Specialists in Internet Web Sites Since 1995
© 1999 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D.
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
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.
~ Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D. is an Information Architect
who publishes both in print and online. Contact her at
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