TEST: Did you Write a Press Release, an Article or a Sales Letter?

PRBuzz LLC is in the business of press release distribution. However, we sometimes have customers that submit an article or sales letter to us without understanding that they have NOT written a press release. We can't distribute articles, sales letters or other types of documents.

A good test to determine if you have written a press release is to ask the question "What happened?". If the headline and body of your document does not answer this question, you have probably NOT written a press release.

Here are examples of acceptable press release headlines that pass the test:

RaceDeck Featured on MTV2 Custom Car Series Funkmaster Flex Full Throttle

ShatterGARD Introduces Easy to Install "Peel and Stick" VehicleGARD Security Window Protection Films

Hmedicine.com Introduces Product Review Website

Best Media Room Award Given to DSI Entertainment Systems

Bean Bag Zone receives A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau

Authors claim women are partly, but unintentionally, to blame for their reputation as the weaker sex

GustBuster, The World's Smartest Umbrella, featured in The Wall Street Journal

Aidmatrix Acquires NPower Texas

Green Dot Public Schools Awards Medi-Cal Billing Contract To Accelify

Norris E-Commerce Management, Inc. Joins the National School Supply & Equipment Association

Madison Wedding Photographer Goes Green

Jet Luxury Resorts Expands to The City Center at The Vdara Condo-Hotel

Ask yourself "what happened" after reading each of them. They each answer this question.

The following are either article headlines or sales letter headlines and NOT press release headlines:

Rejected Headline:
condo or house: thinking of investing?
Problem: This would be an excellent headline for an article but not a press release. A good press release headline would be "Condo or House? Noted Real Estate Author Releases Report to Help Buyers Make this Important Decision"

Rejected Headline: Home Security Expert: Advice from Residential Security Expert
Problem: This is a good headline for an article about security but it is NOT a press release headline. It could be turned into a press release headline by changing it to this "Security Expert Releases Free Report with Important Tips on Residential Security"

Rejected Headline: Religion - The Key To Success
Problem: This is an article headline. It could be turned into a press release headline this way "Author's New Book Explains how Religion is the Key to Success"

Rejected Headline: All Latest Electrical News in One Place with Dedicated Site...
Problem: This is NOT a press release headline. It could be turned into a good headline this way: "XYZ Company Creates a News Portal for the Electrical Industry"

Rejected Headline: Valentines Day Trucker Hat
Problem: This does not answer the question "what happened". This could be turned into a press release headline this way "XYZ Company Releases New Line of Valentine's Day Trucker Hats"

Rejected Headline: Can liposuction replace dieting?
Problem: This is an article headline. Press releases can not ask questions. Instead they must provide information. A way to turn this into a press release would be to change the headline to "Noted Doctor Tells Patients "Liposuction Should Never be a Replacement for Diets"

Rejected Headline: Celebrate Your Favorite Teachers Today!
Problem: This is a sales letter. A sure way to tell that it is a sales letter or advertisement is if it has a "call to action". A call to action is when you are asking your customer to buy. This is not acceptable.

Rejected Headline: XYZ Resort Ensures You Will Allways Remember Your First Time.... In New York City
Problem: In addition to being a sales pitch, it is NOT written in third person. You can NOT use the word "you" in a press release unless you are quoting someone. In addition to being one of the generally accepted press release rules, it makes the press release sound like an advertisement.

Rejected Headline: Win a Free EcoSak Eco Friendly Bean Bag Chair for Earth Day
Problem: This is currently a "call to action" sales letter, but it could easily be fixed by changing it to this "Ecosak Announces Earth Day Contest With Bean Bag Chair as Grand Prize"

Rejected Headline: No One Can Beat XYZ Advertising
Problem: This is a company slogan.

NEXT: The body of the press release:

Once you have a proper headline, the next step is to write the body of the press release. In the body of the release, you must elaborate on your headline by going into more detail about the "what, when, where, how and why" of your announcement or news. Once again, this is more detail about "what happened".

 
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