What do I write in a press release? That’s the million-dollar question! While it may be simple to write a press release, it’s not just about saying what happened. Many things go into writing an effective press release. By following this guide, you’ll learn how to write a great press release that will get your clients’ names out there in the news.
|1. Understand the Purpose: Clarify the main purpose of the press release – whether it’s to announce a new product, share a company milestone, or promote an event.|
|2. Identify the Target Audience: Determine who the press release is intended for – journalists, customers, investors, or the general public.|
|3. Craft a Compelling Headline: Create an attention-grabbing headline that encapsulates the essence of the news and sparks curiosity.|
|4. Focus on the Essentials: Include the who, what, when, where, why, and how in the press release’s opening paragraphs to provide immediate context.|
|5. Provide Supporting Details: Elaborate on the main points with relevant facts, quotes, statistics, and background information.|
|6. Keep it Concise: Maintain a concise and clear writing style, avoiding jargon and unnecessary fluff.|
|7. End with a Strong Conclusion: Summarize the key points and conclude with a call to action or contact information for further inquiries.|
|8. Edit and Proofread: Review the press release for grammar, spelling, and accuracy before distribution.|
|9. Format Properly: Follow a consistent press release format, including appropriate headings and subheadings.|
|10. Distribute Strategically: Share the press release through appropriate channels, such as press release distribution services, company websites, and targeted media outlets.|
What Is A Press Release?
If you want to communicate with the media, your customers, or just about anyone else in the world, a press release is a great way to do it.
It’s also one of the best ways to let people know about important events in your company.
A press release is a written announcement that contains information about your business and/or product. It’s like an advertisement for your company, except that instead of being published in newspapers or magazines (like print ads), it gets posted online on news websites and other web pages where people can access them easily without paying any money.
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Do NOT Write A Novel
When writing a press release, keep it short and sweet. You need to tell your story—but not always in great detail.
You should use subheadings and bullet points to keep your audience engaged while they read through the content. Using bullets allows you to make the most important points of your story quickly and easily. It also keeps the reader’s attention on what is important!
Quotes from people that were involved with the project can also be good ways to help provide more context for what was achieved (and who was involved), but don’t go overboard here either; try not to go too much into specifics about what happened or how things were done as this will likely bore readers’ eyes off their screens (unless they’re interested in that sort of thing).
Use numbers whenever possible because it helps bring home how big or small an accomplishment is. For example: “Our company received over 30 million views on our website.” This sentence lets readers know exactly how many views there were without having them do any math themselves.”
Use The Inverted Pyramid Style Of Writing
When writing a press release, use the inverted pyramid style of writing. This means that for each paragraph, you should start with the most important information and end with the least important. You can think of it as a triangle:
The most reputable news sources will read only what’s on top (or at least skim it), so provide your most significant points first the who, what, where, and why will come later in the article.
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Avoid Exclamation Points!
Use exclamation points sparingly! They’re the punctuation equivalent of shouting in a crowded room. There are a few occasions when they should be used to add emphasis, and even then, they should only be used when there is no other way to convey that specific idea or thought.
Don’t use them to try and make things sound exciting, dramatic, or emotional. You won’t fool anyone with your fake enthusiasm on social media it will come across as insincere, at best! If you have something worth sharing with your audience, it will speak for itself without any help from silly exclamation points!
Don’t use them if you’re trying to create urgency around an offer (like a sale!). A good press release does just that it creates urgency without screaming about it every chance it gets by throwing in unnecessary exclamations like “HURRY UP!” or “DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS!”
Proofread, Then Proofread Again
Once you’ve finished writing the press release, it’s time to proofread it. The best way to do this is by reading it aloud but not while driving or doing anything else that could be dangerous! If there are any typos or grammatical issues, fix them right away before anyone else sees them.
Once your proofreading is done for the day and you’re ready to publish your work online (whether that’s posting on social media or sending it out as an email attachment), make sure to go back over everything again before hitting send so no one catches any mistakes along the way!
Use attribution. When a person is quoted in your press release, you must include that person’s name and title. Don’t use ALL CAPS to create emphasis; it’s jarring and unprofessional.
Use short sentences and short paragraphs, but don’t be afraid of longer sentences if they’re necessary to tell the story. It’s better to write one long sentence than three or four short ones because it will be easier for readers who have limited time on their hands (or are distracted by something happening elsewhere) to scan through quickly without getting lost in the text.
Datelines Are Important
A dateline, when it’s used correctly, is the place where an article is set. It also helps readers understand what kind of information they’re about to read. In a press release, for example, you would use “New York City” as your dateline if that’s where the announcement was made.
The best way to achieve this goal is by using a complete sentence rather than a single word when writing your dateline.
For instance: “Today at noon in New York City.” This helps with clarity and comprehension by allowing readers to identify exactly where each new piece of information belongs on their mental map; i.e., “I know this event took place in New York City because I just read it from this sentence.”
Keep in mind that some publications prefer certain abbreviations over full names punctuation and all so do your research ahead of time! To help ensure consistency within one piece (and across all pieces), be sure that every editor has access to these preferred abbreviations before writing anything down (or typing up).
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Don’t Get Creative With Your Headline. Keep It Simple
Here’s a simple rule of thumb: If I can’t guess your headline without having read the rest of the press release, then it’s not working.
I’m not kidding. This is important to me. You have about four seconds to win me over before I drop off and move on to something else (probably Netflix).
The point here is that you need to be able to capture people’s attention with your headline. Instead of getting creative and trying something new, keep it simple so that readers know what they’re getting into before they even click through to read more about you or what you’re selling.
Be Informative And Interesting
When you’re writing a press release, you want to make sure it’s interesting. You can do this by including quotes from the source, giving key statistics about the information your reader needs to understand, and keeping it short. The most important tip for making a press release effective is proofreading before sending it out.
Using proper format is also important because people like consistency when reading things online (I know I do).
When you format a dateline in AP style, you put the city name first followed by “in” then the state name followed by two spaces, and then use all capital letters: “GREENWICH, CONN.”
If someone asks where we are located on our website homepage or social media page(s), we always include our location as part of those bios so they can easily find us whenever they need something from us!
Use ACTIVE Voice – Not Passive Voice
Active voice is more direct, concise, and powerful.
Passive voice is more indirect, wordy, and weak.
Active voice uses an active verb to show who does what (“I am writing a press release about…”). Passive voice uses a form of the verb be plus the past participle (usually ended in -ed) + by + agent noun or pronoun + object noun or a pronoun (e.g., “A press release was written about…”). This subject receives the action of the verb rather than initiating it!
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Write Your Headlines As Titles! Self-Explanatory
This is the part of your press release where you write headlines. (What a shocker.)
But it’s important, so let me take a moment to explain why:
Headlines are what people read first, so they should be short, snappy, and to the point. They should also be written in an inverted pyramid style. (This means that you start with your most important fact first and then add more information as you go down.)
You want to write these headlines in an active voice so that they’re easier for people to read them quickly or on their phones or tablets at night while they’re falling asleep (or trying their best not to fall asleep).
And finally, don’t forget that these headlines are written in present tense!
Include URLs For Websites And Social Media If Possible
If you have a URL for the company’s website, social media accounts, and blog, include them in your press release. If you have one for their contact page or press kit, that’s good too. Also, consider adding the company’s investor relations page if it has one.
Include A Quote Or Two From The Source. Make It Interesting
When you’re writing a press release, it’s important to include quotes from the source. Without them, the story can feel incomplete or even disconnected from reality. So how do you know which quotes are good? It all comes down to what’s called “credibility.”
Credible sources will be able to add credibility to your story by supplying information that illustrates their expertise or knowledge of the subject matter of your story.
Here are some tips for writing effective quotes:
Keep them short and sweet! You don’t need a full paragraph here; just enough words so that readers get an idea of what they’re getting into without boring them too much with unnecessary details (unless those details are interesting).
Make sure they’re relevant! If someone mentions something about their company that doesn’t relate at all, people won’t get it, and then they might not read any further down in your press release because there’s no reason for them to (and if there isn’t anything new in there why should anyone care?).
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Those are my tips for writing a press release. It’s not rocket science, but it can be a bit tricky if you’re not used to writing in this style. The most important thing is to proofread your work and make sure everything is consistent and clear.
Also, remember that journalists have very little time so don’t waste any by being too wordy or rambling on about something that doesn’t matter!
Here are some additional resources to expand your knowledge on press release writing and templates:
HubSpot’s Press Release Template Short Description: Explore HubSpot’s comprehensive press release template, complete with valuable tips and examples, to effectively craft attention-grabbing announcements.
Intelligent Relations: New Hire Press Release Template Short Description: Need to announce a new hire? Intelligent Relations provides a ready-to-use new hire press release template that ensures your announcement is well-structured and impactful.
Indeed’s Press Release Template for Career Development Short Description: Learn how to create press releases for career development milestones with Indeed’s template, designed to showcase your professional achievements effectively.
How do I create a compelling press release?
Crafting a compelling press release involves focusing on a newsworthy angle, using clear and concise language, and emphasizing the most important information.
What are some key elements to include in a press release?
Include the headline, subheadline, release date, location, a concise introduction, body paragraphs containing relevant details, quotes from key stakeholders, and contact information for media inquiries.
How can I ensure my press release gets media coverage?
To increase the chances of media coverage, target journalists and media outlets that align with your topic, personalize your pitches, and provide unique angles or exclusive information.
Are there specific templates for announcing new hires?
Yes, there are templates designed specifically for announcing new hires. They typically include details about the new employee’s background, role, and contributions to the organization.
Can a press release template be used for career development announcements?
Absolutely. Press release templates can be adapted for various purposes, including career development announcements such as promotions, certifications, or achievements.
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.