How to Write a Press Release
With the rise of digital media, press releases remain an effective communication tool for businesses. A well-crafted press release can help your brand capture the attention of journalists and news outlets, and in turn, broaden your reach. In this article, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to write a press release from start to finish and then help you decide what to do with it, once it is written!
The headline is arguably the most important part of a press release. It needs to be catchy, concise and communicate the main message. Think of it as the ‘hook’ that draws in the reader. It’s important to use active voice and powerful language to ensure the headline stands out. The aim is to pique curiosity, encouraging readers to delve deeper into the story.
The summary is essentially a brief overview of the press release. This is where you provide a succinct synopsis of your news story, focusing on the most crucial points. Remember to keep it short and engaging, whilst ensuring the key points are addressed. The summary should be around two to three sentences long, and it should be written in a way that it can stand on its own.
The Date and Location
Each press release should begin with the date and location to establish the relevance and timeliness of the story. The date should be the day when the press release is to be distributed, while the location indicates where the news is originating from.
The Body Paragraph
The body of the press release is where you delve into the nitty-gritty of the story. This is where you detail the ‘Who’, ‘What’, ‘Where’, ‘When’, ‘Why’, and ‘How’. It’s vital to keep this section clear, concise, and factual.
The first paragraph should offer the most important information, followed by supporting details in descending order of importance. Use compelling quotes from key stakeholders to provide personal insights or perspectives and bring your story to life. Remember, the body of your press release should be easily digestible and focused, so avoid jargon or overly technical language.
The Company Description
A brief company description gives context to the press release. This section should be factual and straightforward, providing information about what your company does and its unique selling propositions. Be careful not to oversell or make hyperbolic claims, as this can undermine the credibility of your press release.
The boilerplate is a short paragraph that provides an overview of your company. This should be consistent across all your press releases and should offer a succinct, clear picture of your business, including its mission and values. You may also want to include relevant accolades or awards your company has received.
The End or Close
The close of the press release is typically marked with three hash symbols (###) centred directly underneath the last line of the release. This is a standard practice that signifies the end of the press release.
After the closing symbols, you can include ‘Notes to Editors’ which offers further background information or clarifications. Finally, don’t forget to include contact information, including the name, phone number, and email address of the person who can answer any queries about the press release.
A well-structured press release can be a powerful tool in your overall marketing strategy. With attention to the headline, summary, date and location, body paragraph, company description, boilerplate, and contact details for further queries, your press release can effectively communicate your message and enhance your brand’s visibility.
What to Do With Your Press Release
Once your press release is finely crafted and polished to perfection, the next step is to ensure it reaches the right audience. Below we delve into various strategies on what to do with your press release.
Distribute to Relevant Media Outlets
Identify media outlets that are most likely to be interested in your news. These could be newspapers, magazines, online news sites, blogs, and even television and radio stations. Consider both local and national outlets, depending on the scope of your news.
Make a list of journalists who cover your industry and send them a personalised email with the press release. Remember, journalists receive dozens, if not hundreds, of press releases each day, so make sure your email stands out. You can do this by writing a compelling subject line and addressing the recipient by their name.
Utilise Press Release Distribution Services
There are numerous press release distribution services available that can help get your press release in front of a larger audience. These services distribute your press release to journalists, news outlets, and even SEO-friendly websites. While some distribution services are free, others charge a fee depending on the level of distribution you desire.
Publish on Your Company’s Website
Your press release should be easily accessible on your own platform. Include it in the ‘News’ or ‘Press’ section of your website. This way, anyone visiting your site — whether they’re journalists, customers, stakeholders or investors — can easily find and read your latest news.
Share Across Social Media Channels
Social media platforms are excellent for sharing your press release with your followers. Post a link to the press release on your company’s website, and create engaging content around it to encourage shares, likes, and comments. Remember, different social media platforms require different approaches, so tailor your message for each platform.
Emailing the Press Release to Your Mailing List
Don’t forget the power of direct communication with your audience. If you have a mailing list, use it to share your press release with your subscribers. This audience, having opted in to receive news from your company, is likely to be highly engaged and receptive to your news.
Before sending out your press release, craft an enticing email. A brief introduction to the news and why it’s important for the recipient can serve as a personalised lead-in to the press release itself. Make sure your subject line is catchy and directly related to the press release’s content — this will improve your open rates.
Remember to attach the press release to the email or incorporate it within the body of the email, depending on your standard practice. This direct approach ensures your existing audience is immediately updated with the latest happenings in your business, strengthening the bond between your brand and its followers.
Monitor Your Press Release
After your press release has been distributed, it’s important to monitor its performance. This can be done by tracking media coverage, social media engagement, website traffic, email open rates and other relevant metrics. Monitoring your press release will help you understand its effectiveness and can provide valuable insights for future releases.
How to Write a Press Release
We hope you have enjoyed reading our article about how to write a press release, remember, crafting the press release is just the first step. A well-planned distribution strategy is key to ensuring your news reaches the right people and creates the desired impact. Remember, the ultimate goal is to enhance your brand’s visibility and credibility. If you’re unsure about how to proceed or want professional assistance, The Last Hurdle is here to help. Don’t let your big news go unnoticed. Contact us today, and let’s make sure your brand’s voice is heard far and wide. Your first hurdle is only the beginning; we’re here to help you clear the last. To get started with The Last Hurdle, give us a call on 01604 654545 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.