A press release is an official statement issued by a company that provides specific “new” information directly about or concerning the company. Below, we’ve tried to capture what every marketer and business should know about how to write an effective press release and get it picked up.
Why Should You Create a Press Release?
As we stated above, press releases are a cost-effective way to notify the public and the media on any new information pertaining to your business. Some common press release objectives include building your brand’s reputation, managing a crisis, and getting media coverage which will increase leads and sales.
Press releases should be sent whenever your business has something important to share. Important news can include new products, events, new employees, awards your business may have received, and partnerships. Press releases are also important for crisis management, when something bad happens, your business can make a statement and get in front of it before others start sharing false information.
How to Write an Effective Press Release
If you want your press release to be read by a journalist, you need to write like one. Remember to keep the press release simple and concise so that the information is easy to find and digest. Always state the most important information first, then follow with the rest.
Writing your press release in the correct format will increase the odds of it earning coverage. You want to ensure that you include all the proper information, while still keeping it quick and easy to follow. The format should be as follows:
- Company Logo: The first thing you should put on your press release is your company logo, it should be positioned right at the top.
- Contact Information: Include the ways to contact the person that can answer direct questions about the press release. Contact information should include a name, email, and phone number.
- Location and Date: You must include the city, and state the press release is coming from, as well as the date it is published.
- Headline: A clear and specific headline will be the first thing the reader will see, so make sure it is interesting and important (usually in bold). You can also add a sub-headline, which will appear directly under the heading and is in smaller font (sometimes italicized).
- Lead Paragraph: Find an angle or hook. The first body paragraph should clearly state the who, what, when, where, why, and/or how of the press release. This paragraph should be a small summary to give the readers a general idea of the information you are trying to get across.
- Body Paragraphs: The body paragraphs should tell the complete story ordered by level of importance.
- Boiler Plate: The final paragraph of your press release also referred to as a boilerplate, is the “about section”. You want to let the reader know what your organization is all about, its background, founding dates, company size, awards, and any other interesting facts.
How to Distribute Your Press Release
When deciding where/who (i.e. which publication/website) to pitch your story to, make sure that their reader aligns with your business’s target audience, their coverage area aligns with your specific product or service and that the topic of your news is something that the publication/website would actually be interested in publishing. Editors assign stories early in the week, so aim to send your stories on a Monday or Tuesday. There are two ways to make sure your press release gets read:
- If your story fits well to one specific publication, pitch your story to a few selected editors, editors like having exclusives.
- Send it out to multiple editors, using a wire service will allow you to blast your story so that it gets picked up by a variety of outlets.
Press releases are a cost-effective way to communicate with the public and the media. Hopefully, after reading this article you’ll have all the steps needed to properly write, send, and get your press release picked up/published. If you have any questions or concerns on how to write or distribute an effective press release, please feel free to reach out…We’re always happy to help!
Danielle Foley, Owner
Foley Marketing Advisors