How to Write a Great Press Release For Your Business
A press release (also known as a news release) is a standardised method of informing the media about a newsworthy announcement such as an event or publication.
Attracting the attention of traditional media sources such as journalists and editors is generally the reason for writing a press release. However, with the Internet being one of the biggest sources of fresh news, publishing a press release online is a great way to attract the attention of bloggers, the general public and social media users.
The press release Headline and Summary text is vital for success
When distributing a press release to the media the first section that will be read is the headline and the summary underneath. If the headline doesn't 'cut the mustard' then you've already wasted your time.
Constructing a catchy headline is VITAL to your press release being successful. Your main aim when writing a press release should be to attract the attention of the readers. This title/summery should be gripping enough to encourage them to read more.
A catchy title is good, but don't forget to keep it short and sweet, you want to draw people in, not bore them.
The first paragraph and press release body text
The first paragraph should help sum up the whole story and inform the person reading what the remaining content is about. When read separately as a standalone piece of text does it make sense?
The main body of the press release is the juicy content. This is where you should go into further detail without waffling or going in to any technical jargon, think "laymans terms". Not everyone knows the chemical compound theory & structure to iron or whatever you're trying to describe; notes to editor or further reading is the place for this technical jargon. Best practice with the Five W's, they can make a big difference
The best way to write and construct the body text is to remember the five golden rules:
Who? What? Where? When? Why? A good way to test whether you have covered the Five W's is to ask a colleague or a friend to read the press release and from the content alone then try and answer these Five W's.
If they can answer each one by just reading the body text then you have written a press release which covers all the standard information which a media mogul needs to cover your story. If they can't answer each question or struggle then it's back to the drawing board.
Although including the Five W's is a great way of writing a news release this is not an excuse to bulk up the body content with boring facts and technical information. KISS (Keep It Simple and Straightforward).
If you need to include any technical jargon, long statistics and detailed information do this below your main press release content. Simply write Note to Editors: and include these details underneath.
Keeping the reader engaged is paramount
A good way to keep the reader engaged is to include a quote from a spokesperson. For example if your writing a press release about a company event, you could include a quote from the "events coordinator". This adds an informal touch and makes the press release more human. It also highlights the key idea/ message you want to drum into your readers.
The correct way to finish writing a press release is to write END at the bottom of the main content. Below this is where you should provide contact details such as your name, role, address, email, phone number and any other contact details you wish to provide (although your company profile details when creating the press release will also be automatically attached by the Pressat system).
There's no point providing fake details, journalists might be interested in your story or may need to contact you for more information which equals publicity.
Final notes to remember for writing that perfect news release
Remember to limit the press release to one page. You are covering some news, not writing a detailed account.
Just to finish off, nobody likes to see simple spelling or grammatical mistakes within a press release. It means you haven't taken the time to proof read your work. This will automatically put journalists and other media outlets off as it is considered very unprofessional. Further Reading