Press releases

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Press releases are typically used to announce new products, or new releases of existing products. Their purpose is to create an awareness of the product that will hopefully lead to new sales. However, unlike sales literature, the intended audience for a press release is not the potential customer. Instead, press releases are normally sent to news agencies or magazine editors, who will use the information contained in the press release to craft their own article.

Stylistically, then, press releases should be relatively short and perfunctory, providing enough information for the agencies and magazines to write an article on the product or release. Start the release with a single narrative paragraph that describes the product and explains what it does. This will allow the intended recipient to decide where to use the information. Follow this initial paragraph with further detail about the product, in a form that lends itself to rapid assimilation (such as a bulleted list, and short sentences). There is little point in trying to adopt a particular linguistic style, as each recipient of the communication will re-write the information in their house style, anyway. A 'vanilla' text is therefore more useful to them.

Do not include too much technical detail (omit measurements, operating tolerances, etc.) unless these are part of the product's 'uniqueness' (e.g. smallest product in its class). Also, bear in mind that it is not necessary to explain every aspect of the product. A few sentences or a paragraph on each selling-point will normally be sufficient. If the editor wants to run a longer story on the product, they will contact the manufacturer for additional details (so be sure to include contact details).

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