5 Tips for Writing a Successful and Effective Press Release

When you want to get some news out to a media outlet, the standard way of doing that is by sending out a press release. It’s usually a one-page article that provides answers to the main questions that any newspaper, (online) magazine or radio station would have: What? When? Where? Why? And sometimes, How? Initially, you might think to yourself, “Gee, that sounds easy enough” but there’s a reason why media companies receive sometimes hundreds of press releases in a month’s time but only a handful actually get an inquiry from them. It’s because the press release was written in an effective way which garnered a response. If you would like to alert a publication or radio station about something that you have coming up, we’ve enclosed five tips for how to write a successful press release below: Gauge your time. You could have the best news ever to share but if you don’t get it into the right hands in the appropriate amount of time, it’s not going to matter. People who read press releases look not only at the date and time of an event but also the date that it was sent to them. Try to have at least a 3-4 week lead on your information. Think about who you’re writing it to. Oftentimes, individuals assume that they can write one general press release and send it out to multiple outlets when that’s not a very smart move to make. The kind of tone that you would use for a newspaper should be very different than how you would present your information to a niche publication, so make sure you word your content based upon the media platform that you’re contacting. Be clear and concise. One mistake that a lot of people make is that their press release ends up being more like a short story. This is not the time to show how great your creative writing skills are. You are to simply provide the information that is needed in a clear and concise kind of way. And again, if it’s more one page, in most instances, that’s a sign that it needs to be reedited. If people have to turn over pages, that’s a press release that’s simply too long. Have several forms of contact information. There used to be a time when, if you had your phone number and mailing address, that was all that was required. Thanks to the internet, that’s no longer the case. Whether you’re reaching out to an online radio station or you want to have a music promotions company like SonicBids post your press release, make sure that when it comes to your contact information that you also...

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5 Tips for Crafting a Winning College Admissions Essay

There are many tips and tricks to creating a winning college essay that will give you a big stamp of approval from an admissions officer at the university of your dreams. Besides all the formalities that are included on your college admissions application, your college essay is your chance to explain who you are and why you want to attend a particular college. In addition, your college admission essay is your chance to prove to a college why you would be an important asset to that college’s higher learning environment, which is crucial if a college has slim acceptance rates. Here are 5 tips for crafting a winning college admissions essay. Be creative with your first draft. After you’ve gotten your outline finished, the rest is easy sailing – sort of. Your first draft is your chance to let everything flow out and the more you can let your mind wander, the better it will be. You can always cut the fat and make amendments in the second or third draft. Doing this will allow you to come from the bottom of your heart and not be too stressed out about saying the right thing. Be very specific. On your final draft you want to make sure that the essay supports all of your arguments or addresses a singular idea or question. Many college admissions applications ask for an essay to answer a certain question or to address a certain viewpoint. A surefire way to make a college think twice about accepting you to their college is by straying too far away from the topic at hand. So, stay focused and specific – this is the recipe to a successful essay that will surely impress a college admissions officer. Be creative without being too personal. Remember that this is a college essay, not a confessional. You don’t want to make any shocking confessions or say something that could put you your lifestyle in bad light, because it can be easy to judge someone based solely on their words. So, you can be as creative as you want, but make sure that you also stick to the basic rules of grammar and structure. Be as honest as possible. No matter if you are trying to get into the University of Cincinnati or Columbia University, you want to make sure that you are honest in your college admissions essay. While it is okay to leave things out, you don’t want to include things that aren’t entirely true. These days anyone can do a quick search online to find out if someone is being truthful or not. Lying in your college admissions essay is a surefire way to not get accepted. Have...

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Should You Try to Incorporate Humor in Your College Application Essay?

Your college essay is the portion of your application that allows admissions officers to get a glimpse of the real you. While sitting down to write this essay may seem daunting, it is important to remember that your essay should be a true reflection of who you are an what you value. Many people think of a college essay as being uptight and structured, however this is not a typical essay for your English class. Some students wonder if the use of humor is okay to use in a college admissions essay. Before you use it, consider the following. Are you a funny person? Does your sense of humor help you in defining yourself and explaining your identity? If so, than in order to give a thorough picture of you to the admissions team you definitely have to incorporate some humor. Be true to who you are so that admissions officers can see what makes you unique and what helps you to shine as an individual. Your sense of humor will likely help you stand out as a student and show that you are witty, bright, and original. If you do not find that humor comes naturally to you, you may want to avoid using it. This does not mean you absolutely cannot make a joke. However, be cautious when choosing your words. Refrain from making a joke just for the sake of being funny. Often this comes across as forced and unnaturally. Admissions officers will pick up on this and find it unauthentic and uninspired. Forcing jokes will not allow you to truly portray who you are as a person and as a student. Stay away from cliches. Cliches are phrases or ideas that are overused. Because of their overuse they often lose their meaning, becoming dull and lackluster. Incorporating puns and popular jokes will likely bore an admissions officer who has heard the phrase time and time again. This will cause your essay to blend into the others, not stand out! You want to be memorable and original, so avoid regurgitating jokes in your college essay. If you do use original and natural humor, make sure it is appropriate. While a college essay does not have to be stuffy, it should still be appropriate. Stay away from dry humor or any inappropriate jokes that may cause a reader to feel uncomfortable. Swear words or inappropriate references do not belong in your college essay no matter what. Also, be sure that your jokes make sense and are logical. Run them by a few friends or family members to make sure they understand the idea you are trying to convey through your joke. Ultimately, keep it clear, concise and classy!...

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Business School Essay Do’s and Don’ts

If you’ve been thinking more and more about pursing a business degree, there is more than one reason why that could prove to be highly beneficial for your career. People who graduate with their MBA increase their job opportunities (including the amount of money that they can make), plus while in school, they are able to learn some top-notch business skills as they network with all kinds of people from all over the country (and sometimes even the world). If this all sounds appealing to you, there are a few things that you must do so that you can be accepted into a business school program of your choice; one of those things would be to fill out an application which includes completing a business school essay. Being that many schools factor in the essay as having some of the most significant information needed to decide “who gets in and who doesn’t”, we wanted to provide you with a few business school essays do’s and dont’s. That way, you’ll be able to increase your chances of hearing “You have been admitted.” Do make sure that you answer the question. Most of us have watched a beauty pageant before and noticed that when it came time for the question segment of the program, many contestants did a lot of talking without really answering it. This happens a lot with business school essays as well. Bottom line, business schools are not interested in your vast vocabulary if you’re not using it to convey relevant thoughts; if it doesn’t address the question at hand. Don’t pen “streams of consciousness”. You only have a limited amount of space and business schools tend to have many essays to read. Therefore, make sure that you don’t write down your autobiography or that you put in things that don’t support your initial thesis. It will just come off as rambling more than anything else. Do showcase your personality. Although some people think that a business school essay has to be stiff and conservative, that’s not the case. It’s more than OK (and oftentimes even encouraged) to share some of your life experiences, to use a bit of humor and to write about the kinds of things that excite you. Business schools want to see evidence, on paper, that they are getting an individual, not just a random student. Don’t lie or exaggerate. Sometimes people feel tempted to “embellish the truth” for the sake of making themselves appear to be more appealing. Bottom line, nothing good ultimately comes out of lying and more times than not, the truth tends to come out anyway so try and avoid lying or exaggerating. Stick with the facts. Do go over...

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How to Write an Effective Essay Conclusion

Writing skills are endlessly important for people in all walks of life. Whether you’re in school or out in the working world, there will be many times when you’ll be expected to express yourself in writing. Drafting an effective essay on any subject depends largely on three things. You must have a captivating and engaging introduction, a body of relevant content, and a strong conclusion. Every piece of the puzzle is important, but if you fail to end your essay on a strong note, everything that precedes the conclusion will be weakened in turn. Throughout your essay, your main argument should be the recurring theme. Whether you are writing in a persuasive, expository, narrative, or any other kind of format, your essay should be focused from beginning to end. Where the introduction to your essay first puts forth your central argument, and the body text reinforce and elaborate on the essay’s theme, your conclusion should solidify that theme in the mind of the reader. If you’ve presented your argument strongly, then this should not be difficult. Any loose ends should be tied up here so that there is no question in the reader’s mind about the validity of your claims. You should attempt to restate your original thesis in the conclusion, but do so in a way that is not repetitive. By the end of your essay, the reader should have lots of new knowledge to consider. The supporting points in the body of your essay should shed light on the concepts brought forth in your thesis, and so your point of view may have changed slightly by the time you reach the conclusion of your essay. Consider all of the new information you’ve gathered and synthesized, and use it to restate your thesis in a new and creative way. If it is appropriate to the format and goal of your essay, you may want to consider offering your own point of view on the subject matter. Offer an additional comment or personal insight at the end of your essay to give your writing a personal touch. If you are writing in a strictly informative style, then personal interjections should not be part of your essay. Persuasive and narrative writing, however, lend themselves well to showcasing the author’s personal view on the subject. Don’t let your own opinions cloud the information and evidence you’ve provided, but rather use your own reaction to the topic to give your final word. The importance of a strong conclusion cannot be overstated. Every writer, from the copywriters in Melbourne to the New York Times best selling novelists, knows the importance of a powerful finish. You should take care to restate your thesis in...

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How to Properly Use Quotations in Essays

Crafting an essay is all about following the rules. You’ve got to come up with a coherent argument, which you will either prove or disprove over the course of the document. Every single essay must have an introductory paragraph and a conclusion, which essentially serve the same purpose. The other paragraphs, which must total at least three, will give you the space to discuss each point and weigh their veracity against your initial suppositions. The rules of spelling and grammar must be followed to the letter (pun intended), and there’s no excuse for mistakes. You could be the most accomplished writer in your class or attempting an essay for the very first time, but all of the same rules apply. And one that you may not be quite as familiar with is the proper use of quotations. Here are a few points to keep in mind, to make sure you don’t drop a grade due to the mishandling of quotes. Basically, a quotation is the way that you can cite a source outside of yourself, in that source’s specific words. Quotations within your essay show that your arguments are well researched, and back up the claims you make through the work of other experts or brilliant minds. They are crucial in the research essay, but are quite useful in any essay you could attempt. Yet any benefit you earn through the use of a well-timed quotation will be lost if you use them incorrectly. The first thing to keep in mind is the punctuation you must utilize. Every quotation is surrounded by quotation marks, the set of apostrophes that come at the beginning and end of the quote. At the front end you’ve got the open quote, which will curve in towards the first word. And at the end you’ve got the close quote, which will also curve inwards, in the opposite direction. But don’t forget about the rest of the punctuation rules. Any punctuation marks should fall inside the closing quote. That includes commas, question and exclamation marks and periods. A quote might be crucial to your argument, but it will be thrown out if it isn’t properly cited. Remember to introduce your quote in the paragraph with a description of where it comes from. For example, you could say that “Mr. Smith” explained the situation in a piece in The New Yorker, or something to that extent. If you can smoothly integrate the citation this way the reader will take in the information without pausing. You can also cite the quote by including footnotes or a bibliography at the end of your essay. If you are using footnotes, you would follow the quotation with a number, and...

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5 Tips for Writing Speech Essays in College

Many college students have to take a speech class at one point or another. If you’re a communications major, you’re going to have a ton of speech classes, and will likely be writing more essays about speeches than you care to admit. Even if you’re not a communications major, however, every college student is required to take a specific amount of general education classes, and at least one or two speech courses wind up being included. This means that even if public speaking isn’t your strong point, you’ll likely be required to write an essay or two about it during your college years. If you really don’t know the first thing about public speaking, fear not. We’re going to talk about five tips that’ll help you have a much easier time writing that next speech essay. 1. Try to Pick a Topic of Interest. If you’ve got to write about a specific speech, try to pick one that covers a topic that isn’t going to bore you out of your mind as you research and write about it. Finding a topic which which you’re going to have an easier time engaging means you’ll be able to write a much more compelling and cohesive essay. It also means you’ll enjoy yourself a whole lot more in the process. 2. Use a Recording. Find a recording (either auditory or visual) of the speech about which you’re writing, so you can have something that’s easily accessed and to which you can refer at a moment’s notice. This is going to help you have a much easier time writing about the speech in question. 3. Explain the Topic Well. When you’re writing about a speech, you’ve got to make sure that the audience understands exactly what it is you’re saying. The best way to think about this is by imagining that the professor reading your essay has no knowledge whatsoever about the speech that is the subject of your work. Of course, your professor knows what you’re writing about, but a good essay will explain everything well enough that someone could read it without much of a reference point and still follow your argument. 4. Go Point-by-Point. Pick out every supporting argument that was made in the speech about which you’re writing and go through them all individually in your essay. Describe whether or not they were effective, and talk about each one’s strengths and weaknesses. This will help your essay seem comprehensive and demonstrate that you’re paying attention to the structure and organization of the speaker’s argument. 5. Suggest Improvements. When you’re working on your degree at a prestigious school like USC it’s smart to show that you’re able to figure out...

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