A press release, which journalist James Reston used for the first time in the US in 1955, is your company’s official channel for releasing news or making an announcement. Writing an engaging press release is important as it is an essential part of your public relations strategy. However, nowadays, the format of a press release is not limited to the print media only.
People are now able to access information digitally through various media such as social media and online news portals. Limiting the exposure of your press release to the traditional news media doesn’t accomplish much in terms of your public relations strategy. Instead, think of a press release as a valuable part of your marketing content.
Below, we’ll cover how to make your press release stand out from the competition. But first, let me throw some light on what exactly a press release is.
What is a press release?
As I mentioned above, a press release is an official announcement from your business to the news media. It has information about product releases, important announcements and valuable updates, which a business publishes to the public.
Usually, press releases are meant for journalists, who cover a certain topic. In this case, that topic is your business or industry. However, you need to consider the press release as not just a company announcement, but part of an integrated, digital content marketing strategy.
When should you publish a press release?
There is not a fixed formula for distributing a press release. However, businesses publish a press release for:
- Launching a new product
- Opening a new branch office
- Providing updates on existing products
- Receiving an award or any type of certification
- Promoting or hiring an important, high-level employee
Traditionally, a press release is one to two pages long. The aim is to give enough information to the news media so that reporters can cover the complete story with all the necessary details.
A press release is an amazing way to generate traffic as it remains in the public domain for a long time. This means your customers and prospects are able to access it anytime.
All these benefits aside, it is important that you write a press release in a way that engages your audience. Professional writers follow a few best practices to write an outstanding press release.
What are these best practices? Let’s dive into the details.
Best practices to follow while writing a perfect press release
The first thing you need to have in order to write a perfect press release is something newsworthy. Be sure to make it relevant to as large an audience as possible. Collect all the information that will go into the press release, and use it to tell a story. Start with the most important news, and elaborate on that below. In other words, don’t bury the lead.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, follow the best practices below and you’ll be able to write a perfect and professional press release.
An irresistible headline that quickly grabs attention
Just like your blog posts and articles, a punchy, compelling headline plays a vital role in a press release. Think and write an intriguing, irresistible headline, which catches journalists’ attention. Apart from a catchy headline, it’s also important to keep it brief and keep it to a single line.
Every day, reporters see thousands of press releases. Investing ample time and effort into writing a brief and catchy headline will hook potential readers.
Get to the point in the first paragraph and avoid verbose language
You are writing a press release to let the media know about the latest update from your business. So, get to the point from the beginning. Avoid flowering around the point of focus and being too wordy.
Think about what will intrigue reporters and pique their interest in your press release. Remember, they are busy and don’t have enough time to read all the press releases they see. Answer the who, why, what, where, and how about the new update, launch or announcement.
Ensure that you provide all the crucial details in the first paragraph, which is what reporters are looking for to tell your story.
Don’t forget numbers and statistics
Once you grasp the general idea of how to write an engaging press release, it is time to focus on making it convincing. Include hard numbers and statistics to support the importance of launching a new product. Numbers play a key role in presenting a convincing story and make it credible.
Present your argument in the press release by supporting it with numbers and statistics to make it compelling enough for readers to take notice.
Provide background information
Ensure that all the important details are added in the press release content and it is perfectly concise and helpful. Include more information to strengthen the narrative in your press release. For example, provide details about new projects or initiatives, or a sneak peek at any upcoming announcements.
Additional background information makes people understand your argument in detail and adds more credibility to your press release.
An insightful quote from one of your executives or top decision makers underlines the significance of your announcement. Ensure that the quote perfectly emphasizes the point you want to drive home with your press release.
Avoid including quotes from lower level employees. Quotations from company executives are the best because they come from someone who is a subject matter expert.
Adding quotes from people outside your company, such as an influencer or brand advocates is advantageous. Influencers help readers understand the most important key points of your announcement.
As I said earlier, a press release is an important document in your public relations strategy. It must be attractive, readable and grammatically flawless.
Proofread your press release multiple times by yourself and also let your colleagues review it. Take suggestions and implement them to make your press release error-free.
Key tip: Don’t start proofreading your content just after finishing it. Take a break or focus on something else for a few minutes. This lets you concentrate properly on your content so that you can revise it with ease.
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Perfect press release templates
Sharing a story through a press release is a fairly inexpensive practice for businesses. However, you need put in a lot of effort to make your press release perfect.
Select the best press release template to convey your information. Below are a few press release templates, which you can use for your business.
Event press release template
This press release template, as the name suggests, is used to provide information about a particular event. Apart from contact details and business information, event press releases are primarily used to provide information about an event.
Note, don’t add unnecessary details and keep your content focused on the basic details about the event. You can add related images in the event press release but make sure that you keep the heading of the event bold so that people can quickly understand the motive of your press release.
Web press release
This is the most common example of a press release and is widely used by businesses. It’s critical to include all the important information such as contact and business details in the press release.
Start your narrative from the beginning and add supportive statistics as well as quotes to strengthen it. Finally, make sure you add the all-important call-to-action.
In a web press release, you can add hyperlinks to provide your audience with additional information about your product.
Small business press release
A press release for small businesses includes brief information about your company. Put the details in three to four short paragraphs with two to three sentences in each.
The last paragraph must include your call-to-action followed by contact information of your business. You may also add a “For more information” section by providing your phone number or email ID.
It’s important to understand that no matter which press release template you choose, you need to add a call-to-action to make people take the desired action after reading your press release.
Treating a press release as more than just a document to communicate with media is important. Make it a significant part of your public relation strategy and implement it effectively.
Once you publish it, share it with your customers and prospects. Send an email notifying them of your news. Blast it all over social media. Send it through any marketing channel you have at your disposal to increase brand awareness.
Follow the tips above and you’ll be on your way to delivering best-in-class press releases every time.