What is a press release and why do you need to know how to write one? This article will explain the purpose of press releases and how they can benefit your company as well as provide a step-by-step guide on how to write a press release.
Recommended: We recommend eReleases if you want a well-written and widely distributed press release to help funnel in more customers and increase revenue for your business.
PRESS RELEASE GUIDE:
- Press Releases Really Work
- The Importance of Press Releases
- What You Should Know About Press Releases
- Press Release Writing Tips
- How Else Can You Create Buzz?
- Final Recap
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Related Articles
Press Releases Really Work
A clear and concise press release can draw attention to your newsworthy event, announcement, or product. Press releases build credibility for your business and help generate interest for its newsworthy information.
A whopping 44% of journalists consider press releases as the most reliable source of brand-related content. These announcements provide a simple way to communicate directly with media organizations. According to Agility PR, US companies issue more than 3 million press releases per day.
Specifically, Press Releases:
- Provide pertinent information
- Include photos, videos, and links to other visual assets journalists can easily use to accompany their articles
- Package newsworthy information in an easy-to-read format
- Build your business’s credibility
Read our Best Press Release Distribution Service 2021 review to find the right press release distribution for your business’s specific needs.
The Importance of Press Releases
Press releases enable you to pitch different storylines that benefit your organization to the media. They also can help you generate interest around your newsworthy announcement, event, or product.
Why you should use a press release:
- It’s affordable! You can write your own release for free and pay a reasonable fee for digital distribution.
- Press releases boost your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings.
- They provide all the information a journalist needs to write about your business’s news.
What You Should Know About Press Releases
Even the most well-written and newsworthy press releases can’t guarantee you’ll receive media coverage. While you may have relationships with journalists at certain media outlets, that doesn’t mean they have to write about your business. To encourage reporters to read and write about your news, you must make the mundane seem extraordinary.
How To Make The Mundane Extraordinary:
- Convey excitement — both in your release and when you pitch your news to a reporter via phone.
- Use extraordinary language. For example, replace words like “interesting” with “intriguing” and “cool” with “astounding.”
- Prove your announcement’s newsworthiness by showcasing its timely news hook. For example, does your event or product launch coincide with a seasonal holiday or industry conference?
- Add at least two quotes to spark greater interest. Highlight any important names in the first line of each paragraph and aim to quote your employees, customers, or other relevant third parties.
Press Release Writing Tips
Start with an intriguing headline to catch a reporter’s attention and make them curious enough to read the rest of your release. From there, try to create a succinct first — or “lede” — paragraph that provides the most important information you want to convey. Then, follow that lede paragraph with additional, supporting details in the body of the release.
- Before you start writing, compile a bulleted list of all the information and links you’ll need to write the release.
- Create a folder to house your press release document as well as any accompanying photos, graphics, or other related assets.
- Write an attention-grabbing headline.
- Create a lede paragraph that succinctly communicates your main point. For example, “School Board Chair Cathy Marie invites you to attend the 10th annual ‘Chaos for a Cause’ fundraising event. This year, it’ll feature a live DJ, ‘principal for a day’ drawings, and raffles.” Remember to state your most important fact first.
- Use a quote for your second paragraph. Make sure to cite the person’s name, title, and relevance to the news if that’s not immediately obvious. Write at least two more paragraphs to form the body of your release based on the remaining bullet points in your information list. Remember to add any relevant links and a second quote.
- Add your contact information — or the relevant point of contact’s information — at the bottom.
How Else Can You Create Buzz?
Beyond creating and issuing press releases, you also should focus on other ways to generate interest in your business. You can do so via social media, online forums, and word of mouth.
Other Ways to Create Interest in Your Business:
- Host an event focused on your new product or service.
- Write articles that show how your product helps solve customers’ problems, and then submit them for publication on different sites as guest blog posts or bylined articles.
- Create engaging social media posts surrounding your announcement, event, or product launch. The stronger your post’s visual and textual content, the greater the chance it goes viral.
Press releases provide an essential form of communication between organizations and media outlets. Specifically, they convey newsworthy information to journalists in a clear and concise manner so they can easily assess the news and, if desired, use that content to write an article.
To write an effective press release, you need an intriguing headline that encourages reporters to keep reading. You also must provide an attention-grabbing lede paragraph that outlines your newsworthy item as succinctly as possible followed by supporting details in the body of the release.
But, even the most well-written press releases can’t guarantee you’ll receive media coverage. Nor can any existing relationships you may have with journalists at relevant media outlets. To encourage reporters to read and write about your news, you must make it sound extraordinary.
Frequently Asked Questions
What tone should I use to write my press release?
You should use a tone appropriate to the company or person for which you’re writing the release. For example, it wouldn’t make sense for McDonald’s® to issue a release written in a sterile manner. Instead, it might feel more appropriate for this consumer brand to use simple, yet emotional language.
Alternatively, you should use a more professional tone in releases issued by hospitals and business-to-business (B2B) companies.
When should you use press releases?
You can use a press release to communicate anything that’s newsworthy. Whether your business wants to announce a new product, promote an event, or make an official statement, your release must make it seem newsworthy. Even if your press release lacks a timely news angle, you must make it sound important.
What do press releases do?
Press releases help build a business’s credibility with media outlets and the general public. They also provide a direct way to give journalists factual information and updates about a business in an easy-to-read format.
What if I have to write about something that’s not newsworthy?
If you can’t avoid this situation, try to make the release’s content seem as newsworthy as possible. Aim to present the topic in exciting or intriguing terms through your tone and language. For example, adding words like “exclusive” and “invite-only” may help spark someone’s interest. Think about how you can position the announcement to grab — and hold — a reporter’s attention.
How can I ensure media outlets will publish my news?
You can’t. Reporters have no obligation to write about any press releases they receive — no matter how well-written or newsworthy. Even if you have a professional relationship with a specific reporter or news outlet, that won’t guarantee coverage. But, using a press release distribution service can help ensure your release reaches relevant reporters more likely to have an interest in your news.
What is a press release?
A press release is a brief statement that features a news announcement about — or from — an organization. Companies and other organizations use press releases to announce new product launches, earnings reports, management changes, events, and more. Press releases make it easier for journalists and news outlets to learn about potential news items to inform their reporting.
How do you end a press release?
The last section of a press release should include your press contact information. Specifically, it should feature your press contact name(s), phone number(s), and email address(es).
How should you structure a press release?
Press releases typically contain six parts organized as follows:
- The issuing organization’s logo along with its location and the date
- An attention-grabbing headline
- A succinct introduction with a strong lede statement
- Three paragraphs of body content (in descending order of importance)
- The organization’s boilerplate content
- The press contact information
Where do you send press releases?
Organizations distribute their press releases to relevant media contacts. This includes newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television networks, and online news sites, among others.
If you don’t want to spend your time tracking down relevant media outlets, submit your press releases to a press release distribution service like eReleases. Many of these distribution services also offer to write your press releases. This can save you even more time and help ensure your company issues professionally written releases more likely to appeal to reporters.
Should I send a press release as a Microsoft® Word or PDF file?
Never send a press release as a PDF file. PDFs can prove challenging to format and likely will reduce the chance of a journalist reading and reporting on your news. Instead, submit your press release to a press release distribution service as a Microsoft Word (.doc/.docx) file.
If you plan to send your release directly to a reporter, copy and paste its content into your email rather than including an attachment. Why? Most reporters dislike attachments because they can easily clog up their inboxes.
Do press releases work?
Yes, press releases do work. They also provide many benefits.
Besides the obvious benefit of sharing corporate news with media outlets to promote potential coverage, press releases also help businesses improve their SEO rankings and brand recognition. In addition, they can help companies increase their sales and market share as well as enhance their credibility.
Press releases also can serve as a tool for mitigating negative media coverage. Public relations firms often use them to help their clients improve their reputations.