Items to include on your Message Planner (continued):
After you've completed the Message Planner, you're ready to write your press release. You'll start with a lead paragraph.
How do a message and a lead paragraph differ? In the same way that your rough draft differs from the final copy of a love letter. Since you're doing your pre-writing for yourself -- no one else (but me) is going to see your Message Planner -- you can feel free to use whatever hype or exaggeration you please. When you turn from pre-writing to writing, you'll "clean up your act," and make your lead more journalistic -- keeping the hype toned down. But your message should be unabashedly enthusiastic -- it should be the theme of your press release, the "take-home" point that you want people to be talking about when your successful PR campaign has done its job.