How to write a great press release

Chances are if you run an online business, you will need to write a press release at some stage. A written document that announces something new about your organization, a press release can be sent to the media to help get coverage for your brand. Some examples of when you might produce a press release include launching a new product, changes in your product offering, a grand opening, updates on your organizational structure, sharing a customer success story, a rebrand, and other types of breaking news.

They can be intimidating if you’ve never written one before, but with the right tools and know-how, you should be able to write a press release that helps boost your image and spread the word about your brand. So, where should you begin with writing a press release? Read on for some vital tips and tricks.

The benefits of a press release

Is writing a press release worth the time and effort? Especially if you’re a smaller brand or are just starting out. The answer to that is a definitive yes. Here are three reasons why: 

1.Press releases are a cost-effective marketing tool

If your budget is limited, a press release can be a an effective way to publicize and promote your brand without spending a whole lot. It also puts you in control of your brand narrative if the media picks it up.

2. Press releases attract media attention

Write a good press release and the media may create a news report based around it. The benefit of this kind of publicity, especially for smaller brands, can be instrumental.

3. Press releases increase brand awareness

The by-product of attracting media attention is spreading general brand awareness. The general public will see your brand being talked about in credible publications, associate it with credibility, and may become a customer. 

Now that we’ve convinced you to write a press release, let’s see how you do it. 

The typical press release format

You can create a press release whenever there is something significant about your company to report. Following the standard press release format will help you condense the news into something digestible and easy to read. The general layout of a press release consists of the following: 

  1. Note on when to release 
  2. Contact information
  3. Headline
  4. Italicized subheadline with summary
  5. Write the company, location, and date of publication in the opening line
  6. Introductory paragraph
  7. Detail paragraphs
  8. About/boilerplate
  9. ### 

Let’s take a closer look at each feature.

1.Note on when to release

If you’re just publishing it on your site you won’t need this, but if you send your press release to reporters, you can guide them on when you want them to publish it. The standard way to do this is to write:

  • FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – if you want the story to be published immediately
  • HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL [DATE] – if you want it to be published at a future date

You should include this at the very top of the page

2. Contact information

If someone wants to contact your company after reading your press release, make it as easy as possible for them by including the PR liaison’s job title, email, phone number, and social media handles. 

3. Headline

Choose a clear and compelling headline that conveys the narrative of your press release from the most interesting angle. Some suggestions for making it interesting include focusing on benefits and values, using intriguing data, or asking or answering a question. Make sure to keep it short and simple.

4. Italicized subheadline

This should be one to three lines that summarizes the most important content of your press release. 

5. Location and date of publication in the opening line

The opening line typically grounds the reader in time and place local to the news the press release shares. 

6. Introductory paragraph

Get to the point by addressing the five Ws in your opening paragraph: who, what, when, where, and why. A press release needs to be straightforward and easy to understand so that the person reading it doesn’t have to search or reread for essential details. 

7. Detail paragraphs

This part of the press release allows you to expand your news with exciting details, provide more context, and inform readers why they should care. For example, statistics, testimonials, facts and figures, and one or two quotes from relevant members of your business or customers. 

8. About/boilerplate

This is where you explain your business and what it’s about. A succinct biography, similar to what you’d have on the “About” page of your website. You can include information like the company size, founding date, mission statement, and what makes you experts in your industry. 

9. ###

Including three hashtag symbols at the bottom is the traditional way to indicate that a press release has ended. They were once necessary when press releases were sent over wire services and signaled to journalists that no more pages would be coming. It’s no longer technically necessary, but many businesses like including them. 

And there you have it! Once you’re done, you can publish it to the news section of your site, a specific press release page, or send it straight to reporters.

Writing your first press release 

You should have all the information you need to write a newsworthy press release. If you want to speed the process up, there are many helpful templates to be found across the Internet, such as these. If you see a lot of press releases in your brand or business’s future, you might want to consider a platform like Cision. However you choose to approach writing your press, the tips included in this article should serve you well.

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