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How to Write a Press Release to Promote Your Nurse-Owned Business

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Elizabeth Hanes Elizabeth Hanes, BSN, RN (Trusted Brand)

Specializes in Freelance Writer, 'the nurse who knows content'. Has 13 years experience.

Write and Format a Press Release Like a Pro

Obtaining media coverage by issuing press releases is a solid strategy for raising the profile of your nurse-owned business

How to Write a Press Release to Promote Your Nurse-Owned Business

Many nurse entrepreneurs focus on marketing and sales to propel their business forward. And that makes sense, because marketing, advertising, and direct outreach all can generate rapid success for any business venture.

Earned Media

But nurse business owners should not neglect the power of earned media. “Earned media” refers to mentions of your brand or business in news stories. Unlike advertising and other paid outreach, earned media wields great power in your target audience’s mind because they know no business can buy coverage in a newspaper or magazine.

Press Releases

Press releases (more properly called “news releases”) represent one tried-and-true method for garnering earned media mentions. You can use news releases to attract the attention of journalists who might feature your news in a story. Here’s how to write and format a great press release that generates earned media mentions.

1. Start with your contact information at the very top

Above the body of your news release, include the contact information for your company’s spokesperson. If you’re a small, nurse-owned business, that’s probably you. Make it easy for a journalist to contact you to follow up on the release. Include your best phone number – and answer it! That could be a reporter on the other end, anxious to interview you for a quote.

If you’re planning to publish your news release on the web, you may not want to include your telephone number. In that case, put your best email address on the release – and check your email frequently after you issue the release. Respond promptly to reporter inquiries. Remember, media relations is a relationship game. If you’re responsive to journalists, they’re more likely to reach out for your expertise in the future.

2. Add a dateline

The TV show “Dateline” takes its name from the news publishing term for the city and date information that precedes any published “hard news” story in a major publication. Examples of datelines:

Sept. 29, 2020 [NEW YORK] – The Supreme Court today…

09/29/2020 [SAN FRANCISCO] – Tech giant XYZ Corporation today announced…

You can choose to format the date portion of the dateline in whatever manner you’d like. The city name should represent your corporate location and should be typed in all caps within brackets followed by an “em” dash. If you are not located in a major city, then include your state information, as well. When I issue press releases for my company, the dateline looks like this:

09/29/2020 [ALBUQUERQUE, NM] – RN2writer announced today that it has launched…

After the em dash, start the body of your news release.

The dateline is not just a silly formatting thing. It actually provides vital information at-a-glance to reporters. It tells them where you are located and the precise date you issued the news contained within the release.

3. Write a great “hook”

The opening sentence of your news release must be compelling. Intriguing. Startling. It needs to “hook” the attention of the journalist receiving it, and it’s OK to pull out all the stops to grab the reader’s attention.

Boring opener: “XYZ Company announced today that it will be offering free fall risk assessments to the first 100 seniors who request them.”

Compelling opener: “Each year an estimated 265 local seniors die from falls, yet many [local area] seniors cannot afford to pay for a fall risk assessment of their home environment. To help area seniors live more safely at home, XYZ Company announced today it will offer a free fall risk assessment to 100 local, economically disadvantaged seniors, starting this weekend.”

4. Use the inverted pyramid style

Journalists need you to get to the point rapidly in your news release, so use the classic “inverted pyramid” style by putting all of the most important information at the top and then working downward toward the less-important things, like your company history.

Include the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How (if applicable) within the first paragraph so that a reporter need only scan your release quickly to figure out what it’s about. Then drop in a good quote from yourself or another principal, and then use another paragraph or two to dive deeper into the news you’re sharing. Keep your press release to two pages, tops.

5. End your release with ###

Just below the last sentence of your news release, type either ### or -30-. These marks indicate the end of your news release and alert the reader that no pages or paragraphs are missing.

By writing and formatting your news release like a pro, you’ll stand out to local and national journalists looking for newsworthy story ideas or industry experts to interview. And then you might find your earned media mentions rising.

I'm an RN but make my living as a freelance writer. I produce health articles, patient information, web pages, blog posts, video scripts - and so much more - on behalf of clients like hospitals, health systems, insurers and digital magazines. I work from home, set my own hours and find plenty of time to care for my elderly mother, go to the gym, take vacation, fill my house with antiques....

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5 Comment(s)

tnbutterfly - Mary, BSN, RN

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

Elizabeth, thanks for this informative article.  This will be very helpful for those trying to get some earned media for your business. 

Please share the stories of your successes with Press Releases. (You can share some not-so-successful stories, too.  We can all learn from one another.)

Elizabeth Hanes, BSN, RN

Specializes in Freelance Writer, 'the nurse who knows content'. Has 13 years experience.

And sometimes the not-so-successful stories are much more interesting and entertaining!

Beth

tnbutterfly - Mary, BSN, RN

Specializes in Peds, Med-Surg, Disaster Nsg, Parish Nsg.

On 10/5/2020 at 2:29 PM, Elizabeth Hanes said:

And sometimes the not-so-successful stories are much more interesting and entertaining!

Beth

Many times we learn more from our "not-so-successful stories" than our brilliant successes.  And like you said, Beth, they can be entertaining when we look back.  They hopefully help us to see our learning progression as we have more successes than "uh-ohs".

Thank you for this article it has been helpful in giving me some new ideas on how I plan to market my health education app in the near future.  Any other types of advice you can give would be most useful.

pattithenurse

Specializes in School Nursing/Pediatrics. Has 30 years experience.

Hi Beth!

You have been my inspiration and I follow all of you posts and blogs.  Where would I publish such a press release?