Dogs Love Running! - the blog for pet owners and pet professionals
5 Steps: How To Write a Press Release For Your Dog Walking Company
First of all, what exactly is a press release and why would you want to write one for your dog walking or pet sitting service? Well, a press release is basically a semi-news story that aims to get information out about you and/or your product/service. The goal is to get your name out onto the internet to be seen by readers as well as, hopefully, get picked up by reporters and journalists who will want to contact you to do a story of their own for their respective news outlet (like a newspaper, radio station, etc). The more your story spreads, the more people hear about you and the more people that take action (they contact you, buy from you, learn about an issue, etc).
Entire books have been written on writing press releases and doing publicity, but let's break it down into 5 simple steps that you can do right now:
- Every press release for your dog walking business needs to have a STORY component. That means that, instead of writing about your brand new lower prices (boring!!!), tie your new pricing into a story that makes it interesting to read about. For example, you could relate the current struggling US economy to why you're lowering your prices. Make it a story about how you're helping the American family by making your service even more affordable than ever before. Creating a story behind your announcement makes it much more interesting to the reader.
- Create an appealing headline. Your goal here is not to drive traffic to your site or sell something. It's to interest someone in reading the story. Hopefully one of those readers will be a journalist who will find your information to be appealing enough to write about for his/her own audience. Keep your headline short, to the point, and interesting. Here's an example of a bad headline: Jeff's Fancy Pet Sitting, Inc. Introduces New Lower Prices. This is too flat. There's no appeal - nothing to make you want to read more. To give it a little more pizazz, let's change this around and say "Expert Pet Sitter Saves Americans Big Money" or "Pet Sitter Rescues Both Dogs And American Wallets". There are a gazillion ways to go about writing a headline. Just remember to make the reader curious to read more.
- The beginning of your pet sitting press release needs to start with a bang: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY, AND HOW. These are the essential components of your story. The reader needs to know the answers to these 6 questions. It tells them the basics of what the story is going to talk about all in just 1 or 2 sentences. The rest of the release should be roughly 500 words (give or take a hundred or two). It should support the who/what/when/where/why/how with additional interesting details. Keep in mind to write in the third person (don't use "I" or "we") and don't make it sound like an advertisement. It's a "news" story, so write it as if a newscaster was going to read your release word for word on a TV news show. If possible, use quotations, too. Bottom line: keep it factual, entertaining, and informative.
- The end of the story should contain a couple sentences about you. Again, keep it factual and not a sales pitch. For example: "Jeff's Fancy Pet Sitting was founded in 2002 to help vacationers with an affordable and reliable solution for their pet care needs while they're away. Jeff can be contacted at [fill in contact information]."
- Publish your release to internet press release services. There are 10-bazillion out there, both free and paid. The free ones are generally worthless. If your release is done correctly, the paid ones will often get you lots of internet listings for your story and bring eyeballs and journalists to your front door. Of course, also send it out (via email, fax, etc) to journalists that you've identified as having a possible interest in what you're writing about. You can find these journalists by looking in your local newspaper, contacting local TV and radio outlets, and searching for local blogs and other local internet news and entertainment sites.
There are lots of minor details we're skipping in this article (like proper formatting procedures, etc), but you can find all that easily in an internet search. The 5 steps above though are the essentials you need to create an appealing press release that gets read.