If you’ve ever tried to send a press release, the process can be daunting. You might be tempted to just send out a few emails and hope for the best.
But if you want media attention for your business or organization, there are several steps you can take to make sure your release gets noticed by reporters. Here’s our list of 17 tips for putting together a successful press release:
|1. Craft a compelling and concise headline.|
|2. Focus on the newsworthiness of your content.|
|3. Include essential details in the opening paragraph.|
|4. Use clear and concise language throughout.|
|5. Incorporate quotes from relevant individuals.|
|6. Provide contact information for media inquiries.|
|7. Highlight the most important information first.|
|8. Use the inverted pyramid structure for content.|
|9. Avoid jargon and overly technical terms.|
|10. Keep the press release to one page if possible.|
|11. Proofread and edit for grammar and clarity.|
|12. Include multimedia like images or videos if relevant.|
|13. Use bullet points to break down key information.|
|14. Tailor the press release to your target audience.|
|15. Incorporate relevant keywords for SEO optimization.|
|16. Use a strong and clear call to action (CTA).|
|17. Follow up with media contacts after sending the release.|
Use The Inverted Pyramid
The inverted pyramid style of writing is a way of organizing information in a story that is most commonly used in news stories. It’s called “inverted” because the main points are listed at the bottom, with details and background coming later. This style allows writers to focus on what is most important for readers to know first and then elaborate on the details later on.
The inverted pyramid style has also been applied to other types of content, such as press releases and blogs. While there’s no magic formula for crafting headlines and every headline needs some degree of creativity there are certain elements that are often included in good headlines:
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Write A Compelling Headline
A good headline is the most important part of your press release. Your reader will see it, and then decide if they want to read further.
Be short and to the point, but compelling and relevant. You don’t need to write a novel shorter is usually better! Make sure your headline gets right to the point in one sentence or less. If you can make it even shorter than that, even better!
Use an active voice instead of a passive voice (for example: “The CEO was fired” vs “The company has fired its CEO”).
This makes your sentence more direct and gives a sense of urgency that will grab readers’ attention right away without having them jump through hoops trying to understand what happened first before they can care about it.
It also makes sure that as much information as possible comes up front instead of buried somewhere farther down where readers might miss it entirely.”
Tell A Story
Every reporter and editor you pitch to is looking for a good story, which means they want to hear the facts interestingly. It’s not enough to list off the features of your product and how it works; you have to tell a story that is relevant to them. Your goal should be to make your release more exciting than any other press release they get that day.
To do this, use real-life examples as much as possible to make your point more relatable: “Our product has been tested on over 1,000 dogs of all sizes” isn’t very compelling on its own.
But “Our product has been tested on over 1,000 dogs from 8 different cities across North America” brings those numbers down into human terms and makes readers think about the types of people who might use it (i.e., owners whose pets come from different regions). If there are specific names or places involved, include them!
That’s another way we can help our readers relate better—they might even know someone who lives near one of those cities!
The same logic applies when writing narratives: keep things simple so they read smoothly while still maintaining excitement.
Use clear language while keeping sentences short; avoid unnecessary adjectives and adverbs; don’t stray too far away from what you’re trying to convey with each sentence that way there aren’t any confusing pauses or jumps between ideas being presented
And make sure there isn’t any extraneous information lingering around confusing either (like if we said “I bought my dog five brand new toys!” but then never explained why).
Writing press releases requires finesse. Explore our article on my favorite do’s and don’ts for writing press releases to master the art of impactful communication.
Think Like A Journalist
A journalist is a busy person, so you have to make it as easy as possible for them to get the information they need from your press release.
Your goal should be to answer all of the basic questions that any reporter would ask to write about your event or story: who, what, where, when, and why.
If you want reporters to pick up on your PR campaign and include it in their coverage of events related to yours, then make sure that the answers to these questions are clearly stated in the first paragraph(s) of your press release.
Tailor It To The Relevant Reporter
You may send out dozens and dozens of press releases over time and many of those will end up being ignored by most journalists or simply never read at all due largely because they were sent out at entirely inappropriate times (e.g., late Friday afternoon).
Don’t waste everybody’s time by sending generic releases; instead, think about who might actually be interested in covering this particular story and tailor each email accordingly!
Solve A Problem For The Reporter
The goal of a press release is to solve a problem for the reporter. So, if you can give them what they want, they’re more likely to take notice. But not just any information will do: it needs to be specific, helpful, and timely. Only then will it be relevant and accurate enough for your target audience (and thus press).
Get To The Point
The first and most important rule for making your press release relevant is not to waste the reporter’s time.
Don’t use unnecessary jargon, buzzwords, or marketing speak. Reporters are more interested in what you have to say than how you choose to say it, so if you start by throwing around terms like “paradigm shift” or “cutting edge,” they’re going to tune out before they finish reading your first sentence.
It also makes it harder for them to write their copy (because they’re forced into sounding like an expert). And since a lot of reporters don’t want to spend hours trying to understand what you mean by something as simple as “innovative” versus “cutting edge” or “game changer,” they’ll end up just ignoring everything after point one which means no story at all!
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Punctuation is a useful tool for writers, but it’s often the most misunderstood part of writing. Here are some basic pointers:
Use commas to separate items in a list. For example: “The dinosaur ate leaves, bugs, and flowers.”
Use colons to introduce lists that have more than 3 items (or fewer than 5). For example: “The following items were stolen from my house on June 10th: a laptop computer; an iPod Touch; and my favorite pair of sneakers.”
Use semicolons to separate two independent clauses (clauses that can stand alone) when commas would make the sentence too wordy or unclear. For example: “I was born on June 10th; I am 20 years old now!”
Use periods at the end of sentences unless it’s an exclamation or question mark!
Use Links, But Not Excessively
Links can be a great way to draw attention to important information, but don’t overdo them. In some cases, you may want to use links that direct readers to more information about the topic or company, but in other cases, you might simply use them as hyperlinks for navigation purposes.
Links should be relevant and useful; otherwise, they’re just extra work for your reader and could end up distracting from your content rather than enhancing it. They should also be easy for users to find if you hide them in the middle of paragraphs where they’re not immediately noticeable, people won’t know where they are or how they work.
Finally, make sure that any links you include are easily navigable; if there’s anything complicated about the link (such as an image map), make sure there’s enough explanation given so users don’t get frustrated trying different things until something works.”
Add Quotes, But No More Than Two Or Three
Quote a source in the story that can provide expert commentary on what was revealed in the press release.
Quote an influencer who can offer their take on why this release is important and why it’s relevant to them.
Quote a customer who’s been directly affected by the news in question (e.g., “We’ve seen a significant increase in our sales since we rolled out this new program.”)
Quote another business that is competing with you for customers or resources, such as another company offering similar products and services (“We’re excited about these developments because they give us more options for serving our customers”).
Add Multimedia Components To Your Release
In addition to text, you can also add multimedia components to your release. This is a great way to create an engaging piece that will be shared more widely on social media.
Images are essential for any press release, and it’s highly recommended that you include one of the products or person you’re writing about. You may also include images of the team who worked on the project, as well as any team members who have contributed other important resources (such as funding).
Videos are another great way to show off the product in action, which is especially helpful if there are steps involved in using or installing it. For example, if you’re releasing a new app that solves users’ problems while they shop online at big box stores like Walmart or Target, then showing people how easy it is to use could be very compelling!
Audio can be used efficiently when conveying important information; for example: “A recent study shows that…”
Engaging your audience is key to effective communication. Learn how to engage your audience with a press release using proven strategies that captivate and resonate.
Create An Information-Rich Press Room On Your Website
The press room should be the first place journalists go when they want to learn more about your business. It’s important to make sure it contains all the information they need, including:
In a press releases section, You can include links to all of your most recent news releases in this section, as well as a list of upcoming events and announcements (such as product launches).
Media kit, Include a link to an online media kit that includes additional information about your company, such as company history and photos/videos of executives.
Contact information, Provide contact information so journalists can easily reach someone from your company for more details or comments on stories related to yours.
Verify Your Contact Information
Now that you’ve got your pitch down, it’s time to make sure everything is in order. If you’re sending a press release to local media, be sure to verify the contact information of your company and its location this will ensure that the journalist receives it properly.
You may also want to include your phone number and email address so that journalists can reach out with any questions they have about the story or the product/service being promoted.
Sign Off With Your Full Name And Title – On Company Letterhead.
Signing your name and the title is a sign of professionalism. Your title is the first thing that people will see when reading the press release, so make it count. If you are the President of your company, write “President” at the top of your press release.
If you are a Marketing Director, write “Marketing Director” at the top of your press release. Make sure to use proper titles and spell out names if necessary;
This shows that you have researched who they are and why they are important to their industry, which in turn establishes credibility with readers who may not be familiar with who they are or what their role is within their company or industry.
Also remember: don’t be shy about using anyone else’s name within your organization! A well-written press release should include quotes from multiple sources (not just one), especially if those sources have any authority over whatever topic/issue being discussed in the said document–be it a job opening announcement or new product launch news piece.”
Connect With The Reporter Beforehand
Connecting with the reporter beforehand can help your press release stand out. It’s also a good idea to know what you’re doing before you start:
Research the reporter. You should know as much about this person as possible their beat, their style, and what makes them tick. The last thing you want to do is send a press release that doesn’t meet their needs or interests.
Connect with them via social media if possible. This can be an especially useful strategy when reaching out to reporters who don’t cover your industry but might still be interested in covering your story. Plus, it makes building relationships easier!
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Stay Brief. Keep It Short. One Page Is Best
The first thing to consider when you’re creating a press release is how to keep it short. A good rule of thumb is to keep your press release at no more than 300 words (500-1,000 is ideal).
This can be difficult for some writers, but it’s important to remember that the purpose of a press release is to get information into the hands of other people in an easy-to-read format.
The best way to stay on topic is by using bullet points and keeping your sentences short and simple. I like using bolded headers as well this helps break up the text visually so readers don’t feel overwhelmed by paragraphs upon paragraphs of text.
When writing bullet points or headers/headings: don’t make them overly complicated or confusing; try using numbers instead of letters; use the bold font if possible; use italics sparingly if at all; avoid underlining text if possible (this makes it look too much like an email).
A press release is one of the most important things you can do to get your business in front of the right audience.
It’s also one of the most underutilized tools out there, so if you haven’t started sending out press releases yet then now is a great time to start! Press releases have a ton of benefits for both small businesses and large corporations alike, such as helping boost SEO rankings through link building.
Increasing brand awareness by getting published on other websites (which may even lead to more sales).
Here are some additional resources to further enhance your understanding of press release writing:
How to Write Press Releases: Examples & Templates
Learn from real examples and explore templates to craft compelling press releases that grab attention.
A Complete Guide to Writing an Effective Press Release
Dive into a comprehensive guide that covers all aspects of crafting press releases that get noticed by the media.
Press Release Distribution Tips: The Ultimate Guide
Explore expert tips on distributing your press releases effectively to reach a wider audience.
What are the key components of a press release?
A press release typically includes the headline, subheadline, release date, body text, boilerplate, contact information, and release details.
How can I make my press release stand out?
To make your press release stand out, focus on a compelling headline, concise and engaging content, relevant quotes, and a strong call to action.
What is the purpose of a press release?
The primary purpose of a press release is to communicate newsworthy information about your company, product, event, or achievement to the media and the public.
How do I format a press release?
A press release should follow a standardized format, including a clear headline, dateline, body text, and contact information. Use a professional tone and adhere to proper grammar and style guidelines.
How can I effectively distribute my press release?
Effective press release distribution involves targeting the right media outlets, using online distribution services, sharing on social media, and building relationships with journalists.
Is it important to include quotes in a press release?
Yes, including quotes from key individuals adds credibility and human interest to your press release. Quotes provide insight and perspective on the news you’re sharing.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.