How to Write a Better Press Release
When writing a press release, it is important to first understand the purpose behind this marketing tool. Press releases are used by marketers to share newsworthy announcements about new products, service innovations, upcoming events, or milestone accomplishments, and more with a wide range of media resources. The ultimate goal of a press release is to secure editorial coverage of company news in relevant business trade magazines, newspapers, and even radio or television news stations. The better the press release and the news it portrays, the better a company’s chance for free editorial pickups of the information. Here are some tips to help businesses develop more newsworthy releases for improved interest.
Before you begin writing a press release, there are a few things to consider carefully. First, consider your target audience and selection of related media sources. Are there any trade magazines that you’re already familiar with that you’d like to pitch a press release to? Begin with a newsworthy hook that’s designed to grab both your intended target audience as well as the editors of familiar trade publications.
Craft a newsworthy hook
The hook is the angle or pitch of your press release and it should be developed to capture the attention and intrigue of the intended target audience, relevant media, and industry needs. Start by brainstorming to answer tough questions about why a solution or innovation is different. Spell out competitive advantages and the specific needs of the target audience. Explain how the announced event, product, or other solution will satisfy the target audience’s needs.
Here are some great tips on how to write a press release that gets noticed by relevant media resources:
Create a strong headline
Write a strong and clear headline that conveys the news, innovation, or solution to announce. Try to keep the length at twenty words or less and ensure that a primary keyword is written into the headline for search marketing benefits.
Write professionally and answer the 5 W’s
When writing a press release, it’s important that the final version is professional with good grammar and technical accuracy. Try to avoid jargon-heavy language or lingo. Keep the release in third-person perspective and stick to an active voice for a more interesting and newsworthy article.
Be certain to answer who, what, when, where, and why throughout the press release. Although this is pretty basic, it’s the format most journalists still rely on for generating meaningful news stories their readers want to know about. Ensure you answer all five W’s for a more effective press release.
Preferred formatting tips
Formatting for writing a press release is quite simple. Many companies use their standard letterhead, however, some prefer to create a special press release letterhead, which is today very easy to do in Microsoft Word. Include all press contact information in the upper, right-hand margin by listing a press contact name, phone number, and email address. Start with a headline and use double-spacing throughout the remainder of the release document.
Focus on the facts
When writing a good press release, it is very important to stick to the relevant facts on a news subject. Avoid embellishments or strong imagery in press release writing. Fine-tune the focus to remain centered on the core news that clearly conveys the information in a detailed and no-nonsense manner. A press release is not the place for sales or marketing-heavy writing styles. Instead, keep it journalistic, factual, and brief.
Include multimedia and send readers to website
Whenever possible, include a high quality photo that’s properties are optimized. Also consider including relevant videos and infographics if they support the topic or news. Entice readers to click through a press release to view a landing page with more detail. Don’t give away all details in the release, reserve some for discussion on a company website to generate interest and new site visitors. Also include meaningful links to related FAQ subjects, research data, and other items that support your press release.