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Re: Third draft (was Re: we need a release announcement -- soon)

I believe press releases should be written for two reasons: 1) to sell the
article idea to the editor; 2) can be used without change by under-staffed

My suggestions:

Don't start with "pleased to announce" -- this is a press release cliche.
Start with a sentence that attracts the editor (or the editors will think
will attract their readers).

Don't use "we believe", " ... our ...", "He will be missed", "We expect
..." etc. I believe it sounds like the news organization is saying these
things. A news organization can not use this press release as is. To fix
this, simply add attribution (for example: "The Debian developers expect
..." or "Debian has also moved closer ...").

I feel it is very important to mention that some upgrades can be done with
very little impact on end-users. Services most often continue to run or
are only stopped for a few seconds.

Do we need to mention "napster" software? Maybe it can just mention new
software "interfaces to popular MP3 sharing services".

Also, it may be a good idea to prepare a few press releases with
differences in length and differences in angle. For example, one targeted
for the computer user who has no idea what Linux is; it should mention
that it is an alternative (other than Mac OS or Windows 98) operating
system which ALSO includes hundreds of applications, games and
other programs.

Good work Chris!

-jeremy reed (a journalism graduate, but still learning!)

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