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Publicity Releases© 1999 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.
When we consider the possibility of a publicity release, we think of the standard release. A standard release simply states the important news. It's the most common type of release, aimed at getting the book or the publishing company mentioned in an article in the targeted publications. That's a good, serviceable release, but we can create two more types of press releases which might help us even more.
The Article Release
In the Article Release, we can describe what our product news says about society today. For example, a press release announcing a book on adult dating could include some of the information in the book. We tell the editor exactly why we wrote the book. If we tell the editor why the book is important to today's busy adults, we are giving the editor a reason to publish an article on that topic. Of course, the editor will include the important details on the book within the resulting article.
The Tease Release
In the Tease Release, we provide some intriguing information, but we leave some questions unanswered. This is a difficult release to write. It needs enough detail to interest an editor, yet it omits some important points. Why? Because the Tease Release is most likely to generate a phone call from an editor. Once you have the editor on the phone, you can give him all kinds of reasons for writing a story about your book.
Preparing a Publicity Release
A publicity release is double-spaced and extends no more than two pages. It goes out in a standard format with certain standard contents.
Upper Left Corner: Gives the timeliness of the release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE or FOR RELEASE ON JULY 4, 1998
Upper Right Corner: Gives the contact information for the release:
For Further Information Contact:
Name of Contact Person
Phone Number of Contact Person
The headline is the most important part of the release, because it clearly states why the release is important. The headline doesn't announce why the release is important to the publisher who sent it out. Rather, the headline tells why the news is important to the editor reading the release. You want a riveting headline, so be boastful about the importance of the book.
The first paragraph after the headline summarizes the release. It clarifies the concept stated in the headline.
Background, Credentials, and Quotes:
This section describes the publishing company and the author. This section shows the reader why the author is the best person to write this book. This section includes one or more quotable quotes, followed by the reason why this author is an authority.
Call to Action:
The final paragraph tells the reader what you want him to do. This section can list the radio or TV talk shows where the author made a successful appearance, or it can list recent articles on the author's topic. Finally, it tells the editor to call to book an appearance or to call for an interview on an exciting story.
Note that we told the reader right at the top of the page when to release the news, who to contact for more, and what the news is. Then we filled in the blanks and asked for the call.
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