This past week, I had the pleasure of helping out Donna Gilkey-Lavin who had stopped into the Community Media Lab for advice on writing a press release.
Gilkey-Lavin, who is the sales and marketing vice president of locally-based Lavin Lift Straps, talked with me about her business, which recently won an award from Great Lakes Entrepreneur Quest for a new business idea.
Gilkey-Lavin shared that her business team was very small and had no experience with writing a press release or the money to hire a professional writer.
With that, we sat down and talked over what is essential to writing a good press release: Writing a good lede by making sure all the important information (who, what, when, where, how and why) is succinctly in the first sentence, defining what her business and the award are all about, including a high-res photo and lastly, but not least, having several quotes from important people involved in the process.
We also talked about the best way to get an editor’s attention for an email as much of the time editors are inundated with press releases, many of which are not local and get deleted. In my opinion, it’s best to put the location or dateline in the subject of the email and write something short and sweet like this: “Ypsilanti business wins entrepreneur award.”
If you need help with writing a press release or other topics relating to newspapers, social media or blogging, stop on by the lab some time.