Writing a press release is a basic need of any growing company. While some people think it’s an out of date way of doing PR, it’s actually quite helpful.
What Is a Press Release?
A press release is an official announcement issued to the news media. It’s also known as a press statement, a news releases, or a media release.
Press releases are short and sweet. They are 2 pages at most. They need to be just enough to entice media outlets to publish articles about your product, company, or whatever your press release is about.
They can even be about upcoming events, announcing new hires, and celebrating awards that have been won.
The heading should contain action verbs, the first paragraph should answer the who, what, why, and where. The press release should contain understandable language and a quote.
The 5 Ws of Journalism
The 5 Ws of journalism are vital in knowing how to write a press release. Without answering these, your press release will be very forgettable.
What is the newsworthy event your story is covering?
Who does it involve? Who are the key players?
Where is this story coming from? In a press release, this information will first be included in your dateline, with more details potentially included throughout the body of your paragraphs.
When is this newsworthy event going to take place, or when did it happen?
Why is this important? The why in a press release is what will compel reporters and media outlets to want to dig in further.
Different Types of Press Releases
Depending on what you need to write about, certain press release formats are better than others. The following are just some of the options available:
Event Press Releases
An event press release is used to promote a newsworthy event that your company is hosting, attending, or sponsoring. It’s to show off to the general public and let them know more about what your company does.
If your organization is trying to get members of the media or a broader audience to attend, your timing has to be perfect. You need to make sure to give people plenty of notice so they can plan.
New Hire Press Release
Companies use a new hire press release to announce changes in leadership. They’re usually focused on high level executives. It summarizes their professional accomplishments and offers biographical information. There’s usually a photo of the new hire as well.
It’s a good credibility boost if you have hired a well-known executive from a top competitor.
You can use a similar format when you promote someone within your company.
Award Press Release
An award press release gives you the chance to celebrate your success with anyone that will listen.
Industry awards and accolades are common, but the general public probably hasn’t heard of them. By making an awards press release, you show off your company as an industry leader.
Feature/Product Press Release
Even big corporations like Apple, use press releases when they launch a new product or upgrade.
Press releases give just enough details to entice journalists. The flurry of media coverage turns a launch into a spectacle. This gets people’s attention and it’s easy and free publicity.
Rebranding Press Release
This is commonly used to supplement a broader rebranding strategy. Organizations understand that their customers have gotten used to a certain identity. This type of press release helps make sure that no one is confused.
This is type of press release will share what’s changing, like the logo, the audience served, and that sort of thing. It also explains what causes this changing like a merger, acquisition, or change in product direction.
Partnership Press Release
This is the perfect way to announce the news of the new partnership that you have been working on for months.
Each partner has built relationships with distinct audiences. A press release that will appeal to both audiences and gets everyone on the same page. It’s also a way to get more exposure with both audiences.
It will let your audience know why this partnership is happening and where the companies will from here.
Charitable Initiative Press Release
Modern businesses are no longer all about profits. Charitable initiatives happen often. Though most of time people don’t know about the good companies do.
This type of press release is great to show customers what you are doing to change the world. Also, news outlets love to report on feel good stories that balance out the bad news happening in the world.
Though make sure that you don’t just brag about yourself too much. Make sure to emphasize your company’s values and rally others around a good cause.
How to Write a Press Release
If you want to write your press release well, you should make sure not to over exaggerate what your company has accomplished. If you stretch the truth too far, then you will be seen as unreliable and not honest.
Here are a few ways you can know how to write a press release properly:
1. Write an Eye-Catching Headline
You need to write a great headline that will grab your reader’s attention. If you don’t have an intriguing headline, then they won’t read beyond that.
Use action verbs, clear, understandable language, and keep your headlines simple and short.
It can be nerve-wracking to write one line that has so much value, but try to think about what would grab your attention.
2. Tell People Why They Should Care
You need to grab reporters, influencers, or followers’ attention so they share your announcement. You do this by telling why they should care.
The first paragraph of your release should cover the who, what, why, where, and how of your new launch, update, or development. Reporters don’t have a ton of time to sift through details and excess info. They need facts that will help them tell the story.
3. Offer a Good Quote
Once you have set the scene, that’s when you bring in all the details. A great way to do that and humanize your company at the same time, is to use a quote. Quotes can help reporters tell your story because the quote gives context around your announcement and how your news will affect your industry, customer base, or landscape.
Quotes should be from key stakeholders in your company including your executive team, project leads, or those directly impacted by your announcement.
Quoting important people shows the importance of your development. The quote should shape your narrative and emphasize the core of the announcement.
4. Give Valuable Background Information
In the last paragraph, remember that readers have already gotten all the vital details and info they need to create a story or spread the word.
It can be tempting to pack your press release with a lot of facts and info about your company or the details about your announcement, but you don’t need to. A good press release should be helpful and concise.
Offer details that strengthen your narrative in your last paragraph. Things can include creative or noteworthy ways your company developed the project or announcement at hand.
You can also talk about how the future will change thanks to your announcement.
5. Make Sure You Are Clear
Many reporters will complain about how press releases or pitches don’t clearly explain what the company does or what the announcement is actually about.
Make sure you describe what your company does in plain English, include a link to your company’s homepage early on, and make your boilerplate succinct and straightforward.
If you cite data, include a reference link for the source, and make sure every name in the release has an associated title and company as well.
To make sure it’s clear, ask a friend or colleague to read the release without context. Ask them if they can easily read it and know why it matters. If the answer is no, then rewrite it.
Images break up walls of text. They also make your press release more interesting right away. Like the title, images will grab people’s attention right away.
The thing is, for images to work, they have to be relevant. Using any old stock photo is kind of boring. Plus, who knows how many other companies have used the same image?
Instead, make sure to have your new logo ready if you are rebranding, or have a good headshot of your new hire.
If you properly tag the images, you can also use that to your advantage. You will pop up in online searches and gain new audiences.
Now You Know How to Write a Press Release
Hopefully these tips will help you and your company grow quickly. Being able to write a press release will not only help your company, but it will also make you an extremely valuable employee.
Remember to make sure your press release is easy to read and states exactly what your company is celebrating.