Earned Media

Press Release Definition: How Press Releases Help Gain Exposure

4 Mins read

A press release is a an official statement issues by an organization to the media for the main purpose of providing information, announcement or an official statement regarding an issue. Press releases naturally are made up of 9 components, which includes the headline, introduction, body, first paragraph, quotes and a boiler plate.

People use press releases in different ways as the internet has both redefined the way we do things and why they are done. No matter the intended goal for using a press release, one thing stands common for all; a press release helps put the word out there, gain more visibility and interact with the community surrounding a business.

A press release can only effective when done the right away and it can create a big mess when done the wrong way. Issuing a captivating and informative press release starts from the writer, not the story. A story can be great buy written like an ordinary event, while a supposedly normal news can be given so much hype if well written and properly presented.

Press Release Definition (Wikipedia)

According to Wikipedia, a press release is an official statement delivered to members of the news media for the purpose of providing information, an official statement, or making an announcement. A press release is traditionally composed of nine structural elements, including a headline, introduction, body, and other information. Press releases can be delivered to members of the media physically on paper and electronically.

Typically a press release is sent out to the media via email or fax to journalists. Press releases have taken different forms with many company using innovation to improve their delivery and acceptance by journalists at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, online media, television stations or television networks.

Press Release Definition In The Digital Era

The first press release is credited to Ivy Lee: in 1906 his agency was working with the Pennsylvania Railroad at the time of an accident. Rather than waiting to see how journalists would cover the story he wrote up a release and proactively distributed it to journalists. Think about it, Ivy Lee did not wait for the media to define the story, he took the first step and he must have done it using text.

Press releases during the digital era has changed and this is where most people miss it. Press releases have evolved from being sent via fax or mail to now being created, designed, sent or syndicated to thousands of online news sites or media systems. Since most journalists curate their story via the tech advantage of the internet, most press releases move through the same channel as well.

In the digital era, PR agencies create press releases to serve as the first information out there about their clients or companies and makes journalists feed from what they have provided or at least shape people’s opinion via their releases. Since news spread fast through the internet, press release can now be shared on the social media, sent via email and created using videos as well.

What Do Journalists Look For In a press release?

Journalists are the information hub of the world with people turning to them for up to date information about companies major events both locally and internationally. Journalists look for facts and figures that can help them meet story/news deadlines and keep their audience informed.

Journalists look for fresh information and press releases are effectively used to achieve this. Most journalists subscribe to newswires so as to be one of the first to get access vital information. Since companies use press release as the first medium to announce major milestones, product launch or upcoming events, journalists keep their eyes on latest press releases.

What Are Press Releases Used For?

Well written press releases are used to gain media attention to important announcements or newsworthy events. Press releases are used by business owners, digital marketing agencies and public relations experts for pretty much the same reason- to gain attention.

Public relations experts use press releases in different ways to get media attentions and drive traction for their clients. Traditionally, press release are represented in text formats, but recent discovery about the high engagement levels of videos and images have changed the way things are done. Now press releases can be done using images, videos and othe forms of illustrations which will help improve engagement.

Is Press Release Truly Dead?

This is far from the truth. Press release has only evolved and those who fail to move with it or do not understand the various ways it can be used seem to be the one blowing the “press release is dead” trumpet. If you think PR remains important, then press releases remains relevant as well.

When used effectively, press releases helps local business owners to improve their local ranking on GMBs, it helps corporate organisations connect with key industry journalists and share their stories free. Press releases will remain relevant as the internet maintains its position in the spectrum of things and companies will continue to explore the vast benefits in using press releases to gain media exposure, improve brand awareness and execute crucial PR campaigns.

What Part Of A Press Release Is The Most Important To Journalists?

A press release would typically have about 4-5 paragraphs, starting from the headline, the first paragraph to the last must be deemed as very important as they call carry vital information. However, some yield better results than the other especially for journalists who will likely check the title of a press release and decide to open or not right from that point; for them there is no time to waste.

The Headline of a press release stands out at the most important part of a press release as it give the both the journalist and the reader a quick clue about the press release. The first impression matters most in a press release and this concept should never be forgotten. Checking through various press release examples, you will see how much effort is placed on the title and how it gives a clear indication on the important of the whole release itself.

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