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Lesson One – the Press Release

Writing a press release is very nearly the worst job in the world [Yeah, and reading the bloody things is the worst – Ed]. But if you follow Dr Spinola's simple rules, you just can't go wrong.

Words and phrases to avoid

Under no circumstances ever use any of the following expressions:
Leverage
Core Competencies
Mission
Set to Explode
Aggressive
Synergy
Headquartered
Groundbreaking
Larry Ellison
Solution provider
Small but fast-growing
Proactive
i820 chipset
World class
Dynamic

Words and phrases to include in every release

Please let us know your required bribe level
The press conference will be held in Antigua

Write two copies of the release

The first is for use in the interminable internal clearance procedure; the second contains information useful to working journalists. This way everyone is happy – the MD fondly imagines his input has been included and hacks don't have to wade through the piffle he insists on including.

Write a snappy headline

Which of the following headlines works best?
"Intel to launch new router"
"Intel to give Cisco a good shafting"

Know when a release is not appropriate

Most companies issue far too many releases. You are a PR professional. If the boss demands you issue a release, don't be afraid to tell him he's wrong. When he sacks you, there are always plenty of vacancies in IT PR. ®

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