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How To Write A Press Release For Your Brand

David Tile, Founder/CEO @ Article-Writing.co

Posted On: August 04, 2019

For a business to experience the maximum benefits from its marketing efforts, successful ones put out a barrage of quality content. Social media posts, blog posts, video/audio content, and of course the almighty press release, provide opportunities for potential customers to engage with a brand through various media channels.

This content can give readers a sense of the business’ authenticity and expertise. Those accomplishing this are seen as leaders in their field, through clear and relevant communications on products and developments. 

Press releases remain critical pieces of this communications process that almost all big businesses rely on, efficiently bringing the latest company news and product information to the public. All marketers and business owners alike should know how to write a press release. 

This can however be a double-edged sword. 

Ill-prepared media content can be disastrous for a brand, especially with the large potential impact of social media nowadays that brings news instantly to consumers.

It is therefore critical that you understand just how to write a press release. The veteran content writing team @ Article Writing Co. is here to help! We’ve prepped this in depth guide to writing and promoting your press release. Understanding the formatting and just how to present your news angle so that you can get maximum exposure.

Just a quick note, this is a writing service that we provide. If you’d rather just skip the lengthy guide that follows and pay a pro team to get this done for you… we charge a reasonable $149 click here 🙂

Reasons to Write a Press Release in 2020

Despite talks of being outdated, industry experts still highlight the importance of adding a quality press release to your content marketing strategy because of three cold, hard facts:

  • 3 billion searches a day are made on Google and press releases can rank highly within these search queries
  • Press releases are viewed as trustworthy sources by 44% of journalists
  • Press releases can drive incremental foot traffic and generate sales

If you have something big to say, press releases are one of the primary methods for getting the statement out to the masses, with the potential to provide massive returns to your businesses’ bottom line.

What makes press releases particularly well-suited for reaching audiences especially in today’s digital age? Here are a few key reasons.

Customer Convenience: Extended blog posts and whitepapers can be an essential part of a content marketing strategy, but not every member of your target audience is going to have the time to read these. Press releases are much more digestible, provided they are written properly.

Online Sales Touchpoint: We live in a time where social media impressions and interactions are worth their weight in gold and press releases are well-suited for this medium. Putting together an enticing headline on platforms your audience is likely to visit can allow your news to spread like wildfire.

Quality SEO Content: Press releases have the unique SEO benefit of generating organic search traffic using popular keywords. A blog post about “X company history” or “X company news” for first-time stock investing would come across as a bit inauthentic. In a press release, adding these keywords to describe recent events makes a lot more sense to include. These can improve your search ranking across a larger selection of keywords. 

One newsroom increased search traffic by 30% primarily with this keyword tactic.

Brand Storytelling: Blogs have certain characteristics that audiences have come to expect. Even with interests evolving from the traditional 500-word blog post into deeper pillar pages, there are a lot of things that you may want to share that this style doesn’t apply to. 

It’s difficult to create a lengthy post regarding a new hire without irrelevant content but a press release can communicate these background details, while meeting the expectations of your audience.

Plus, our in-house team at Article Writing Co. has developed a list of other detailed opportunities for your press release.

What Is A Press Release?

A press release is a brief, written communication about a specific event, circumstance, or other update. 

Any organization can put one together if they have something to share. For example, governments often put out press releases and even individual celebrities create press releases for events associated with them. 

The ultimate goal of a press release is to ensure the development or event you’re reporting on gets increased attention, which can increase a brand’s presence in a beneficial manner.

Spread Organic Reach with the Press Release

Many press releases are not only constructed with your average audience in mind, but also to catch the attention of a member of the media or an editor at a publication. 

In some cases, outlets will see the news on your press release, be interested, and just share it. In other cases, they may be prompted to reach out to you for more details or to serve as a source for a related story.

The press release can be more than just a simple piece of content. Journalists and members of the media are constantly looking to build relationships to enhance their stories and serve as future sources. As a digital marketer, this is a dream come true. Media members are uniquely poised to help boost awareness of your brand and a press release can be all you need to get this started.

However, consistent and quality content is important. 

There is no guarantee that your press release is going to lead to significant increased attention at first, even if you do everything right. Adding a “press” section on your website will make your overall digital presence look more professional and eventually, you can catch that future contact’s attention.

The Press Release Format in 8 Easy Steps

Now that we’ve talked about what a press release is and what its purpose is, it’s time to get into the format of the standard press release. 

This requires an understanding of all the different bits and pieces of a press release and this complete guide will run down every part you need to know.

Below is a summary of the key elements of the Perfect Press Release by your friends at Article Writing Co.

Step 1: The Letterhead. 

The top section of your press release needs the branding and company information you want readers to have access to. This should include a logo and contact information, for anyone who wants to reach the company with more questions about the story. 

Remember, a benefit of the press release is the increase in interest for your company which improves brand awareness.

Step 2: The Headline.

The average person has an attention span of eight seconds. How do you beat this issue? 

The HubSpot Blog’s Hannah Fleishman points out that an eye-catching headline can do wonders for your fortunes with readers – and search engines. Fleishman’s anatomy of a powerful press release headline looks a little something like this:

  • Use of action verbs.
  • Clear and understandable wording.
  • Concise and to the point.

“Company Opens Up New Copper Smelting Plant Servicing Lower Ontario” is a pretty weak headline. However, “New Ontario Copper Smelting Plant Promises To Bring Jobs” is better structured and has a secondary hook to capture the interest of your audience.

Being brief and focused is a recurring theme with the modern take on press releases. This mindset starts with the headline.

Struggling to figure out the best way to extract a powerful headline from your press release content? See how to put this in action with our press release sample and follow our newsletter to stay updated on the latest tips. 

Step 3: Sub-Headline. 

In some cases, shortening your headline to be concise but captivating means that you may have to leave off information you wanted your reader to know right away. The sub-headline, which runs right under your headline, is a chance to convey this information.

The sub-headline should be around two sentences, providing more details about what the body of the press release will contain. However, you still want to abide by the rules of a good headline, like lots of action verbs and being easy to follow.

Step 4: Release Date.

You have a bit of freedom on where you can put the release date, but it should always be near the top. The reason for this is that the information lets the media immediately determine how relevant the press release is. 

The more recent, the better in just about every case.

Step 5: Dateline.

The dateline of a press release generally reads as follows: city, state/province, month, day, and immediately precedes the first sentence of the press release body. This lets readers know quickly whether the news is relevant to them or not.

With the opening parts of the press release taken care of, we can begin to discuss the body portion of the format. A lot of people make the mistake of approaching this like a blog post on a given subject, but that will almost guarantee that your audience will lose interest before the end.

Step 6: Body.

The bulk of your text. It is important you understand what defines a strong press release’s body. In terms of word count, you still want to keep things relatively brief, in the 300-600 word region. 

Customers value convenience and this is still a key consideration in the body of the press release. 

Don’t let your paragraphs run too long, with 2-4 sentences as a guideline. Remember to only go over relevant points to the event, not background details about your company.

Your opening paragraph should focus on the who, what, why, when and how of the story. For example, if you were a restaurant opening a second location, the reader should know, within the first few sentences:

  • What type of restaurant you are
  • Where the new location is
  • Why you chose the new location
  • When they can expect it to open
  • How the expansion is expected to improve your business

See how we apply these strategies with our free Press Release sample.

However, these details can get a bit dry after a while. Remember that journalists are often reading a huge swath of press releases everyday. This is why many successful content writers use additional details like quotes and statistics in order to try and enhance their content.

With digital content, embed relevant images and videos to provide readers with extra value. Extra value generates more interest from your potential media partners or clients. 

Step 7: Boilerplate.

Every piece of digital marketing content generally has some way to turn the value you’re providing back to your business in some way. The boilerplate section of a press release is a chance for you to put this into action. 

This paragraph is where you can go into detail about what your company is and what it does. For a journalist, this helps provide valuable context regarding your company to see if it makes sense for them to follow up. You want to go more informative than “salesy” with the content here.

Step 8: Final Notation

Conventionally, the body portion of a press release ends with a ### symbol at the center of the page. However, if you didn’t place the contact details of your marketing team or company head at the beginning of the document, you can also supply this information here. 

Include as many forms as possible. Different journalists may have different preferences.

 

Get Your FREE Press Release Template

Knowing how to write a press release consists of awareness on both the format and writing style that conveys this content effectively. 

The journalists you’re looking to work with can get dozens, maybe even hundreds of press releases in their inboxes daily. They’re basically looking for reasons to put press releases in their trash to lighten their load. The slightest deviation from standard format, or a weak headline, can be a good enough cause. 

To help you start, here’s a list of press release templates you can work with. 

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/press-release-template-ht

https://fitsmallbusiness.com/press-release-format-and-template/

https://www.cision.com/us/2018/06/3-press-release-templates/

https://www.template.net/business/press-release/

While the bulk of press releases out there follow a general format, there are cases where you need to add unique information or features based on your niche or the type of announcement. Bring in our team of experts to help you Customize your Press Release for your audience the right way!

Simple Steps to Improve Your Press Release

“First, be sure you have a good reason for sending a press release.” – Entrepreneur magazine staff

These words, from the staff of Entrepreneur magazine, embody the first step that goes into writing a successful release. You know the purpose of a press release, so focus on what can sink it. One major issue can be that your topic simply isn’t worth the attention you’re trying to garner. 

Figuring out what exactly serves as a “release-worthy” piece of information requires knowledge of your audience.

Other factors may be at play for reasons why your press release is not performing, such as these common mistakes created by our team at Article Writing Co.

In addition, the following suggestions may boost the ROI of your press release.

Don’t Bore Readers with Content Regurgitation

Great press release content says what it needs to say in an expedient and concise manner. 

Don’t be afraid to jump straight to the point. Remember the limited attention span of the typical reader.

Provide readers with an enjoyable and structured experience but that don’t inflate the word count of this piece unnecessarily. For blogs and whitepapers, going into added detail can be a bonus, but for a press release, it’s a negative. 

Your average reader expects a press release to quickly cover an important development, and perhaps have a link to a place they can get more info. Short and straightforward is a good thing for a press release.

Use Quotes to Provide Added Value

“Quotes should be used to provide insight and opinion and sound like a real person said them. They definitely shouldn’t be full of jargon or technical language.” – Janet Murray, The Guardian

As the above excerpt from The Guardian’s Janet Murray highlights, one of the most powerful components of press releases is insider insight and quotes

Tap into an employee or respected voice in your industry to talk about the press release’s main focus. This adds both engagement and authority to your content. 

Quotes – when used properly and devoid of unnecessary jargon or technical language – can supercharge an otherwise mediocre press release.

Example of a Successful Event Press Release

Now, it’s your chance to look at exactly how all these different items and lessons come together to create an ideal press release with a sample by Article Writing Co.

This downloadable example was created to promote a live pitch competition event, with the main goal of attracting press coverage and public interest. X was generated in terms of unpaid media attention with an attendance of Y. 

Download your FREE Press Release Example (& Case Study) to look at some of the key components of the press release and how it was written using the tactics discussed.

Maximizing Reach with Your Press Release

You now have all the tools and information to write a compelling press release, but the work doesn’t stop there. The best content in the world doesn’t amount to much if you can’t put it in front of the target audience you’re building around.

Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to catching the attention of the press, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stack the deck in your favor. Here are some ways to make this happen.

Less Is More

When you’ve gone through all this effort to put together a press release, it’s tempting to think that the best way to find success is to send it to every name in your contact list, journalist and non-journalist alike. 

This could be a potential recipe for disaster. 

If you cast a wide net, there’s a greater likelihood of your press release going into the inbox of people who aren’t going to have any use for it. As a result, they’ll feel you’re spamming, block your email, and you’ve now lost that prospect forever.

A better approach to take, especially for small businesses, is finding a few local journalists who may have worked with your kind of story before. These people will be more likely to promote your press release, and maybe even interview you for more details.

Make A Good Impression

The bulk of press releases these days are distributed to journalists by email. Generally, a marketer will quickly introduce themselves and the release, with an offer to discuss further. 

There’s a right and a wrong way to do this. 

For example, much like the release itself, a bland headline is a sure-fire interest killer. In your introduction, make sure that you add a personalized element to catch your prospect’s attention. Finally, when you copy in the body of the release, do one last check for any grammatical or spelling errors. 

Know the Difference Between Additional Details and Stat-Dumping

Raw numbers aren’t necessarily going to help your press release as much as you think they do. 

The key to using statistics is to inform or back up an existing point that you’re making. 

Economy of text is your best friend, so when you add a statistic, be sure to think about it. Is this going to somehow inform a journalist’s experience? Does it clear up a question they would otherwise need to ask you?

Distribution Services

There are some pieces saying that online press release distribution is dead, but this is a half truth. Partnering with an outside service to distribute your press releases can still be effective. 

good distribution service will have a continuously updated list of media members and journalists that fit your niche to send your press release to, rather than a set list of emails they have on file. 

Cheaper services may have lists with irrelevant or expired contacts. For small business owners, it may be more cost effective to try and do the legwork on your own. 

When you are ready to make the jump, you’re best served working with the biggest names around, like PR Newswire and others. 

Promoting A Press Release

Now, you fully understand how to write a press release. However, the work doesn’t stop there. The best content in the world doesn’t amount to much if you can’t put it in front of that target audience you’ve been building around. This is what makes promoting a press release so important. We mentioned earlier that nothing is guaranteed when it comes to catching the attention of the press, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stack the deck in your favor. Here are some key ways to make this happen.

Less Is More

When you’ve gone through all this effort to put together a press release, it’s tempting to think that the best way to find success is to send it to every name in your contact list, journalist and non-journalist alike. This could be a potential recipe for disaster, though. If you cast a wide net, there’s a greater likelihood of your press release going into the inbox of people who aren’t going to have any use for it. As a result, they feel you’re spamming, block your email, and you’ve now lost that prospect forever.

A better approach to take, especially for small businesses, is finding a few local journalists who may have worked with your kind of story before. These people may be more likely to promote your press release, and maybe even interview you for more details.

Make A Good Impression

The bulk of press releases these days are distributed to journalists by email. Generally, a marketer will quickly introduce themselves and the release and offer the opportunity for further discussion if interested. However, there’s a right and a wrong way to do this. For example, much like the release itself, a bland headline is a sure-fire interest killer. For your introduction, make sure that you add a personalized element to catch your prospect’s attention. Finally, when you copy in the body of the release, do one last check for any grammatical or spelling errors. 

Know The Difference Between Additional Details And Stat-Dumping

Raw numbers aren’t necessarily going to help your press release as much as you think they do. The key to using statistics is to inform or back up an existing point that you’re making. Economy of text is your best friend, so when you add a statistic, be sure to think about it. Is this going to somehow inform a journalist’s experience? Does it clear up a question they would otherwise need to ask you?

Distribution Services: Worth The Money?

There are some pieces saying that online press release distribution is dead, but this is a half truth. Can partnering with an outside service to distribute your press releases still be effective? Yes. However, a company that does it well is going to cost you. The reason for this is that a good distribution service will have a regularly updated list of media members and journalists that fit your niche, rather than sending your releases to a set list of emails they have on file. Cheaper services may have lists with irrelevant or expired contacts. For small business owners, it may be more cost effective to try and do the legwork on your own. When you are ready to make the jump, you’re best served working with the biggest names around, like PR Newswire and others. 

Test Your Knowledge on the Press Release

Think you have all the details of writing the perfect press release down? 

Try out our online quiz here

Need More Help with Your Press Release? 

By this point, it’s no secret that a winning press release is all about being straightforward with your audience. Do some gimmicks work for? Perhaps on occasion. However, if you want to build a strong relationship with your audience via this medium, sticking consistently to an informative and concise press release is the way to go.

If you can back up a brief and newsworthy message with a powerful headline, strong quotes, and a willingness to avoid filler, there’s no reason why your next press release can’t stand above those offered by the competition. In any industry, it’s hard to pass up on this kind of outlook.

A successful press release can be the difference between a product or service rollout catching fire or fizzling out. The insights in this article can help you figure out exactly how to manage this but crafting the perfect press release on your first or fiftieth trial can still be a challenge with all the moving parts.

This is where outside press release writing services are useful. Article-Writing.co’s Press Release Writing Service tackles this for you, with its professional team with a strong track record of success. Click here to learn more. 

The landscape of press releases and effective content is ever shifting as the needs and tastes of audiences change. Be sure to follow our newsletter for the latest press release tips & tricks.