Should I Write My Own Press Release?

Many new marketers get nervous at the idea of issuing press releases. They think it is something for only big corporations. Even if they have heard that press releases can be an invaluable marketing tool, they still get pretty petrified at the idea of writing their own.


While it is true that there are freelance writers available who specialize in press releases, there is really no secret to writing an effective press release, provided you follow a few simple instructions. And while it is also true that some press release distribution services will offer release writing as part of their service, most small businesses simply don’t have that kind of budget. So here’s a simple checklist on how to start writing your own press release successfully.

1-It must be newsworthy

A lot of press releases sent out are little more than ads or attempts to trick the search engines into awarding higher page rank. Journalists are sick of spammy content. Your press release should convey something newsworthy. If you are not sure, think about the impact the information would have on people’s lives if they heard about your new product or service, or live event you will be hosting. If it will have a positive impact and definitely be something your target audience will want to know about, write a press release.

2-Write a great headline

The headline will be visible in the interface of the press release distribution service you use, along with hundreds of others, so it needs to grab the attention of any journalist hunting for inspiration related to your niche or industry.

It should have at least one keyword related to your niche or industry and a strong verb. It should also make the reader curious to learn more.

3-Write a great subheadline

The subheadline will usually be visible with the headline in some interfaces, so you have an additional chance to grab the journalist’s attention. It should support the headline and give a brief summary of what the story will be about.

4-Include media

Press releases that include media such as images and video are far more likely to get picked up than ones that don’t. Include an image of the new product you are launching, a picture of your office, your logo, or whatever matches the topic of the press release.

Video demonstrations of your new product, reviews and testimonials, and so on can also encourage journalists for online publications to pick up your story.

5-A strong opening paragraph

In journalism, writes are trained to include the 5Ws in every news story:

  1. Who
  2. What
  3. When
  4. Where
  5. Why

Include these in your press release and they will be more likely to give you a pickup because you’ve given them everything they need to pass along to their audience.

6-An interesting quote or two

Have someone in your company, or an expert in the industry, comment on the significance of the story. Quotes liven up an otherwise dull story and provide useful additional information.

7-A call to action

Base your call to action on the goal of your press release. If you are announcing a new product, for example, your call to action might be, “Please visit URL to learn more about X product.” If you are trying to get more subscribers, you could say, “Download your free ebook at URL.”

8-Your boilerplate

The boilerplate is a brief description of your company, and your contact information so journalists can follow up if they wish. Use the same boilerplate for each release you issue.

Call us today to speak to one of our PR specialists: 1-800-713-7278

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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