Press releases are concise, engaging and, crucially, newsworthy written pieces distributed by businesses or PR companies to advertise new products, share news about the business or generate interest in a new strategy of the business. They are short and sweet articles designed to catch the attention of journalists in an attempt to get them to cover the story. Indeed, they are time-honoured tools in securing a news story, magazine interview or even television coverage. The further your press release goes, the more visible your story and business will be to potential customers.
The template of a press release is generic, but the content shouldn’t be. Your content needs to grab the attention of journalists who see thousands of press releases drop into their email inboxes every day.
Here are some handy tips on writing a great press release for your business:
Write a strong headline with an information-rich subheading
The headline should be catchy enough to pique the interest of reading journalists and the subheading should contain the main points. Many journalists will stop reading if the heading and subheading don’t interest them. Say something a little bit different – don’t just regurgitate a two-week-old news story to journalists who already know about it!
The first paragraph should contain the ‘meat’ of the story
Get right to the point in the first paragraph. Journalists don’t have all day to read through meandering press releases to find the relevant information or the ‘meat’ of your story, if you will. Lay out the interesting facts about your business or the new product you’ve created that’s changing the face of your industry to keep your audience reading.
Get some facts in there
Don’t try to do the journalist’s job for them; leave the creative writing to them. All they want are the facts. So, you’ve created a never before seen product? Tell them about it. Your product is out-selling all other products on the market? Get some hard statistics in there. Journalists love the details.
Put at least one quote in
Include a fruity quote from your CEO or your head of design who’s created this fantastic new product you want the world to know about. If you’re developing brand awareness, include some quotes from fans or customers who’ve left comments on your website or Facebook page. Including quotes from leaders in your market will add credibility and flavour to your press release.
It may sound simple, but proofreading is a commonly overlooked practice in many forms of writing. Ensure your press release is grammatically correct and doesn’t contain any spelling errors. There’s nothing more unprofessional than a business that can’t check its work before publication.
Keep it short and sweet
Press releases should really be kept to one page, maybe two if you have a lot of important information that you can’t cut out. Journalists don’t have all day to read lengthy pieces of writing, so try to be concise and compelling in as little words as possible.
Include information about your business
At the bottom of every marketing piece you send out you should include the contact details of the person the journalist can contact if they need further information. It’s also helpful to provide a link to your main website and more information about your products or services.
Hopefully these tips will help you or your business write a fantastic press release to spread the word about your brand and what your business does to the media and potential customers.