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Walk Step-by-Step Through the PR Writing Process


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79 replies to this topic

#31 Randy

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 11:44 AM

Perhaps PRWeb and the rest should have a second model and actually stick to it.

1. A Press Release service for true press releases.

2. An Article Distribution service for articles.

It's obvious that a lot of press release submissions aren't anything close to what a press release should be. But they could still provide the article distribution, which may or may not also get viewed by Media but would almost certainly be viewed by e-Zines and smaller publications that were looking for finished articles.

Dunno, but it makes sense to me. It would give the PRWeb editors control again, without necessarily biting into their profits. One requires editorial control and the other doesn't.

Oh Torka, are you listening?

#32 opcis

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 12:25 PM

I think that's a good idea Randy. If PRWeb took more control of what was being distributed I'm sure the larger news sites would pay more attention to each press release they sent out.

I now have attempt #3 of my press release ready for inspection. I followed much of the advice from this thread and I think it's a definite improvement over the first 2. Here it is:
www.droplistpro.com/press-release_05-02-05.htm

I think I'm getting close to a final solution. Let me know if I'm on track.

#33 torka

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Posted 02 May 2005 - 03:08 PM

QUOTE(Randy @ May 2 2005, 11:44 AM)
Oh Torka, are you listening?

I hear you, oh wise one. wink.gif

--Torka mf_prop.gif

#34 opcis

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 11:02 AM

Here is the revised version of my 3rd attempt:

www.droplistpro.com/press-release1.htm

And here is what the marketing students came up with from seeing my last version:
www.droplistpro.com/press-release2.htm



What do you think?

#35 copywriter

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 12:27 PM

Hmm... a little more work to be done. smile.gif

Don't have much time so I'll give you some quick and dirty impressions as I read them both.

The student one starts out the DnJournal.com and doesn't explain who they are or anything. I think the PR is about them. The student headline is WAY too long, too. Their language sounds very elementary and like they are writing about something they don't understand. They also keep using the same terms over and over.

By the way, it's not "near" impossible, it's "nearly" impossible.

As for the revision you did...

Headline

QUOTE
DropListPro.com Launches New Kind of Search Engine for Expired Domains


So what? If I'm a reporter, why would I care what you've launched? You've got to give me a reason to be interested. What are the benefits?

Makes finding quality domains easier.
Saves money (as opposed to buying one of the very expensive domains)
What else?

Summary

This should be just a sentence or two. In all actuality, most releases don't use a summary. I'd include this info in the body copy.

I don't care for the cost of living and investment angle. It sounds like a really far reach. Plus, you start out talking about investments and cost of living and then do into finding a domain for your site. The whole release has to talk about the same thing.

First Paragraph

I have no idea who you are or why you're writing this release.

You need to flip the press release upside down. Most of the good stuff is all the way at the bottom.

Gotta run!

#36 opcis

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 02:05 PM

Thank your for the constructive criticism. I'll go over all your comments on both versions with the students and try to come up with final solution.

Thanks again for your words of wisdom. I should have something by tonight or first thing in the morning for you to look at. I want to try to get this finalized and sent out by the end of the week.

#37 Michael Martinez

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 11:54 PM

QUOTE(opcis @ May 4 2005, 02:05 PM)
Thank your for the constructive criticism. I'll go over all your comments on both versions with the students and try to come up with final solution.

Thanks again for your words of wisdom. I should have something by tonight or first thing in the morning for you to look at. I want to try to get this finalized and sent out by the end of the week.
View Post


You do understand there is 1-2 day delay after you submit a press release before it actually goes out, right? The worst possible day to submit a press release is Friday. You may as well plan on waiting until Monday.

Okay, here is a quick rewrite. I don't think I would quite go with this, but it will put you on a better path than you've been following.

DROPLIST PRO LAUNCHES EXPIRED DOMAINS SEARCH ENGINE

YOUR CITY - THE DATE DropListPro.com has launched a search engine for expired domain names. Webmasters can now search millions of expiring domain names before they return to market.

20,000 domain names are expired every day. Professional speculators have dominated a market containing millions of potentially valuable names. Now the playing field has been leveled for everyone. Chris Richmond, President and Founder of www.DropListPro.com , says, "We have been working night and day to bring the easiest most powerful expired domain search engine to the web."

The techs at droplistpro.com understand that everyone may not be computer savvy. Therefore, two versions of the search engine exist side-by-side: one service for beginners and an advanced version. Features allow searchers to restrict queries to search for meaningful words.

Reducing the amount of time spent searching for expired domain names will save many Webmasters time and expense.

A demo of the service is available online at (http://www.droplistpro.com/domain-search-demo.htm).

###


And you are done. Always put your URLs into parentheses. PRWeb and other services will munge the URLs if they are too close to punctuation like periods (.).

Whatever your summary is, KEEP IT SHORT. Do NOT try to sell, convince, or justify, or rationalize anything in that summary or in your first paragraph. You lose people when you try to convince them up front.

#38 opcis

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 12:11 AM

Taking into account all the feedback from this thread and using the content derived from my latest attempt and that from the Marketing students, here is what I have come up with.

www.droplistpro.com/press-release.htm

I'm anxious to see your feedback. I will also give it to a few people I know and go over it with the Marketing students to see what they think.

QUOTE(Michael Martinez @ May 4 2005, 08:54 PM)
You do understand there is 1-2 day delay after you submit a press release before it actually goes out, right? The worst possible day to submit a press release is Friday. You may as well plan on waiting until Monday.
View Post

I'm going to do the $30 submission, which I believe is next day. I heard that the best day to for a press release is Sunday, because there is ususally less news. If that's true, shouldn't I submit the press release on Saturday?

#39 copywriter

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 07:18 AM

I have to disagree with Michael's rewrite. I don't see that all the facts are included and I feel it gives little to no detail.

Opcis - about your revision.

Headline


Much better. I'd just tweak it to say, "New Search Engine Makes Finding Quality Domains Easier."

Summary

OK, now. What's your focus going to be? You start out with a headline about finding quality domains and then go into summary that talks about selling them for thousands. Do me a favor an just drop the summary merge that info into the body of the release. OK?

Body

Good opening, but let's rearrange some sentences.

QUOTE
As competition on the Internet intensifies, more and more people are actively looking for a quality domain for their site. With over 30 million dotcoms registered, a good domain is increasingly hard to find. DropListPro.com has developed what is known as an expired domain search engine, which gives users the ability to easily search through millions of expiring domains scheduled to come back on the market. While there are over 20,000 domains being registered each day, most people don't realize that there are also just as many expiring. After a domain expires it may be up to three months before it becomes available. DropListPro.com shows when these domains will re-enter the market and how to acquire them.


The changes I've made are in bold.

It's not illegal to say your company name or what you do. The reporter has to know that information so he/she can write the story. You will notice, however, that superlative words/phrases like "perfect" and "unfortunately for them" have been removed.

Second Paragraph

This sentence has a typo:

QUOTE
find a needle in a haystack then find what you're looking for.


Not bad for the 2nd paragraph. The quote rambles a little, but it does give enough text for a reporter to pull a decent sound bite from it.

Conclusion

Oops! You don't have one wink.gif A good way to close is to give contact information again and instructions. For example

QUOTE
A demo of DropListPro.com's expired domain search engine (this is not capitalized, by the way) can be found at ____________.  For additional information or to schedule an interview, contact Chris Richmond at (xxx) xxx-xxxx or via email at chris@whatever.com. 


Then put your ticks (### centered underneath the last paragraph) to show that this is the end of the release and you're done. Oh, and have it professional proofread. You don't want grammatical errors leaving a bad impression.

That's my take on the situation.

As for Sunday being the best day to send it out. Not if you want to reach reporters, it's not. Reporters come in on Monday to an inbox stuffed with all kinds of stuff. They're are deleting faster than you can blink an eye. I'd send it Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday so they'll get it Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

#40 Michael Martinez

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 10:51 AM

QUOTE(copywriter @ May 5 2005, 07:18 AM)
I have to disagree with Michael's rewrite. I don't see that all the facts are included and I feel it gives little to no detail.


I did say I wouldn't go with exactly that.

QUOTE(opcis @ May 5 2005, 12:11 AM)
Taking into account all the feedback from this thread and using the content derived from my latest attempt and that from the Marketing students, here is what I have come up with.

www.droplistpro.com/press-release.htm


Well, I don't like it. Your paragraphs are way too long. And I come from the school of "write STRONG and ACTIVE". Your headline is not STRONG or ACTIVE.

In my opinion, your opening paragraph should be short, sweet, and to the point. It can be longer than my example, but it should not be a megagraph like the two you have.

Take all that pride you have put into your press release and cut it out. Your pride is showing through and it's not going to impress anyone.

These are non-technical people writing for non-technical people. They need to know why your search engine will be useful to those non-technical people without you trying to convince them that it will be useful.

The bottom line is, you cannot sell a journalist (not an experienced one, at least). They've heard it all before.

The more droning you do, the faster they move on to the next release.

QUOTE
I'm going to do the $30 submission, which I believe is next day. I heard that the best day to for a press release is Sunday, because there is ususally less news. If that's true, shouldn't I submit the press release on Saturday?


Saturday, Sunday, Monday -- you're still coming in behind all the Friday submissions. I have learned to be patient on those days when I come close to the weekend. I much rather prefer submitting on Monday because Tuesday's feed is usually smaller. (Looks like copywriter and I agree on that much, for what it's worth.)

If you're going to spend money, though, I recently saw a discussion (perhaps on this forum) where someone said they had determined by experimentation that $80 got them into Google News (although you can do it through PR Leap for free -- or, at least, my last submission there a few weeks ago got in for free).

#41 copywriter

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 11:11 AM

And that's what makes life grand. That different people can have different opinions and experiences.

#42 opcis

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 11:15 AM

I fixed all the mistakes pointed out by copywriter.

www.droplistpro.com/press-release.htm

#43 copywriter

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 11:19 AM

I like it.

#44 opcis

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 11:24 AM

Fantastic! 6 attempts later and I finally got it.

I'll send out the press release on Monday, so I'll continue to check this thread until then incase anyone else has any comments.

Thanks so much for all your help.

#45 copywriter

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 11:37 AM

wink.gif




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