Monday, July 13, 2009

Fitness Press Release

Take the Lead With Your Next Press Release

As a fitness writer, I receive a lot of story pitches from personal trainers and fitness organizations.

Recently, a press release came across my desk promoting a new product based on a popular fitness format. After struggling through the first paragraph, I stopped reading.

It was too boring and confusing. I suspected most journalists wouldn’t bother to read past that first muddled paragraph either.

The first paragraph of a press release - sometimes called the lead - holds a lot of weight. Its crucial job is to hook readers and relay important information while promising something interesting in the paragraphs to come.

Getting the lead right - whether it’s for a press release, a blog post or an article – takes savvy.

For example, if the topic you are touting is already well-known, piggyback on this success, but find a new angle.

If you write a press release about a topic that’s already been covered in the media many times, you might think this proves the worthiness of your own press release. But editors or television producers in search of new stories might not see it that way. Instead, they might see your press release as rehashing the “same old stuff” and delete it or toss it in the recycling bin.

Keep this in mind if you’re writing a press release about staying fit this summer. Begin with something interesting and fresh. For example, introduce a new spin on an old idea. “Get in Shape for Summer" has been done many times and it’s pretty generic. It’s not particularly compelling either – any journalist can think of that idea on their own.

You need a better hook. For example, "Shape Up to Prevent Summertime Hiking Injuries" or “Remake Your Shape: 7 Summer-Fit Moves You Can Do Anywhere.” Both examples present some type of focused hook.

Bottom line: Increase your success by putting a new and specific spin on a familiar topic.

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