The Basics

What the outdoor retailer offers is personal expertise which is something the web cannot deliver. In a world awash with product and competing claims, the informed sales person comes into his or her own. On these pages and in concert with individual sponsors we offer a series of bullet point guides to the basics of the key outdoor product categories. Our aim is to provide inexperienced sales staff a guide to what to remember and for more experienced ones a reminder of things they might have forgotten. The Basics has been produced so as to make it simple to download – in most cases each takes up no more than single sheet of paper.

The Basics of Writing Your Own Press Releases

What is a press release?

Press releases are official statements issued by companies, organisations and individuals which are then sent to print and broadcast media. Press releases may be purely factual and address a specific issue or concern or they may be more promotional in nature. 

Keep to the subject

Objectivity is central to writing good press releases. You can maintain this by always writing in the third person. Never use I, you, we or us; always it, he, she and they. The company is always singular, so be sure to use ‘it’ rather than ‘they’.

No initials

Avoid acronyms and abbreviations. If unavoidable spell them out in the first instance – for example electronic point of sale (EPOS) - and then introduce them in the abbreviated form thereafter (EPOS). Better still, don’t use them at all. 

It isn’t Shakespeare...

Remember this isn’t poetry. Simple, concise language is preferable to long, protracted, flowery language. 

…and it isn’t Dickens either 

Press releases are not stories; they should not build up to a thrilling climax. Always compose the release using an inverted pyramid structure, with the most important information appearing first. That way, if a journalist stops reading after the first or second paragraph, he/she has already gleaned the vital facts 

Don’t boast

Never make a claim you cannot back up. So out go ‘the world’s number one service’, ‘our product is totally unique’ or anything similar unless there is verifiable and acceptable data to justify such a claim 

No jargon

Use language everyone understands. Don’t rely on a barrage of industry jargon and buzzwords, such as the cost-effective, leading edge, one-stop-shop solution and so on. This sort of language is meaningless and it is disliked by good journalists . 

Headlines

Should be succinct and snappy and in the present or future tense. 

Get the image right  

A good picture can be the deciding factor between two stories of equal worth, so the rule is wherever possible supply a good image. This is subject to two caveats: If you only have low res images send nothing at all. A great story can be easily undermined by low quality imagery. Send high-resolution images. If you’re directing journalists to website downloads, you must make sure it is easy for them to access and that all the images are useable (this is frequently not the case). 

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