Business Writing Tips

Read these 17 Business Writing Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Press Release tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I write effective press release copy?

Active Voice in Press Releases

Active voice is infinitely more engaging. Use the active voice in your press releases (and in all of your communications whenever possible) instead of the passive voice. Review your release carefully to make sure that your language is as direct as possible. It is also important that you maintain the same tense throughout your release. Don't flip-flop from past to present tense.

   
How can I write effective press release copy?

Adverbs in Press Releases

Not every adjective was meant to become an adverb just by adding 'ly' to the end. Make sure your adverbs sound correct, and be sure they add to the text. "Tiredly" is technicall correct, but it sounds awkward and weak.

   
How can I make my press release as effective as possible?

Best Length for a Press Release

Press releases are like resumes. They should not be too long. Your headline and opening paragraph should contain all the essential information in your press release. In fact, they should be able to stand alone if necessary. Think of them as a calendar listing or event announcement unto themselves. Editors may receive hundreds (or even thousands) of releases each week, so get to the point.

   
How can I write effective press release copy?

Use of Language in Press Releases

Your press release should be easy for the average person to understand without having to pull out the dictionary. Don't add unnecessary complexity, and don't assume that the reader knows industry jargon or slang. Keep it simple.

   
How can I write effective press release copy?

Point of View in Press Releases

Double check your release to make sure you are using the same point of view throughout. Don't write in the first person in one paragraph and then switch to the third person later in the release. As a rule, the third person should be used throughout a press release, with the possible exception of quotations.

   
How can I write effective press release copy?

Abbreviations in Press Releases

If you use an abbreviation in your release, even if it's common in your industry, spell out the first instance and follow it with the abbreviation in parentheses. For example, "Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software." You can then use the acronym alone on subsequent references in the same press release. You never know who will be reading the article that's generated by your release, so leave it to the journalist to determine what level of jargon his or her readers can tolerate.

   

Business Writing Tips

Business copy needs to be clear, concise and easy to read, without being condescending or overly simplistic. Save the catchy slogans and plays on words for advertising. Executives are busy, and they want you to cut to the chase. Make your point in the first paragraph (or even the headline, if possible). Expand upon your point throughout the rest of the piece.

   
How can I ensure my press release is well-written?

Be Accurate and Correct

To write an effective press release, you must check carefully to be sure that your release doesn't contain any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors. You must also check for illogical or unsubstantiated claims. Once you're sure it's perfect, check it again.

   
How can I write effective press release copy?

Press Releases and Action

Press releases should be strong, affirmative statements. Describe what something is rather than what it isn't. Say, "The company is closed on weekends," rather than, "The company is not usually open on weekends." Better yet, say, "The company is open Monday through Friday."

   
What can I say about my product in a press release?

Press Releases and the Facts

Avoid overblown statements in your press releases, as well as claims typically found in advertising copy. Stick to the facts. Watch out for statements like, "We're the best!" And by the way...exclamation points usually have no place in a press release.

   
What are the keys to writing a clear press release?

Attribution in Press Releases

All direct quotes must be attributed in a press release. When attributing a quote, it's usually sufficient to say simply, "he said" or "she said." The temptation is great to modify the attribution with something like, "he said happily," but this is usually unnecessary and detracts from the subject of the quote.

   
How can I write effective press release copy?

Press Releases and Jargon

Avoid technical jargon, unless you are certain that your release will only be read by a very specialized audience. Generally, avoid figures of speech or expressions, even if your audience will catch your meaning. Using the simplest possible terms (without being condescending) will give your writing the greatest impact.

   
How can I write effective press release copy?

Overstating Your Case in Press Releases

Overstating your case in a press release will make the reader suspicious of the entire release. Using superlatives or over-emphasizing your point usually backfires. Make sure anything and everything that you say can be backed up. Cite credible sources in the body of your press release, and include contact information of sources for journalists to ask questions of should they wish to do so.

   
How can I write effective press release copy?

Conversational--Not Overkill

You should avoid jargon and make your press release conversational in tone. However, you don't need to include too much conversation! Take out any words that aren't critical to the meaning of the sentence. Journalists believe that "less is more," so watch out for words that don't add anything. Some words to watch for include: very, rather, obviously, pretty, and that.

   
How can current events help my press release get covered?

Timely Press Releases

Be ready to jump on any news trends that affect or relate to your product, service, or industry. Riding the coattails of current media events is a great way to get coverage, and may even get your company positioned as an industry expert.

   
How can I write effective press release copy?

Rules for Strong Copy in Press Releases

Make sure your copy is error-free. It should be clear, concise, and easy to understand. Leave the cute plays on words and pithy slogans to the billboards and magazine ads. In a press release, you need to communicate the benefits of your product or service effectively and efficiently. Use active language, and avoid past tense.

   
How can I best promote my product in a press release?

Press Releases and the Truth

Stick to the facts, and only include facts that you can substantiate. It's all right to present the facts in the light that's most favorable to your company, but be sure that anything you say can be backed up. Using superlatives or wildly optimistic quotes are red flags to the media. Be sure not to stretch the truth. And even if it is the truth, ask yourself, "Is there some way a reader could misinterpret this?" If so, rewrite the release.

   
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Byron White