A press release is more than an announcement about what is happening in your business. It is a sales tool, and it works especially well if there is a newsworthy story behind it. You can write an effective press release if you write it as if you’re an outside reporter, provide some good quotes and information from top movers and shakers within your company, customers, or field. Once it is written and contains the content that is appropriate for your needs, you need to figure out who to send it to in order to make it worthwhile.
Getting the content just right for a press release is key. The process is fairly simple if you are intentional about your content. The set-up of a press release is standard throughout the industry. You really must write your press release in the following way in order for any news organization to take it seriously.
How to write an effective press release:
Headline – The headline is the key to a successful press release. If the headline doesn’t look a certain way, nobody will care how good the content is. Headlines need to be in bold font, with the first word capitalized, carry the right key words, and grab the attention of your audience as well as the gatekeeper.
Body Copy – You have to put the name of the city and state, as well as the date, on the first line. Include an attention-grabbing first sentence that leads the reader to want to read more about the story. You want to avoid using filler words and make the body copy as compact as possible. State only facts, and save the fluff for other marketing venues.
Who, What, When, Why, Where and How – As you write, try to answer the five w’s and the h, too. This will help you keep your copy short and to the point. You want to put the most newsworthy information at the front, and again at the end, of the press release. At the end of the day, the purpose of press releases are to get information out there. You have to make sure the details are the focal point of this piece of writing. Make sure it is written in third person, as that’s how news is reported.
Make It Press Ready – Remember that no one is going to edit your press release for you; it needs to be ready to print, and already be edited. Double check your spelling and fact check the information you include in the press release.
Give Them More – At the end you can include links or even a QR code that directs people to more information about your event or business. Providing that little bit of extra information can be the difference of getting your press release published or not. Because effective press releases are short and to the point, having a link to more information is vital.
Send It to the Right People – The key to getting your press release published is that you send it to the right people. So many press release companies are disingenuous when it comes to this part. They blanket out the press release without any regard to where it’s going. Don’t do that; send it to the right people. That may mean that you need to do some research first, but the time you put in will pay off when it gets in the right hands.
Just the term press release itself can seem intimidating, but by following these guidelines, you can write an effective press release that gets your business noticed by the right people. Including just the facts, providing contact information, and sending it to the right people will get your press release, and your business, the attention it deserves.