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, including journalists and editors is one of the main reasons for writing a press release. However, the Internet is one of the biggest sources of fresh news, and 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 making an impact.
When distributing a press release to the media, the first section read is the headline, with the summary beneath. If the headline doesn't 'cut the mustard' then you've already wasted your time.
Constructing a catchy headline is VITAL to the success of a press release. The main aim of writing a press release should be to attract the attention of the reader. This title/summary should grip the reader and encourage him or her to read further.
A catchy title is good, but do not forget to keep it brief, you want to draw people in, rather than to bore them.
The First Paragraph and Press Release Body Text
The first paragraph must sum up the whole story and inform the reader 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 paramount. This is where you must go into further detail without focusing on technical jargon. It must be informative and get the message across in layman terms. Not everyone is aware of the chemical compound theory and structure of iron, or whatever else you want to describe; notes to editor or further reading is the most appropriate place to list any technical jargon. Best practice with the Five W's can make a big difference.
An effective way to write and construct the body text is to remember the five golden rules:
Who? What? Where? When? Why? A skilful way to test whether you have covered the Five W's is to ask a colleague, or friend, to read the press release and discern the content, then try to pinpoint the Five W's.
If they can answer each one from reading the body text, you have written a press release that covers the standard information a media mogul requires to cover your story. If they cannot answer each question, or they struggle to, it's back to the drawing board.
Although including the Five W's is a great way of writing a news release, it is not an excuse to bulk up the body content with boring facts and technical information. Focus on KISS (Keep It Simple and Straightforward).
If you must include technical jargon, long statistics, and detailed information, place this below your main press release content. Write Note to Editors: and include these details beneath.
Keeping the Reader Engaged is Paramount
A tip to keep your reader engaged is to include a quote from a spokesperson. For example, if you are writing a press release about a company event, try to include a quote from the "events coordinator.” This adds an informal touch, and helps the press release appeal more humanly. It also highlights the key idea/ message you want to convey into your readers.
The correct way to polish a press release is to write END at the base of the main content. Below this is where you provide the contact details such as your name, role, address, email, phone number, and any other contact details you wish to provide (although the details of your company profile during the creation of the press release is automatically attached by the Pressat system).
There is no point in providing fake details, as 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 an event or piece of important news, not writing a detailed account.
To elaborate, nobody wants to see spelling or grammatical mistakes within a press release. This conveys to a reader that you have not taken the time to proof read your work, and will automatically put journalists and other media outlets off, as it is considered unprofessional.