Guide to Press Release Optimization

The most valued membership benefit of the American Horse Publications is its Newsgroup Service for press release distribution across the equine industry.  Make the most of this member benefit by writing press releases that stand out!


Do’s And Don’ts

Write using the same journalistic rules as your recipients: accuracy, brevity, proper punctuation, the five W’s (Who, What, When, Where, and Why), and the inverted pyramid. Write in third person whenever possible. Avoid buzzwords, branded terms, clichés, and jargon.  Nothing torpedoes credibility like spelling and grammar mistakes.  Proof and proof again.

Start Off Right

Think of a headline as a billboard people are cruising by in a fast sports car.  Keep it short and sweet as possible.  Those 6-10 words can be the difference between your release being read… or being deleted.  Avoid emoji’s and all caps.  Don’t try to be funny.  Use a key stat if possible.  And, above all, clearly communicate the essence of what you’re promoting.

Get To The Point

Journalists don’t care what you think the story should be.  They want to quickly peruse the pertinent information and determine whether they think it’s a story.  Give journalists what they are looking for:  an easily executed story idea that their editors will love. Remember to keep your tone neutral and objective—like a newscaster vs. an advertisement.

Less Is More

Wait until you have something newsworthy to announce. Keep the information clear and concise so that journalists can quickly go through the information. Begin your press release with the news announcement, add important quotes in the middle, and end with a boilerplate about your organization, company or client.

Relevance Is Key

Keep the demographic of the reader in mind when writing.  A 14 year-old- pony hunter rider has very different reading habits than a 55 year-old-dressage rider.  Both demographics love horses and that is the common denominator.  Keep the demographic in mind and bridge any gaps in your writing by focusing on the passion for horses they undoubtedly share.

Be A Go-Between

Editors don’t like quoting press releases.  They want to ask their own questions.  So instead of providing a sterile quote scrubbed by the PR department, let them know your CEO or another executive is available to be interviewed.  Always offer the possibility of getting someone on the phone to talk about it. Put your name, e-mail and day phone number at the top.

Mind Your Goal

Include only one call to action, otherwise you confuse readers and convolute your measurements.

At the very least, send readers to a website or social media page where they can find more information.

Need More Tips?

Download 45 Ideas: Best Practices for Writing Press Releases from the panel presentation at the 2016 AHP Orlando Seminar.

Not an AHP Member?


Member Benefits

American Horse Publications offers exclusive members-only benefits for enhancing your marketing efforts.

  • AHP Newsgroup press release service provides an opportunity to submit monthly press releases for distribution to over 650 media and equine focused businesses.
  • Access to member freelance publicists and writers that provide marketing services to the equine industry.

About American Horse Publications

American Horse Publications (AHP) strives to be the primary source of education, resources and networking for the equine media community. We believe a proactive approach in an ever-evolving communications-driven world allows us the flexibility and opportunity to promote, support and reward excellence in equine media.

Contact: Chris Brune, Executive Director
Phone:  386-760-7743