What Determines A Successful Press Release?

There are a number of factors that determine whether or not a press release is successful. The starting point in determining this is what your main goal is in issuing the press release.


What is a press release?

A press release is a way of communication designed for journalists and other media personnel to be updated on any current news in a company.

What are the goals in issuing a press release?

The main goal of a press release is to gain the media’s attention.

You provide the newsworthy story to journalists in the hope they will give you a pickup, that is, create an article from your press release that they will then publish, and their target audience will read.

Through those pickups, you can achieve your business goals.

What are the main business goals in issuing a press release?

There are several goals you can achieve through a press release. Determination of whether or not a press release is “successful” will depend on what goal you have set.

Possible goals include:
  • Brand awareness
  • Product awareness and sales, such as for a new product being launched
  • Encouraging attendance at a live event you are hosting online or at a venue
  • Getting traffic to your website
  • Gaining subscribers to one of your email marketing lists

What is the best way of achieving your goal?

The best way to achieve your stated goals in your press release is to write a newsworthy and interesting release that journalists will pay attention to and wish to pass on to their readers.

It should be:
  1. Real news, not an ad for your business
  2. Write in the expected press release format, allowing journalists to easily turn it into a story
  3. Be error-free
  4. Have at least one image, which can boost your chances of getting media pickups
  5. Have a call to action based on what the goal of your press release is. For example: if you are introducing a new product in order to stimulate sales, you call to action would be to send them to the URL of the sales page to learn more.

What is “the expected press release format”?

A modern press release is about 400 to 500 words and laid out in the following manner:

a. Headline

b. Subheadline, similar to a summary of what is in the release

c. First paragraph, containing the 5Ws:

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Why

These are the essential facts of any news story.

d. Second paragraph

Facts, figures, and statistics that can provide a context for your news story.

e. Third paragraph

Brief quotations from leading people in your niche or industry, plus your call to action.

f. Fourth paragraph

The boilerplate, or brief history of your company, and the contact information of the person following up with journalists.

Distributing the press release

Once you have written the press release, upload it to a press release distribution service. You will then start to get reports on how well it performs. Then you can start to measure the success of your release.

Measuring success

A good distribution service will list your top pickups.

Website traffic logs will help you determine how successful the release was at driving traffic.

Sales figures will show how many products were purchased through the press release and pickups you got.

Ticketing software will show how many tickets to your live event you have given away or sold.

Email marketing platform reports will show how many new subscribers have signed on as a result of the press release.

All of these metrics will demonstrate increasing brand awareness and reach.

Create a spreadsheet where you can keep track of all these numbers, and you should soon see which releases have been the most successful.

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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