The secret to writing a good press release

Years ago, as part of the vaunted AT&T Media Relations team, Jim Byrnes — one of the best media relations pros I’ve ever met — told me the secret to good press release writing: “Write for the wires. Get the news into the first two sentences and assume everything else gets cut. Write in language your grandmother can understand.”

I’ve tried to carry Jim’s wisdom throughout my career. Jon Greer gives it another shot in the arm in a post on BNET’s Catching Flack blog:

…there are only really two elements that define a good press release: it needs to be brief, and it needs to contain real news.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s an old-style press release or one of the emerging social media versions. Good press releases have news and are to the point. Period.

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