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How to Hire a Press Release Writer for Your Small Business

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August 14,2012

By Dan Janal, Small Business PR Expert

If you’re a great small businessperson, you’re probably not a great press release writer.

And why should you be?

There’s more money to be made servicing your current customers and attracting new clients. With the list of to-dos constantly growing, it’s a smart idea to hire someone to write press releases for you.

But who is the most qualified person to write effective press releases so you can boost your online visibility and earn some publicity?

Here are questions you should ask as you hire a person to write your press releases.

  1. Do they have experience? You don’t want an unproven rookie to learn at your expense. Hire a pro.
  2. Can they get the best story out of you? Can they interview you and get you to reveal the real truth about your story? If not, the press release could be boring or off target.
  3. Do you have rapport? They can be the best writer in the world, but if you don’t like their accent or their pace, the working relationship could be a disaster from day one. Remember that if the shoes pinch your feet in the store, they won’t feel any better a week later.
  4. Do they understand your industry? This isn’t essential, but it sure helps. If they know your industry, they will know what is new and interesting and what is old and boring. They’ll be able to guide you along the right path.
  5. Do they understand news? Some writers have never worked in a newsroom, or even for a PR firm. Don’t go cheap and hire a college student who is majoring in English. Hire someone who knows what news is.
  6. Do they know English grammar and syntax? That should sound obvious, but many people on the web don’t have English as a first language. Their press releases could sound stilted.
  7. Do they know the latest SEO (search engine optimization) techniques. This skill is essential to get your story printed on the web and to appear high on search engines.
  8. Do they know the differences between the major press release distribution services? Each major service has key advantages. They should be able to tell you the differences between each one and select the one that can do the best job to promote your company.

If you follow these steps in hiring a press release writer, you’ll be better positioned to grow your online profile and get some budget-friendly publicity.

Dan Janal, author of "Reporters Are Looking for YOU!" helps small businesses get publicity so they can sell more products. My clients get terrific results from my coaching, consulting, done-for-you services and do-it-yourself tools. For info, go to

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