter, or did you exceed your old record by $6 million? Did you recently win an industry award, or did you win it for the tenth year in a row?
Don't force yourself to use numbers if you don't have favorable ones (hiring one new person, ranked #199 out of 200 companies), but if you can swing their inclusion, it can be a great, easy way to strengthen your writing. Including them in your headline is usually good, but don't forget you can add them to the body of your writing as well. Really anyplace you're trying to emphasize a point or an accomplishment is a good place to add some impressive digits.