What is a Press Release?
A press release is an official statement to the media that an organization or individual has issued something newsworthy. The goal of a press release is to pique the interest of reporters, editors, and other members of the media so that they will want to cover the story.
Press releases should be short and to the point--usually no more than one or two pages. They should also include all of the relevant information about the story, including who, what, when, where, why, and how.
How to Write a Press Release
In order to write a press release that will get press coverage, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
1. Make sure your story is newsworthy
The first and most important step in writing a press release that will get media attention is to make sure your story is newsworthy. Not every story is worthy of a press release, so it is important to think about whether or not your news story is something that would be of interest to reporters and news outlets.
Some things to consider when determining if your story is newsworthy:
When did the event happen? If you are announcing a new product release, for example, you will want to make sure it's not old news by the time you send out your press release.
Is it unique? If you are doing something that no one else is doing, that is definitely worth shouting about in a press release.
Does it have local appeal? Reporters are always on the lookout for stories that will interest their local audience.
Is it positive? Nobody wants to read a press release about a negative story, so make sure you have something positive to say.
Is it meaningful news? If your story is something that will have a lasting impact, that is also worth mentioning in a press release.
2. Write a catchy headline
Once you have determined that your story is newsworthy, the next step is to write an attention grabbing headline that will interest relevant journalists and media outlets. The press release headline should be short, sweet, and to the point. It should give a clear idea of what the media release is about without being too wordy.
Some things to keep in mind when writing your press release headline:
Use keywords that will help your press release with search engine optimization.
Use strong verbs that pack a punch.
Make it clear what the story is about.
Keep it under 80 characters.
3. Get to the point
Once you have a catchy subject line, it is time to start writing the rest of your press release.
The first paragraph of your press release should be a summary of the most important information in the press release. The first few lines should answer the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the story.
Make sure you include all of the relevant details in this first paragraph, but don't make it too long--you want to keep reporters and editors interested, not bored.
After the first paragraph, you can more pertinent details about the story, but make sure each subsequent paragraph is shorter and less newsworthy than the one before it.
4. Include quotes
Reporters and editors love quotes, so be sure to include at least one or two in your press release.
Quotes add credibility to your story and give reporters and editors another angle to use when writing about your story. When choosing quotes, look for people who are experts on the subject matter or who are directly involved in the story.
5. Wrap up with a strong conclusion
The conclusion of your press release should be a brief summary of the most essential details in the press release. It should also include a call to action, such as telling reporters and editors to contact you for more information or inviting them to attend an event, such as a product launch party.
Make sure your conclusion is strong and leaves your target audience wanting more.
6. Include all necessary media contact details
The last thing you want is for reporters and editors to want to contact you about your story but not be able to because you didn't add media contact details. Be sure to include your name, phone number, and email address at the end of the press release so reporters and editors can easily get in touch with you.
7. Proofread your press release
Before you send out your press release, be sure to proofread it for any grammar or spelling errors. Nothing will make busy journalists ignore your story faster than a press release full of typos.
8. Use proper formatting
When you are sending your press release out to reporters and editors, you want to make sure it is properly formatted. A correctly formatted press release makes it easy for reporters and editors to read and understand and it also looks more professional.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when formatting your press release:
Use a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial.
Use size 12 font.
Put the date and city of the release at the top of the page.
Include the contact information of the person who wrote the press release at the end of the page.
9. Send it out!
Once you have written your press release and formatted it correctly, it is time to send it out to reporters and editors. The best way to do this is to email the press release to relevant contacts.
You can also use a press release distribution service such as PR Newswire or BusinessWire to distribute your news release.
When you are sending out your press release, make sure you are sending it to the right people. Do some research on which reporters and editors cover the type of story you're trying to pitch. And when you do send it out, make sure you are following up with a phone call or email--don't just sit back and wait for someone to call you.
If you want your press release to be picked up by other websites and blogs, be sure to include links back to your own website, blog, or social media platforms. This will not only help drive traffic to your site, but it will also improve your search engine ranking.
Linkbacks are especially important if you are trying to promote a new release of a product or service. By including links back to your site, you are making it easy for people to find out more about what you have to offer.
11. Timing is everything
When you send out your press release can be just as important as what you send out. If you want reporters and editors to pay attention to your story, make sure you are not sending it out in the middle of the night or on a weekend.
The best time to send out a press release is during the week, in the morning. This gives reporters and editors time to read and digest your story before they move on to the next one.
12. Measure your results
After you have sent out your press release, it is important to measure the results of your efforts. Did you get any media coverage? If so, was it positive or negative?
You can also use Google Analytics to see if there was an increase in traffic to your website after your press release was originally published.
By measuring the results of your release, you can learn what works and what doesn't and you can adjust your strategy accordingly for your next press release.
Contact Us For Help With Your Press Releases
A well-written press release can help you get the media attention you need to boost your business. Press release writing is an art form that takes time and dedication to master.
At SalesDriver, we have years of experience in writing press releases that gets media attention. Contact us today and let our team of public relations experts create a strategy that will get your business in the headlines!