Today, press releases are more important than ever. Whether you need to announce a new product/service, improve brand image, or drive audience engagement, a press release can be beneficial. Over the past few years, a press release has become an essential part of a digital marketing strategy. After all, it is a quick and easy way to get your business information in front of a large number of people.
In this post, we will walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to write an impressive press release. However, before that, let’s learn what exactly it is.
What Is a Press Release?
Also known as a news release, a press release is a brief document that announces something that is newsworthy. Usually, the document is sent to editors and journalists so that they can use that information to create a news article. However, nowadays, press releases are submitted to online PR (press release) sites such as PR Newswire, PRWeb, PR.com, and more.
Did you know? Amazon actually requires employees to write Press Releases before a product is even built in order to envision the launch first.
Formatting of a Press Release
Formatting plays a vital role in making your document readable and comprehensive. Moreover, it increases the chances of your press release getting published in PR sites. When formatting a press release, make sure that it is written in a news style. To make sure it is newsworthy, you can ask yourself the following question.
- Does my story have something new?
- Will it be of interest to the general public?
A General Format for a Press Release
A headline or title of your press release is the first thing that readers will read. Therefore, it should be attention-grabbing. Make sure it clearly explains what the press release is about – is it a product launch, a partnership announcement, or anything else? Also, make sure that it uses proper capitalization.
In the example pictured above, the headline is “Lowe’s opens applications for the first wave of its $25 million in minority small business grants.”
Date & Location
This section should explain when and where the news is taking place.
In the example pictured above, the date and location is “MOORESVILLE, N.C., June 11, 2020.”
Here, you will give details of your newsworthy content in one or two-sentence.
Body: Add relevant information in the body section in the order of decreasing importance. You can also add some quotes to back up your arguments.
Boilerplate: Briefly explain your company – its background, mission, and more.
Press contact: The complete name and contact details of your communication executive.
Note: While there is no fixed font style for a press release, you should stick to common font styles such as Times New Roman or Arial only.
Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting Press Release
1. Make Sure Your Press Release is Newsworthy
Since you’re pitching to journalists and media houses, make sure that your press release has everything that they are looking for included. For example, provide reliable data sources. Besides this, they want an emotional connection in the story so that the audience can better connect with it. Keep these small yet essential things in mind when creating content for a press release.
2. Make Your Headline Appealing
Make sure your headline is irresistible. Use actionable verbs and direct language in it. Remember that media houses get dozens of releases each day, so invest your time and effort in writing a compelling title. You can also use a headline analyzer tool to evaluate your headline and make it better.
3. Create an Impressive Lead
For those who don’t know, the lead is the first paragraph of a press release or news story. Like the headline, it also leads readers into the story. Keep the length of lead between 35 to 45 words and summarize all the crucial parts of your release.
Make sure your first paragraph gives answers to all 5 Ws
Who: Which company and people are involved in the press release?
What: What is your press release all about?
When: When did the event happen, or when is it going to happen?
Where: Where did this event take place?
4. Body Paragraphs
Portray all the relevant details of your story in the body. Also, mention your company’s involvement in it. Your body paragraphs must concisely explain the complete story. Keep the most prominent details at the top and then get into the less essential phases as you go on.
5. Don’t Ignore Quotes
Quotes help you add life to your press release story. A media house might use your quotes in a statement around your announcement.
You can add quotes from CEO, project leaders, executive members, or key stakeholders in your company. Make sure your announcement directly impacts them. Don’t write quotes just because a press release needs a quote – it should add value to your release.
6. Boilerplate Text
In the boilerplate section, give your target audience valuable information about your company’s background. In addition to this, you can tell your company’s history, aspirations, and marketing goals. You can also highlight your company culture and mention your recent awards and achievements.
7. Add Media Contact Details
In the last section, add your media contact details such as your email address and phone number so that media person or reporters can get in touch with you.
Quick Tips for Publishing Your Press Release
Writing a quality press release alone won’t work. To leverage the benefits to the fullest, you also need to distribute it on the right platform. Check out the following tips for press release distribution.
- Instead of distributing your press release with every journalist, you should find correspondents who cover your specific industry. You can send them personalized messages to grab their attention.
- Choose the right time to approach distributors. If you’re publishing your press release on PR distribution services such as Business Wire, Newswire, and more, avoid submitting press releases on the hour such as one o’clock, two o’clock, and so on. The reason is that most companies schedule their releases on the hour and your press release might get lost in the shuffle.
- If you’re struggling to get your press release published, work with a PR agency. Since they have a better approach to journalists and influencers, they can help you distribute your stories.
- Once your press release is accepted and released, don’t forget to promote it on your social media channels.
A press release is one of the ideal ways to get in front of your target audience and make them aware of what you want to convey. We hope this step-by-step guide on how to write a press release helps you create an engaging yet effective press release.