Press releases are a useful tool for promoting your business, product, or message. You can use them to announce new products, services, and announcements of all kinds.
In some cases, press releases get picked up by the media and reach millions of people worldwide! But writing an effective press release is challenging.
It takes time, effort, and skill to craft a compelling note that will be seen as worthy of attention by journalists (and their readers). Luckily there are some tried-and-true tactics that you can use to create epic press releases that stand out from the crowd:
|1. Craft attention-grabbing headlines.|
|2. Ensure the lead paragraph is informative.|
|3. Incorporate relevant and timely information.|
|4. Highlight the “who, what, when, where, why, how”.|
|5. Make use of compelling quotes and statistics.|
|6. Keep the press release concise and focused.|
|7. Utilize multimedia elements for enhanced impact.|
|8. Tailor the press release for target audiences.|
|9. Provide contact information for follow-up.|
|10. Optimize for online sharing and search visibility.|
Respect your audience’s time and attention
The most important thing to remember when writing a press release is that you are asking people to read your words, listen to your story, and spend time on you.
It doesn’t matter how much content or education you want to share with them; if they don’t want to hear from you, then there’s not much point in sending the release in the first place. The worst thing any writer can do is waste their own time by writing something completely off-topic for an audience that doesn’t care about what they’re reading.
When it comes down to it though, we all have limited amounts of time available each day and when we choose where our attention goes (whether it be work emails or social media), then this precious resource is spent accordingly!
If someone chooses not to read something because they don’t think it’s worth their time that’s fine! Just remember that this decision reflects nothing more than a personal preference rather than any kind of evidence-based reason why one thing might be better than another one overall.”
Creating press releases that have the potential to go viral can greatly boost your media coverage. Learn how to craft attention-grabbing content with our guide on creating press releases that go viral.
Write A Compelling Headline
The headline is the first thing a journalist sees, which means it’s critical to make that first impression count. You’ll want to write a compelling headline that will tempt the journalist into reading more of your content.
Keep it short: Your headline should be no more than 15 words long since most people’s attention spans are short and you want them to read as much of your press release as possible before they decide whether or not they’re interested in learning more about your company (and sharing it with their readers).
Try writing two or three different options before settling on one; this will help you see each sentence from different angles and catch any glaring problems with language or logic.
Write in active voice: Since the goal is to get people talking about what’s happening now rather than rehashing past events, focus on putting yourself in an active role by writing sentences using “I” (e.g., “I am starting a new business”).
This makes it easier for readers because they don’t have to mentally switch perspectives while reading just flows naturally!
Create A Hook That Makes The Audience Want To Read More
Here’s the thing: If you want media coverage, your press release has to stand out from the crowd. For that to happen, you need a hook that makes people want to read more. This is the first thing reporters will see when they open your email and it’s what grabs their attention before they even dive into your message. Here are some things to consider regarding hooks:
Keep it relevant. You don’t want your hook accidentally turning off readers who might be interested in reading more about what you have to say or offering up information that isn’t relevant or interesting at all.
It needs to be on the topic and not just on the topic but also really interesting! If a reporter sees one sentence in an email like “
So…what do you think about the new movie?” and ignores everything else because they can tell right away that this person doesn’t know anything about journalism, then chances are good they won’t respond favorably when they receive another email from them later down the road (if ever).
Writing effective press releases is crucial for startups to gain media attention. Check out our 9 tips for writing press releases for startups to enhance your startup’s visibility and coverage.
Use A Subhead To Make Your Point Again, Concisely
Now that you’ve created a strong headline and lede, it’s time to make your point again but more concisely. Use subheads as needed to clarify what you’re saying in the body of your release. However, don’t use them to make your case again after you’ve already made it in the headline and lede (unless they are somehow different).
And whatever you do: don’t write another subhead or add anything else in between paragraphs. If someone is interested enough in what you have written so far that they want more information about it, then they’ll read on and if not, well.
A Quote From A Credible Source Adds Credibility To Your Press Release
You can also add a quote from a credible source that relates to your story. A quote from someone who is an expert in the field, or whose opinion will make people want to read more, can help add credibility to your press release.
There are two ways you can include quotes in your press release:
- Quote the person directly (“Jane Smith said…”)
- Use a summary of their words, such as “Jane Smith said she was excited to use this product because it will help her business become more successful.”
In General, Follow The Inverted Pyramid Form
If you’ve ever read the news, you know that most articles follow a style of writing called “inverted pyramid.” This method is used at the beginning of stories to quickly get to the most important information for readers and then add details as needed throughout.
In other words, it starts with a few sentences about why someone should care about your story, followed by a paragraph or two describing what happened and how you feel about it.
Then there are a few paragraphs listing all of your credentials (if relevant). After that comes some more information on what happened but not too much detail! and finally another paragraph with any final thoughts you have on this wonderful moment in history before ending with some sort of quote from yourself or someone else involved in the event itself.
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Use Second And Third Paragraphs To Establish Context And Add Details Without Which The Story Doesn’t Make Sense
Use the second and third paragraphs to add context, details, and other information that adds to the story but isn’t essential. This is especially helpful if you have a lot of information you want to share with your audience or readers. You can use these paragraphs as an opportunity for extra storytelling, which can help humanize your company and establish credibility with journalists.
To illustrate how this works in practice, let’s look at how I used the second and third paragraphs in my press release announcing the new tools on our website:
The second paragraph explains what we’re doing we’re launching a toolkit that makes it easier for people to get started making websites with Squarespace and includes some background information about why we created it (the average person spends more time watching Netflix than planning their vacation).
The third paragraph provides additional context by highlighting some of our favorite features (for example: “You’ll be able to choose from thousands of hand-curated templates”) before ending with a call-to-action (for example: “Whether you’re looking for inspiration or just want someone else to do all the work”).
Don’t Forget About You “Why”–Why We Should Care About Your Message
Don’t forget about your “why”–why we should care about your message. The why is the reason you are writing the press release. It is what makes your press release different from all the other releases out there, and it can make the difference between getting coverage and falling flat on your face.
The next step in writing a great press release is to figure out how to explain this “why” in three sentences or less (and I mean it). You need this short statement because editors rarely have time to read longer than that anyway. So keep it short, sweet, and punchy!
Write In The Active Voice, Use Present Tense And Avoid Passive Voice Whenever Possible
When writing your press release, make sure to use the active voice. Active voice means that you’re clearly stating what the subject does. For example: “Joe took his dog for a walk.” If you write in a passive voice, on the other hand, it’s going to be harder for readers to understand what’s happening. For example: “His dog was taken by Joe for a walk.”
If you can avoid using passive voice, do so! It’s important not only because it makes your writing easier to understand but also because it helps give your copy an active tone.
But there are times when using passive voice is necessary for instance, if you want to avoid saying something like, “It was reported that”
You should use past tense whenever possible (and present tense when necessary) because this allows your reader to better connect with the story of how things happened and remember them later on down the line when they hear about them again through other sources like social media posts or news stories themselves.
Learning from experienced press release writers can provide invaluable insights into improving your writing skills. Dive into the wisdom shared in our post about lessons from an experienced press release writer to enhance your media coverage strategies.
Include Essential Information About The Who, What, Where, When, And Why Of Your Newsworthy Announcement In The First Three Paragraphs
In the first three paragraphs, you should include information about who, what, where, when, and why of your newsworthy announcement. Who is the focus of the story? What is it? Where does it take place? When does it take place? Why is this happening and how are people affected by it?
You can use these questions as a checklist to make sure you’re including all of the necessary details in your press release.
One Idea Per Paragraph Is Sufficient For Most Press Releases
The first thing to keep in mind is that your press release should only have one idea per paragraph. This means you shouldn’t be using too many words, sentences, or paragraphs.
If you’re having trouble fitting your message into fewer than three sentences per paragraph, it’s probably because you have too many ideas and not the right ones. Get rid of the excess baggage and focus on what matters most the main point of your story.
The second thing is: don’t use too many points of view (or “voices”). In journalism school, we call this “impartiality” and for good reason!
Not everyone agrees with every point of view but journalists are expected to present them all so readers can decide for themselves how they feel about something like global warming or gun control reform legislation. When presenting information in this way we call it “objectivity.”
Maximizing press coverage through effective press releases requires a strategic approach. Explore our guide on how to get press coverage with a press release to learn actionable steps and techniques for successful media exposure.
In this post, we’ve covered the basics of how to create epic press releases that will get you media coverage. Writing a good press release is a skill that can take practice and patience. There are so many different ways to write them and so much room for creativity that sometimes it can feel overwhelming!
But don’t let that stop you from trying something new; after all, no one knows your company better than you do.
Just remember these three things: respect your audience’s time and attention; write a compelling headline.
Create a hook that makes them want more-then to follow through with your promise by providing relevant information about anything else they might want to know about what makes your brand unique and special (like how great customer service does matter when making purchasing decisions).
Here are some additional resources for further enhancing your press release writing and media coverage skills:
Press Release Examples by Jasper.ai
Explore a collection of real-world press release examples that showcase effective techniques for capturing media attention and creating engaging content.
Getting Media Coverage: A Comprehensive Guide by Neil Patel
Discover strategies and insights on getting media coverage from renowned marketer Neil Patel, providing actionable advice on crafting newsworthy stories.
Expert Advice and Real-Life Examples: How to Write a Great Press Release by Prezly Academy
The Prezly Academy offers expert insights and real-life press release examples to guide you in creating impactful and attention-grabbing releases.
Got questions about press releases and media coverage? Here are some answers to commonly asked questions:
What makes a press release newsworthy?
A press release becomes newsworthy when it contains timely, relevant, and compelling information that appeals to journalists and their readers. It should answer the “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of a story succinctly.
How do I grab the attention of journalists with my press release?
To capture a journalist’s attention, craft a concise and attention-grabbing headline, followed by a well-written and informative opening paragraph. Highlight the most crucial information upfront and provide details that support the newsworthiness of your story.
Are press releases still relevant in the digital age?
Yes, press releases remain relevant in the digital age as they serve as a structured way to share news and stories with journalists, bloggers, and online platforms. They can be optimized for online search, shared through social media, and distributed via press release distribution services.
How do I structure a press release effectively?
A standard press release follows a specific format: headline, dateline, lead paragraph, body paragraphs, boilerplate (company information), and contact details. This structure ensures that essential information is easily accessible and organized for journalists.
How can I measure the success of my press release?
To measure press release success, monitor metrics such as media coverage, website traffic, engagement (shares, comments), and conversions related to the press release topic. Using analytics tools, you can track the impact of your release on your desired goals.
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.