PR 101 – How to Write a Good Press Release
Press releases are an essential element of any public relations strategy. They are designed to report the news from within your company to a wider audience, journalists, in the hope that they will pass it along to an even wider audience, their own readership.
They need to be genuinely newsworthy, not a thinly disguised ad and have enough of a wow factor for journalists to be willing to pick up the story.
More than 300 press releases are issued every day in the US alone, however, so it is important to learn how to stand out from the crowd. Here are a few suggestions:
Grab attention with a compelling headline.
It should have keywords that convey what the story is about, and at least one emotive word that connects with your audience to make them want to read more. The headline offers a promise you will need to deliver on in the press release.
Support your headline with a great subhead
The subhead supports the headline with more information and also serves as a teaser of what information the audience can expect if they take the time to read more.
A strong opening paragraph
Newspaper stories are the opposite of fictional stories. You don’t want to keep readers in suspense and save the most important information for last. You need to put them in the first paragraph instead.
Include facts and statistics
These can provide a context as to why your press release information is important. Cite the source/s where you obtained the information.
Include quotes from experts
Quotes can also provide a context as to why your press release is worth paying attention to. Experts in your niche or industry help convey authority and importance to your news items. Quotes can also add more information readers really want, for example by helping them picture what life would be like if they purchased the new product you’re launching.
A high-quality image to support the story can be worth a great number of media pickups compared with press releases that don’t have media. The video is becoming increasingly popular as well, and can really help your press release stand out from the crowd.
Include a call to action
Whenever you are writing a press release, you should always set a goal. You want more media attention and traffic, sure, but you might also decide you would like more subscribers or sales. Depending on your goal, you would then create a call to action to get the audience to do as you wish.
In terms of subscribers, get them onto your email marketing list by offering them a free ebook to download, or a free ecourse, in exchange for their email address.
In terms of sales, if you are launching a product, consider offering the new item at a special launch-only price, and send them to a sales page for them to complete their purchase.
Include your contact information
It should be up to date and you need to follow up promptly if anyone contacts you.
It should be error-free and well-written
Triple-check everything before issuing your release.