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Template software programs claim to write your press release for you. Try to write it on your own first, and only use one of these programs if you get stuck. You are probably the best person to describe the uniqueness of your product or service, and you want that passion to come through in your release. Use a template program for help with format and style if you need it, but critically evaluate the release to make sure it meets the criteria effectiveness.
There are several software programs that offer a "fill in the blanks" approach to writing press releases. Since one of the objectives is to make your release stand out from the crowd, you're usually better off to at least try to write the release on your own. You are most familiar with your product and its unique benefits. If you understand the qualities that make a good press release, you'll be able to evaluate one that's written with software to make sure it meets the criteria.
There are many online services that will distribute your press release for a fee. It's important to carefully examine the services these companies offer. Choose a service that charges a subscription fee or has an opt-in option for journalists. Look for one that will target your release to journalists and analysts in your indstury. Some services simply send blast emails to all the journalists in their databases - most journalists won't read these types of messages.
If you're trying to write your own press release and you get stuck, you may want to take a look at some of the programs that claim to write your release for you. Examine the result critically, however, to be sure it meets the criteria for an effective release.
There are online companies that will write press releases, distribute them, or both. Most of these companies are reputable, some are even effective. The trick is to wade through all of the hype to find out which one is right for you. The good news is that many of them are very reasonably priced, so even if you choose the wrong one, you haven't lost too much. Still, it pays to do your homework. Look for a service that offers the services you want (writing or distribution or both) and look for one with experience in your industry. Look for a service that targets specific journalists or publications, unless your news has broad based appeal. Make sure that you're only paying for a service that you cannot do yourself.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|