June 26, 2017

Lead on

Write better release openers

Are you still using the fact pack — cramming who, what, when, where, why and how into the first paragraph of your news release? Are you still married to the dated “XYZ Company today announced …” approach?

Lead on

Follow the leader Make sure your message gets heard with colorful, compelling PR leads. Image by June Yarham

These conventional formulas to release leads are formulaic, old-fashioned and — let’s face it — dull. Both approaches slow the story down, appear unsophisticated and are too stereotypical to stand out from the competition.

Instead, choose from these three more effective approaches. …

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“‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.’ The creation of the universe has a ten-word lead! So why do you need 40 words to say that your chief accountant has just completed the necessary certification? The answer, of course, is you don’t.”
— John McIntyre, copy desk chief, Baltimore Sun

Anatomy Of a PR Piece

Tap current best practices, from lead to boilerplate

Prose is architecture, Hemingway famously said. It’s not interior design.

Body of evidence image

Body of evidence Get proven-in-the-lab techniques for improving your PR piece, from headline to -30-. Image by Celeste RC

Are you building a compelling foundation for your media relations pieces? Or are you still using structural techniques you learned when you were 19?

At Not Your Father’s News Release — a two-day PR-writing Master Class on July 27-28 in Portland, Oregon — you’ll learn how to organize PR pieces to grab reader attention, keep it for the long haul and leave a lasting impression.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Choose a structure that increases readership, understanding and satisfaction with your message. (Hint: The structure you’re using now is probably doing the opposite.)
  • Avoid PR 101 leads. Still using the fact pack? Still writing announcement leads? It’s time to move on to a more effective approach.
  • Transform lame-ass quotes into killer sound bites.
  • Avoid the worst PR clichés. PR Newswire sees 1,284 of these in a single month. How can you make your PR messages stand out?
  • Beat the boilerplate blues. Here’s one way to stay off The Bad Pitch Blog.

This is the only PR-writing Master Class we’ve scheduled for this year. Don’t miss out on your chance to learn to write PR pieces that reach readers in 2016.

“This is the best and most practical training I’ve ever had. I’ll use all of her tips on a daily basis.”
— Daphne Siefert Herron, senior communications officer, Indiana University, Office of Vice President for IT

Polish your skills at our upcoming Master Classes

Learn to Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more

Register for writing workshop in San Diego on June 28-29
Register for PR writing workshop in Portland on July 27-28

Register for Online writing workshop in New York on Sept. 28-29
Register for communication measurement workshop in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 12-13

Register for writing workshop in Houston on Nov. 2-3
Register for Creative writing workshop in Los Angeles on Feb. 23-24, 2017

Register for Tight writing workshop in Washington, D.C. on April 6-7, 2017
Rather bring Ann in to train your whole team?

Catch Ann on the road

Save when you book a workshop while I’m in your neighborhood

Ask about piggybacking on my upcoming engagements in:

  • Geneva: Sept. 13 & Nov. 29
  • Helsinki: Sept. 2
  • Houston: Nov. 2-3
  • Indianapolis: Oct. 24
  • Los Angeles: Aug. 9-10 & Feb. 23-24, 2017
  • New York: Sept. 28-29
  • Portland: July 27-28
  • San Diego: June 28-29
  • Washington, D.C.: Aug. 2-3, Oct. 12-13 & April 6-7, 2017

Keep up with my calendar.