Earned Media

How to Write a Press Release.

7 Mins read

First impression they say matters a lot. You may never have the opportunity to right the damage done by a poor first impression.

I remember when Anthony Martial moved to Manchester United, in 2015 and was introduced in the second half for his Manchester United debut; he scored a wonderful goal to cap a beautiful all-round display.

Before then, there was a general feeling among fans that He was not worth the £36 million pounds spent in signing him. Even the captain of the team at the time, Wayne Rooney confessed that he had to go online to find out who the player was when first he heard that the club signed him.

At the end of the game, the exciting performance from the youngster silenced all doubters, such that everybody agreed with the club’s management that he was a fine addition to the team. Needless to say that this was made possible because of a pleasant first impression.

In the same way, A Press Release is the opportunity an organization has to create a good first impression with the public about a new product, service, event, etc. If they ruin it, the product, event, etc. may as well be ruined.

Since Press Release is so important, what are the steps to writing a Press Release that wins the Public? This article will be guiding you on how to write an incredible Press Release. But before that, let’s set the foundation by understanding what a Press Release is all about. Let’s go already!

What is a Press Release?

A Press Release is a piece of document that informs the press and other media outlets about recent developments, such as new products, events, etc. in an organization.

In other words, a Press Release is a written piece of content that informs the mainstream media about recent happenings in an organization (that is newsworthy).

Why Organizations Offer Press Release?

There are several reasons why an organization may choose to send out a Press Release. However, the major reasons are as follows:

  • Attract Positive Attention: Press Releases offers a great opportunity for an organization to grab the attention of Journalists and other media outlets. If done right, this can lead to multiple published articles about your firm and its products, and can attract new clients to your business.
  • Increase Website Traffic: When various media outlets publish your Press Release, this will lead to curiosity among the public, and will drive them to check out your website for details. Additionally, some Press Releases contain backlinks, which readers may click on and be redirected to your website.
  • To Improve search engine optimization / Ranking on Google: If you incorporate the right keywords you wish to rank for in your Press Release, your ranking for those keywords on Google Search can be improved.

You will even rank better, when Journalists use contributions from your Press Release.

  • Building a positive brand: When your Press Releases are done right, it helps to build the public image of your brand. A positive brand image increases patronage from the public.
  • To manage a crisis: An organization can offer a Press Release as a way of managing a crisis. They could simply explain a challenging situation to the press to ensure that false information does not spread.
  • For cost-effective marketing: Press Releases are an inexpensive way for an organization to advertise its new product or service. If done right, it can attract multiple publications and sales.

When should you give a Press Release?

Press Releases are only given when an organization has something newsworthy to share. The following qualifies as newsworthy information:

  • Breaking news announcement: An organization could offer a Press Release when she has breaking news to share with the members of the Public.
  • Product launches: A Press Release is adequate when a company wishes to announce the launch of a new product or service.
  • Organization events: A company event that concerns the public should be brought to their notice. This makes it necessary for an organization to offer a Press Release in such cases.
  • Partnerships: Mergers or other types of partnerships with other organizations is something Journalists and members of the public will want to know about.
  • Sharing research: Results from unique research conducted by an organization are newsworthy information that Journalists and members of the public will want to know about.
  • Hiring new executives: Hiring an executive to fill a top managerial position could be newsworthy information in very large organizations.
  • Awards: It is a good time to give a Press Release when you win an important award.
  • Crisis management: Giving a Press Release in such a situation gives an organization the opportunity to control the information in circulation.

Press Release Template.

Press Releases usually follows a familiar pattern. A typical Press Release follows the template below:

  • Headline of the Press Release: Your title should be attention-grabbing, and should give the reader an idea of what the Press Release is all about.
  • Location: Refers to where you are, and where the news is taking place.
  • Lede: This is where you explain your newsworthy study or content in one sentence / brief paragraph.
  • Body: This should be written in simple and short sentences, such that they can be quickly read and understood. Information provided here should be in decreasing order. The most important details should come at the top, while the lesser ones should come below. You could use direct quotes in this part of the content as much as necessary.
  • Boilerplate: Describe your organization briefly to the Public in this section.
  • Press Contact: Provide the name and contact details of your organizations media coordinator or communications executive, or point of contact should additional information be required.

Note: Select a popularly accepted font, and font size when writing your Press Release. Fonts like Times New Roman or Arial, on font size 12 will be generally accepted.

Steps to Writing a Press Release that Wins.

To write a Press Release that wins the attention of Journalists, media houses, and the Public as well, follow these steps:

Do something Newsworthy.

No journalist or media outlet is looking forward to publishing a Press Release that is not interesting, new, and unique. For your Press Release to gain the traction you desire, it should be something capable of grabbing the attention of the Public.

Backlinko.com offers valuable insights on what should constitute newsworthy material for your Press Release. According to them, the focus of your Press Release should be on any of the following, to fly among Journalists:

  • New industry study.
  • Product launch.
  • An event.
  • Website Redesign or Rebrand.

For more information on this, visit www.backlinko.com/write-a-press-release.

Write the Headline.

As you will expect, the Press Release headline is the first thing that is read on a Press Release, so it has to be perfect to impress. If the headline is poorly crafted, you can be sure that the journalist is not going to give much attention to the rest of the writing.

When writing your next headline, ensure to do the following:

  • Use action verbs.
  • Be direct.
  • Be comprehensive.

These are the core principles for writing a Press Release headline. If you are unsure of what can be described as a perfect headline, visit www.headlines.sharethrough.com to test the strength of your headline when writing.

Write the Lede.

The Lede is the first paragraph in a Press Release. It consists of 35 to 45 words, that summarizes the central message of the Press Release.

www.blog.justreachout.io, suggests points to consider when writing your Lede. They are as follows:

  • Who: Who is involved in the news story? Which person or company is involved?
  • What: What is happening? What is it about?
  • When: When did this story or event happen? When is it going to happen?
  • Where: Where did this story or event take place?
  • Why: Why is this information relevant to a reader of these media outlets?

Write the Body.

When writing the body of your Press Release, endeavor to describe only the details relevant to the Press Release.

Discuss the most relevant details at the top part of the paper, while the lesser important ones can feature at the bottom.

Include Supporting Quotes.

Using quotes in your Press Release boosts the credibility of the paper. However, before including a quote, ensure that the quote supports the angle and entire message your paper is discussing.

Write the Boilerplate.

In this section, you should provide details of your organization to the Public. Since it is a short paragraph, it is advised that you write a summary of the relevant details about your organization.

For more insight on how to create your Boilerplate, visit www.criminallyprolific.com/company-boilerplate/.

Press Contact.

Include the contact details of a qualified spokesperson for your organization that reporters can contact. Add your email address and phone number, so any reporter that wishes to contact you can do so easily.

Five Rules to Ensure Your Press Release Drives Prospects to Contact You.

CBS News provides five rules to guide you in writing a Press Release that wins publications and customers as well. They are as follows:

  1. Use the Press Release as a sales tool: Try to communicate a clear message to Customers and Prospects through your Press Release.
  2. Have a Newsworthy story: This will help convince the journalist or media outlets to publish your Press Release.
  3. Write Like a Reporter: If you submit a Press Release that looks like a professional piece, Reporters / Editors will have no qualms about accepting and publishing it.
  4. Add Quotes: Quotes from top executives in your organization or the brains behind an event, will go a long way in convincing people about it.
  5. Contact your Top Outlets: Send out your Press Release personally to top Reporters in your contact list. If possible, rewrite the piece to suit their formatting rules. This will help get your Press Release out in media outlets that will boost your product or event.

Conclusion.

Although there are various methods in writing a Press Release, this article has tried to provide general details on how to write a Press Release that will have general acceptance.

Feel free to tweak the details or template provided above to suit your needs, taste, or target audience.

Finally, do not feel discouraged if your first attempt does not turn out too good. It gets better as you continue!

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