What I Wish I Had Known Before Writing My First Press Release

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best writer. (I’m also not a great speller, but that’s a topic for another day!) But writing press releases is something you can do; it doesn’t have to be something you’re scared of or intimidated by. 

I believe that anyone with a passion for their business can write a great press release if they know what they’re doing and how to go about it.

So what do I wish I had known before writing my first press release? Well, let me tell you…

How To Write Perfect Press Releases With Steven Lewis
The importance of thorough research before writing a press release.
The value of a clear and attention-grabbing headline.
The significance of crafting a concise and compelling introduction.
The role of including relevant and interesting details to support the news.
The impact of incorporating quotes to add credibility and human interest.
The necessity of including accurate contact information for media inquiries.
The benefits of tailoring the press release to the target audience.
The awareness of avoiding jargon and overly complex language.
The understanding that multimedia elements can enhance engagement.
The insight into the potential for press releases to build relationships and gain media coverage.

Don’t Call It A Press Release

When you’re writing a press release, don’t call it a press release.

I know that sounds odd, but hear me out. I’ve seen many people write their first press releases and then get frustrated when they don’t get the results they expected which leads them to think that “press releases” are no longer relevant or effective. “Press releases have worked in the past,” they say, “but they’re not working anymore.” That’s not true at all!

Press releases are still a great way to get publicity, links, and backlinks as long as you present them properly. Press releases work because journalists need content and PR pros know how to provide it in a way that makes their clients look good (and keeps them employed).

Writing a compelling press release requires attention to detail and strategy. Learn essential tips and tricks for crafting a successful press release with our comprehensive guide on putting together a press release.

The Old Rules Are Still In Play

Some rules never change, and a good press release headline is one of them. The old rules are still in play for writing headlines for press releases. Here’s what you need to know:

Use A Newsworthy Headline That Tells People What They Need To Know Right Away

Use catchy language and active verbs (e.g., “leads the way”) instead of passive language (e.g., “led by”).

The headline should be clear, direct, and precise just like the content should be! 

If it needs more than two sentences to explain, then it probably needs another paragraph or two before being included as part of your first sentence in your body copy section later on down below here somewhere near where we started reading so many paragraphs ago now that I think about how long this has been going on.

But now we’re finally done with all these paragraphs which means we can move on to something else besides paragraphs but only if there aren’t any other paragraphs left yet!

The Press Release Is Dead. Long Live The Press Release

There’s been a lot of talk about the death of the press release over the past few years. However, I still believe that it is an effective marketing tool for many businesses. When it comes to reaching your target audience and getting your story out there, a well-written press release is still one of the best ways to do so.

The truth is that press releases are not dead; they’ve simply changed. Like most things in life, we need to adapt our strategies as times change and technologies evolve. If you’re looking for an easy way to get started with modern PR strategies or if you want some tips on how to improve your existing PR practices, read on!

Want your press releases to gain widespread attention? Discover the key techniques for creating press releases that capture viral potential in our article on creating press releases that go viral.

Stunning Writing Is Only Part Of The Equation

I’m sure you have heard the adage that “Writing is easy. All you have to do is sit down and put pen to paper.” Well, like many other things that are said about writing, this is not true. Writing is only part of the equation.

The first thing I did when I decided to start writing was written a press release. A press release can be used by anyone who wants their story told or their business promoted interestingly. 

It’s an effective way for companies and individuals alike who want exposure on behalf of themselves or their products/services/organizations/etc., but it’s also important to consider how well your press release will be received by its target audience once it hits media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, websites, etc. 

For that potential relationship with journalists at these outlets (and ultimately coverage), there needs to be something worth reporting on – something unique!

Your Pitch And Press Release Should Work Together

Did you know that a pitch and a press release are the same things?

They might seem like different things, but they aren’t. They’re both pitches, just in different forms. 

The only difference is what comes first: your pitch or the actual press release? The answer is simple: your pitch should come first because that’s how you inform the media outlets about what their article will be about before they even write it! 

So this is just one big circle where everything starts with a great idea (the pitch), then gets written down (the press release) and published to everyone who cares about it (the media outlets).

Quality Beats Quantity

A lot of people will tell you that the best way to be a good writer is to write as much as possible.

That’s true. But it’s also just part of the story. If you only write when you feel like it, or if you need some kind of external motivation (like a deadline) before writing, your quality will suffer tremendously because your heart isn’t in it. 

The more practice I got writing press releases and blog posts. 

The better my writing became and my experience with writing helped me understand how I could get better faster: by doing things like reading what other people have written about similar topics so I can learn from their mistakes and successes; by reading books about grammar and style; by taking courses on copywriting; etc.

If you don’t want to take formal classes or read books on writing techniques (which are great resources).

Then simply start small! Write down anything that comes into mind for 20 minutes every day for two weeks whether that’s ideas for articles or short stories, descriptions of places where you’ve been traveling recently/will be traveling soon/would like to travel someday…the possibilities are endless!

Navigating the do’s and don’ts of press release writing is crucial for success. Check out our collection of valuable advice and pointers in our piece about favorite do’s and don’ts for writing press releases.

Localize Your Pitch And Release

Before you send out your press release, make sure it is localized to the audience you are sending it to. If you are writing about a new business opening up on Main Street in your town, be sure to mention this location in the press release and use the local language. 

Include specific details that only locals would know about the owner’s name or their favorite sports team’s mascot or information they may have recently read in the paper or heard of on television. It doesn’t hurt to include something humorous either; people love laughing at themselves!

Additionally, when contacting media outlets for interviews or guest posts be specific about what type of story you are looking for: lifestyle feature? travel piece? food review? Let them know what type of content will appeal most effectively to their readership so they can recommend an appropriate writer for your needs.*

Press Releases Are Always Worth Getting Right, But Some Are More Important Than Others

Press releases are the lifeblood of your business. They’re a way to build trust and authority with your audience, and they can help you stand out from the crowd on social media.

But some press releases are more important than others. If you want to put out a press release that gets results, it’s crucial to know which ones are worth putting in extra effort and how much time and effort you should be putting into each one.

When writing a press release, try not to think of them as a marketing tool (though they often serve that purpose). Instead, reframe them as an opportunity to develop relationships with journalists and other influencers who might help spread the word about your brand or product once it launches or hits shelves (or whatever).

Always Be Clear About Why Your Story Is Newsworthy To Your Target Audience

When you’re ready to write your first press release, make sure you know who your target audience is and what they need or want. If you’re writing a press release for a company in the entertainment industry, think about who will read it and why they would want to. 

Do they care about the movie being released? Are they more interested in who wrote it? What other information might be relevant for them? If you don’t understand these things, chances are very slim that your story will be interesting enough to pique their interest.

When writing a press release from scratch, keep the idea of knowing who your audience is in front of mind at all times. You can also use social media as an additional resource if necessary: ask yourself questions like “Who shares my content?” or “Who comments on my posts?” 

This kind of research will help guide your writing process and ensure that whatever information you put out there is relevant to people who care about what’s happening within your industry (and hopefully not just because it has some famous actor attached).

Transitioning from a day job to a lucrative press release writing career is possible. Learn how one writer achieved financial success with their press release skills in our article on quitting a day job and making $100K in 1 year through press releases.

You Have A Tone Of Voice For A Reason, So Use It In Your Press Releases

First off, you have a tone of voice for a reason. The way you write is the way your brand communicates with its customers, so make sure it’s consistent across all platforms.

This means that if the voice on your website is formal and professional, don’t use that same tone in your press release. You wouldn’t call someone by their first name when talking to them over email—why would you do it in a formal document? And don’t be afraid to show personality: sometimes jokes can help break up the monotony of business-speak!

You also want consistency between this new piece of content and everything else out there about your brand so readers won’t feel confused or overwhelmed by new material (and hey—it’ll make it easier for journalists).

A Good Strategy Is To Keep It Simple, Stupid (Kiss)

Writing a press release is a lot like writing an essay. You want to make sure you have a strong thesis statement, and then you want to back up that thesis with evidence. The same goes for press releases you need to know what you’re going to say before you start writing the first draft.

Now, here’s where things get complicated: many people use the acronym KISS as an excuse not to do their homework (and they’ll tell you that it stands for Keep It Short and Simple). They’ll say, “Oh well, I’m not going into this topic very deeply anyway.” 

But if your goal is simply to inform people about something new in your business or industry, then why waste time on research? Just write down whatever comes into your head! That’s fine for some situations but not when it comes to marketing yourself as an expert in your field. 

If you’re trying hard enough at anything else in life (like schoolwork), there’s no reason why this should be any different! Your readers will appreciate how knowledgeable and thorough your background research has been if they feel like they can trust what other experts are saying about the same topic which means that yes:

Optimize For Search Engines, Or At Least Include Keywords That Are Relevant To Your Business

Optimizing your press release for keywords is a good idea, but it’s not the most important thing. Your main goal should be to write a great headline that gives people an idea of what you’re talking about right away.

Once you have the headline down, use other keywords that are relevant to your business and target audience. These can include:

Product Or Service Names (If Applicable)

Names of founders or people that work at the company (if applicable)

Industry terms

Keep your reader in mind by using bullet points or subheads to break up your content and make it easier to digest.

If you’re writing a press release that’s meant to be read and shared, it’s important to keep your reader in mind. By breaking up the content with bullet points or subheads, you can make it easier for readers to digest and this makes your document more likely to be shared on social media.

Subheads help break up big blocks of text into digestible chunks. They also help organize ideas so that the reader can follow along without getting lost (which is especially helpful if they’re just skimming). 

Finally, subheads make it easier for search engines to index sections of your document so people who are looking for specific information will be able to find what they’re looking for easily!

Learning from experienced press release writers can fast-track your success. Dive into the insights and lessons shared by an industry expert in our piece about lessons from an experienced press release writer.


I’m glad you read through this article! I hope it was helpful and that you learned something new. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out via email or Twitter. I’d love to hear from you!

Further Reading

Explore these additional resources to enhance your press release writing skills:

Killer Press Release Tips and Techniques: Unlock the secrets of writing press releases that capture attention and drive results with these expert tips.

How to Write an Effective Press Release: Dive into the fundamentals of crafting press releases that resonate with your audience and achieve your goals.

Top Tips for Writing Press Releases in Government: Learn the best practices for creating press releases in a government context, ensuring effective communication.


What are the key components of a successful press release?

A successful press release typically includes a compelling headline, concise introduction, relevant details, quotes, and clear contact information for media inquiries.

How can I make my press release stand out from the competition?

To stand out, focus on a unique angle, a captivating story, and provide value to the readers. Tailor your message to your target audience and emphasize what sets your news apart.

Is there an ideal length for a press release?

A concise press release is more likely to capture attention. Aim for around 300 to 500 words, focusing on the most important information and avoiding unnecessary fluff.

How can I maximize media coverage for my press release?

Building relationships with journalists, personalizing your pitches, and targeting the right media outlets can greatly enhance your chances of getting coverage for your press release.

Should I include multimedia elements in my press release?

Yes, incorporating multimedia elements like images, infographics, or videos can make your press release more engaging and shareable, increasing its impact and reach.