A press release may be your ticket to free publicity. And in these economically challenging times, free publicity may be especially enticing.

Most editors or reporters will take a few seconds to see if the information is relevant to their publication — note the word, “seconds.” That is how long you have to grab their attention as your release will be one of hundreds they receive each week.

A press release is not an advertisement. Editors will deep-six a submission that reads like one as fast as it takes them to hit the delete button. Instead, think about the news story you are trying to communicate. A good press release answers all the “five Ws”: who, what, when, where, why (and how).

Keep the wording clear, concise and devoid of technical terminology and flowery marketing language. Avoid subjective adjectives such as “exciting,” “successful” and “tasty.” State just the facts. Instead of, “Rick Smith has recently been hired by ABC to the position of vice president of marketing,” write, “ABC recently hired Rick Smith as director of sales.”

If you have a photo available, send it. Be sure to include a caption with the first and last names of anyone in the photo and what the photo is depicting.

Above all, be sure all your information is accurate. Double-check that the dates are right and names are spelled correctly.

Submit your press release electronically in a word document. For local publications, include your business or residence location in your communication as that may affect whether your news is used or not.

It takes a little time and effort, but the creation of press releases can keep your company’s name in the public eye, and a press release is a great way to get the word out.