Press releases are a great way to get your business or organization in front of the media. But if you’re not careful, they can also be an exercise in frustration and wasted money. Here’s what you need to know about writing an effective press release:
- Keep it Short
- Use Headlines That Grab Attention
- Make Sure It Reads Like A News Story (Not A Sales Pitch)
Section: 1) Keep It Short In the digital age, word counts matter more than ever. Today’s journalists have limited time and attention spans meaning that if your story isn’t concise, it will likely never get read by anyone other than a few hyper-focused editors. So when crafting your release, keep these tips in mind:
|1. Effective press releases require careful planning and execution.|
|2. Learning from successful press releases can improve writing skills.|
|3. Understanding the key elements of a good press release is essential.|
|4. Engaging headlines and concise content are vital for capturing attention.|
|5. Incorporating quotes and multimedia can enhance press release impact.|
|6. Tailoring distribution for your target audience improves reach.|
|7. Tracking metrics helps measure the success of your press release.|
Know Your Audience
The first thing to consider when writing a press release is your audience. What are their age, gender, and location? What are their interests?
How can they best be reached? For example, if you want to reach mothers in a suburban area, your press release should be published in the local newspaper or magazine that has the most circulation in that area.
Your outlet should also be able to accommodate an image that includes the faces of both men and women so readers will feel like they fit into your target audience range.
If you’re targeting more than one type of consumer with different needs from your product or service then make sure all parts of the story are included so everyone gets what they need from what you’ve written about it.
Building an effective press release requires careful planning and execution. Check out our article on 17 Tips for Putting Together a Press Release to discover practical strategies for crafting compelling press releases.
Write Compelling Headlines
Writing a good headline is important. A good headline will make people want to read more, so it’s worth spending time on. Keep your headline short and to the point, and use an active voice (e.g., “I did this”) instead of a passive voice (“This was done by me”).
You should also write in a conversational tone, using words like “you” or “your” where appropriate; this helps engage readers and makes them feel like they’re in on the story being told. Finally, you’ll want to choose words that are familiar enough for someone who isn’t familiar with your industry but also specific enough that they get what you’re saying right away:
Inverted pyramid structure – The inverted pyramid is a style of writing press releases used by journalists when covering breaking news stories. It starts with the most important information in paragraph one (who? what?), then moves down through less important details until reaching any background information at all at the end of your document.
Keep Your Paragraphs Short
To ensure that your press release is well received, make sure your paragraphs are short and to the point. Because journalists are busy people, it’s best if you have a clear point per paragraph. It also helps if you use conversational language the kind of language that you’d use when talking with someone face-to-face.
If there’s any doubt about what a paragraph is saying or how it relates to other paragraphs in your press release, then remove it! Don’t be afraid to cut out words or sentences if they don’t add value to your overall story; this will help keep each sentence focused on what matters most: delivering a clear message quickly and easily understand.
Writing press releases comes with its own set of do’s and don’ts. Learn from an expert in the field with our insights on My Favorite Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Press Releases, and enhance your press release writing skills.
Use The Inverted Pyramid Structure
You’ll also want to make the most of your space by using the inverted pyramid structure. It’s a simple concept: start with your most important points and put them at the beginning of your press release, saving more detailed information for later on in the text.
This way, you can give readers all of their critical information as soon as possible, then add more details should they need it or if there’s space left over for a further explanation.
If you use this approach, here are some things to consider when writing a press release:
- Make sure that every sentence is necessary
- Eliminate filler words (like “also”, “in addition”, etc.)
- Don’t start sentences with “but” or “however”.
Include Valuable Quotes
A good press release contains quotes. These should be from authoritative sources and be relevant to the story. They should also be short and to the point, so as not to distract from your writing or make your publication look unprofessional.
A recent press release from a major car manufacturer provided a compelling quote from an automotive expert: “The new model will appeal to customers who want something different than what’s currently on the market, but don’t want to pay for an exotic car.”
Startups have unique considerations when it comes to press release writing. Dive into our guide on 9 Tips for Writing Press Releases for Startups to gain valuable insights tailored to the startup environment.
Write A Strong Lead Paragraph
The first paragraph of your press release is what you use to hook readers and make them keep reading. Your goal here is to be direct: give them a reason why they should care about this story.
Do this by including an interesting quote from the person you are writing about; include a number or statistic that shows how important the story is; include a quote from someone else (a credible source) who supports your point; or, finally, include a quote from the person you are writing about.
Whatever it takes for you to grab their attention in those first few lines will help keep them reading until the end of your release.
Only Include The Relevant Facts
The first step to writing a good press release is knowing what not to include. Here are some examples of things that should probably be left out of your next press release:
Irrelevant facts: If you’re announcing that your company just entered the social media world, it’s not necessary to remind everyone that you’ve been in business for 100 years.
Untrue or inaccurate information: This can backfire on you if someone checks up on what you’re saying and finds out it’s not true, thus tainting all credibility around everything else in the press release.
Uninteresting information: The same goes for boring content—if something doesn’t garner any kind of interest from readers, why include it at all? You’ll only waste time reading through paragraphs about unimportant details.
Unnecessary information: If there’s no reason for anyone but yourself or other employees at your company to know something specific about an upcoming product launch (say, its exact price), omit this detail from a general press release targeted at consumers and investors alike
Use An Active Voice And Simple, Straightforward Language
As a rule of thumb, active voice is always better than passive voice. In active voice, the subject performs the action on itself or someone else; in passive voice, it is acted upon. For example:
- “Bob shot himself.”
- “John was shot by Bob.”
In the first sentence above, Bob acts for himself (he shoots himself). In the second sentence above, John receives an action (he gets shot).
The difference may seem subtle at first glance but using an active voice makes your writing clearer and more concise. It’s also considered to be more engaging because it directs focus toward what’s happening right now instead of focusing on something that happened in the past or will happen in the future (which can sometimes be distracting).
Experience is a great teacher in press release writing. Gain valuable knowledge from an experienced professional with our article on Lessons from an Experienced Press Release Writer, and discover key takeaways to enhance your press release crafting.
Be Honest And Don’t Exaggerate Or Tell Lies
A press release is an official statement of your company’s current status, and it should be treated as such. Be honest and don’t exaggerate or tell lies about your capabilities, products, services, history, competitors, or reputation.
If you’re going to lie about something in a press release (and there are plenty of companies that do), then you might as well skip the press release entirely it won’t do anything but make people angry at you.
You also want to avoid giving out false information because it can get passed around as fact by journalists who are writing about the subject matter at hand—even if those articles aren’t published online until months later!
Include Contact Info At Least Of The Company/Organization In The Press Release
The contact information for your company/organization should be included at the end of your press release. If it’s not clear to the reader who you are and how to get in touch with you, they may not be inclined to do so.
- Include the name of the person who is in charge of the press release
- Include the name of your company/organization (this can also go at the top of your document)
- Include a phone number and email address
Don’t Leave Any Holes In The Story You Are Telling
Even if you have everything else under control, press releases can be a very effective tool for getting more traffic to your website. I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s not just because of the SEO benefits.
You want to make sure that all of the information in your press release is relevant and interesting enough to keep readers engaged but you also don’t want to go overboard with details or stray off topic too much. A good rule of thumb is that if something doesn’t add value or interest (or both), then leave it out!
That means leaving out any extra information that doesn’t matter much or anything irrelevant; it might seem like common sense when I say “don’t include unnecessary facts,” but there are still people who will try their best at finding ways around this rule…and those attempts don’t always work out so well for them either way.”
Always Include Visual Aids Such As Photos, Links To Videos, Graphics Etc
While a press release can be used to announce a new product or service, it can also be used to announce an event or happening. A good press release always includes photos, videos, and graphics to illustrate your point.
For example, if you are announcing your company’s sponsorship of an event, include a photo of the event signage with the name of your business prominently displayed.
If you are announcing a new product launch, include photos illustrating how the product will look when installed in its intended setting. If you’re announcing an award won by one of your employees or clients, include a photo of them receiving their award at the gala dinner where they were honored.
Engaging your audience through a press release is essential for effective communication. Explore our suggestions in 13 Ways to Engage Your Audience with a Press Release to learn techniques that can captivate your readers and deliver your message effectively.
A Good Press Release Will Be Clear, Focused, Transparent, and Structured Well With A Positive Slant
A good press release should be clear, focused, transparent, and structured well with a positive slant.
Clear – The headline and first paragraph should immediately explain the story’s subject matter or hook readers in with a compelling question or statement. Headline length varies by publication; some may prefer shorter headlines while others will appreciate longer ones that include more details on what the article covers.
Focused – The rest of your release should provide information in an easy-to-digest format that focuses on one main idea (i.e., don’t use too many bullet points).
If you want to emphasize certain aspects of your story within your release, keep those points in mind as you write them up they can be placed near the beginning or end of each paragraph so readers know exactly where they need to look for more information about what matters most.*
Transparent – A good press release will disclose all affiliation between parties involved (whether it be financial relationships including advertising revenue streams), both past and present employer history for any individuals quoted within their content.
Structured Well With A Positive Slant
It is important that whatever is included in these releases is done so clearly and concisely using active voice verbs throughout the text which conveys authority over passive voice verbs which are often used as an attempt at being polite but come across as being less confident than active voice verbs would have conveyed without ever needing such politeness language at all!
Press releases are not just used by journalists to write stories. They’re also used by companies and individuals to promote their business or event. Press releases can be written in several different styles depending on what works best for your company, but they should always contain certain important elements: who, what, where when, and why.
If you’re writing a press release for an event that’s coming up soon, it may help to include an RSVP link so people can sign up for updates on ticket availability or other details about the event itself
We hope this article has given you some insight into how press releases work – and we wish you luck! Remember that the most important thing is to make sure your content is engaging and informative. Don’t forget that there are tons of online tools out there that can help with everything from writing headlines to finding news sources as well
For more insights and information on writing effective press releases, consider exploring these resources:
Digital School of Marketing: What Makes a Good Press Release Short Description: Discover key elements that contribute to a successful press release, from crafting a compelling headline to structuring your content effectively.
Fit Small Business: What Makes a Good Press Release Short Description: Learn about the essential components of a well-constructed press release that grabs attention and communicates your message effectively.
Prezly Academy: How to Write a Great Press Release with Expert Advice & Real-Life Examples Short Description: Gain insights from industry experts and real-life examples on how to craft a powerful press release that resonates with your target audience.
What are the key elements of a successful press release?
A successful press release should include a compelling headline, a concise and informative body, relevant quotes, contact information, and a clear call to action.
How do I make my press release stand out from the rest?
To make your press release stand out, focus on crafting an attention-grabbing headline, providing newsworthy and relevant information, using quotes effectively, and adhering to a professional and engaging writing style.
How can I ensure my press release reaches the right audience?
Target your press release distribution by selecting relevant media outlets, journalists, and platforms that align with your industry and audience. Tailoring your distribution list can enhance your chances of reaching the right readers.
Should I include multimedia elements in my press release?
Yes, incorporating multimedia elements such as images, videos, or infographics can enhance the visual appeal of your press release and provide additional context to your story, making it more engaging for readers.
How can I measure the effectiveness of my press release?
Tracking metrics like the number of views, clicks, shares, and media coverage generated by your press release can help gauge its effectiveness. Utilize analytics tools to gather insights and refine your approach for future releases.
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.