A press release is a short, concise written document that provides information about an organization or event to the public.
Press releases are traditionally submitted in response to newsworthy events and often contain information such as who, what, when, where, why, and how.
A press release can be used for many purposes: marketing campaigns, company announcements; launching new products or services; fundraising campaigns, charitable appeals.
A good press release can go a long way in a business’ public relations strategy. But how do you write a press release? Here are some tips to consider.
What Is a Press Release?
Press releases are pre-written news articles sent to media outlets like newspapers and magazines to inform the public about a company or event. These types of releases keep the public up-to-date on what’s happening around them while also generating publicity for companies, brands, and individuals.
Creating your own self-promotional press release can easily increase brand exposure and gain new customers.
Before you write a press release, it’s important to decide what you want the content to be about. Are there any new products or services your business has launched? Do you have an announcement you’d like the media to know about?
Press releases make it easy for the media and readers to stay informed while making companies look more credible in front of their target audience. Once customers see your brand in the media, they’re more likely to reach out and learn about your business.
Types of Press Releases
There are several types of press releases. The main types are the ‘informational’ and the ‘promotional.
Informational press releases have information about a business or an upcoming event, while promotional press releases focus on selling something, such as a product or service.
It’s easy to write self-promotional content for your own company. Still, informational and promotional press releases require high-quality writing to capture readers’ attention outside your business.
There are specific types of press releases:
New Product Launches
Press releases announcing new products are useful for generating buzz and boosting sales. New product launch press releases should include information like the problem the product addresses, its key features and benefits, when it will be available, and how much it costs.
Press releases announcing product updates are important for keeping customers up-to-date on any changes to a product they’ve purchased. They explain how the new features benefit them and why customers should invest in the new version.
Press releases about company news are important for letting customers, investors, and employees know what’s happening around the business.
Company news press releases should include details on who is leading a project or initiative, why it’s important to the company and community, and whether there have been any changes at a higher level in the organization.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Press releases announcing a merger or acquisition are important for increasing brand exposure and making new customers aware of your business.
These press releases should explain the benefits of the merger or acquisition, why it’s happening, what this means for customers and employees.
Awards and Honors
Press releases announcing awards and honors are useful for raising brand awareness and making customers aware of your business.
The contents of these press releases will depend on the nature of the award, but they should explain why you won it, what it means to receive this recognition, and how it benefits customers or employees.
Rebranding or Name Changes
Rebranding or name changes are important for letting customers, investors, and employees know what’s happening with your company.
These press releases should explain why you’re making this change, what the new branding means, how it benefits customers and employees, and whether there are any other changes to the business outside of branding.
How to Write an Effective Press Release
Writing a press release is an easy way to increase brand exposure and gain new customers. Here are some tips for writing a press release for your business or organization:
- Make Sure the Headline Is Attention-Grabbing
The headline is the most important content in a press release.
It’s what people will see first, so it needs to make them want to read more. To write an attention-grabbing headline:
Numbers, such as percentages and statistics, are useful for catching people’s attention.
For example, try including a percentage of how much growth your business has experienced recently or relevant facts about your company that highlight your credibility.
Create a Curiosity Gap or ‘What If’ Question
Questions and hypothetical scenarios are another way to write interesting headlines that attract readers. Try writing a question that might be on potential customers’ minds, like “How can my business benefit from social media?” or write a statement with a question or ‘what if’ scenario like, “What if we could reduce our electricity bill by $10,000 a year?”
- Keep the Body of Your Press Release Factual and Concise
The body of a press release is where you write the information about your business. You should write it in an objective, journalistic style that’s free of marketing speak. The body of your press release should be factual, straightforward, and concise.
To write a press release that’s free of marketing speak:
Avoid Superlatives and Jargon
Superlatives like ‘best’ or ‘greatest’ often don’t mean very much to customers. Try to write in a way that speaks to your customer base instead of exaggerating things.
Similarly, avoid using jargon or technical terms specific to your industry in the body of your press release. You want potential customers and investors who don’t know anything about your business to understand what you write. So, write clearly without using too many buzzwords.
Include Essential Information First
Put any essential information upfront for readers who may not read the whole press release. For example, put any important numbers or dates first so people can see them immediately.
Include a Quote From an Expert
Quotes from an expert or satisfied client are useful for adding credibility to your press release. Try asking a customer, investor, or partner if they’d be willing to write or record a short quote that you can share with the media.
Include Secondary Information at the End
If there’s relevant information that doesn’t fit in the flow of your press release, write it at the end instead. For instance, you can write about how long your business has been in existence or what you plan to do with money from winning an award.
- Write Compelling Headlines for Social Media Sharing
Aside from reaching customers directly via email or online ads, press releases are often shared via social media. Your press release needs to have a strong headline so that when people share it on social media, they’ll encourage readers to check out the full text.
Here’s how to write headlines that will attract more attention:
Make it Informative
You should write a press release that helps people and provides value to them. The best way to write headlines is using information that’s helpful or relevant to your readers.
Try conveying the importance of your story in the headline so that people will want to read more. If you’re writing about something new, write about how this impacts your customer base.
Include Keywords People Are Searching For
Look at search engine logs for important keywords related to your business or write about questions potential customers are asking online. Then, include those keywords in your headline so you can attract the right audience when it goes live on social media.
Make It Different or Catchy
Headlines that are creative, catchy, or different stand out and attract more attention online. Try using powerful adjectives to write a unique headline.
- Add Contact Information to Your Press Release
Add your contact information at the end of your press release. Put it near the headline or write about how people can contact you to learn more.
Here’s the contact info you should write in a press release:
Your Name and Business Information
If someone is reading your press release, they need to know who you are to get in touch with you for more information if necessary. Don’t write vague phrases like “For further details please email [email address]” or “Call us now.”
Make it clear by writing something like, “For questions, write to Joe Smith at ABC Company at 123 Main Street, New York City NY 10001.”
Your Company’s Website
People reading your press release will likely want to visit your website or social media pages. Make it easy for them by writing something like, “For more information about ABC Company, visit our website at www.abcbusiness.com.”
Your Contact Phone Number and Email
Include your contact phone number and email address so that people can reach you easily. Writing something like “For more information call 1-800-555-5555.”
Check out this template to learn more about press release writing.
- Distribute Your Press Release
Writing a press release is just the first step. To get more people to read it, you need to distribute it. There are many ways to do this:
Submit your press release through newswire services like Business Wire or PRNewswire. These services charge a fee, but they will distribute your press release far and wide.
Send your press release to local media outlets. Press releases are useful for journalists who write about the news happening in their area or industry. This is especially helpful if you write about an event that impacted people in a particular location.
Learn How to Write a Press Release
Writing a press release to distribute to the public is critical for promoting your business. Take advantage of this tool by learning how to write a press release that will get potential customers’ attention.
Make sure you write about relevant information, share it online via social media, and include contact information so people can reach out if they’re interested in talking with you more.