How To Write A Press Release (A step by step guide)Eric Merlin
When you search on google about the ways to write a press release, there are thousands of options coming before the very eyes of you all at the same time making it difficult for you to understand which exact path you should take.
A Few decades ago, people relied on morning papers for news but today vast bulk of your company’s customers scan through headlines on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to see what’s on the mind of their feeds. If you are searching for the media coverage to pitch at your company, writing a press release is a useful and essential skill.
This article will walk you through the guide to be one competent press release writer. Before going into the process of how and why should one write it, we should first consider what exactly is a press release?
WHAT IS A PRESS RELEASE?
A regular rhythm of meaningful news can aid a company to stand out and build a rapport with journalists over time. This is the point where the press release makes the entry.
A Press release is basically a brief document that shares a piece of news about your company to the media outlets. We can call it a news announcement, media release, news release, they all the same.
A press release is a prized possession of the marketing content. One should not only focus on the media coverage, but the center of focus should also be the potential customers who will see them. The companies want to provide essential and enough information so that media outlets have adequate material for publishing.
So now, you have the idea of what a press release is and how important it is for you and your company. The next step is to start brainstorming the announcements in your mind. The brainstorming will then be followed by writing it to share it with the industry, community, and followers.
You are guided in this article to properly pen down your press release without missing any piece of information necessary for your company’s growth.
Wait! There are few points to ponder before moving on
The press release is not about:
1: Exaggeration and false promises.
2: A biography of your founder
3: Drizzling with acronyms
4: Full of oneself
5: A sales pitch
6: Or anything else that sends a journalist to doze off.
A press release is entirely an act of creating a piece of good quality news that will ensure you to understand what is newsworthy about your business or product by avoiding the mistakes mentioned above.
Keep in mind that the journalist, influencer, or blogger wants to hear your story, which should be brilliant for them to post it on the media outlets.
Now, coming back to the guidelines of writing a press release!
STEP 1: OWN A STORY THAT IS NEWSWORTHY.
Content is the king when it comes to press releases like everywhere else. Before drafting your press release, make sure the audience you want to cater is clear to you. Ask yourself what angle do you want to pitch?
If it is exclusive research, journalists love it. Surveys and polls are an innovative way to be a part of a significant publication. If you provide exclusive data, it will surely get a mention.
If your pitch angle is newsjacking, it is going to get the audience you want. Newsjacking is injecting your news or product into the contemporaneous story to get the attention. All you have to do is stay updated with the latest news, be cautious, and act fast to write and submit the press release.
The journalists respond well to the stories that are emotionally attached to them. You need to keep track of the work of your target journalist. Then assure them about your willingness to help them or work with them. Stories with emotional background resonate with more audiences and become eye-catching in a wink of an eye.
The key to going in detail about the angle is finding the one that works for you.
STEP 2: SENDING COMPANY LOGO AND DATE OF RELEASE
This part of a press release is prominent but make sure you do it correctly. The date you are sending is the date to use. This way, the journalists know the freshness of the news.
When submitting a press release, make sure to use the word EMBARGOED which is followed by the date. The word embargoed signals the release of the news not before the time you mentioned.
STEP 3: WRITING YOUR HEADLINE
A headline is a fish you want, but to get one you have to catch one. The headline is the key to the success of your press release. It is the first thing that hits the reader and lets them decide whether they should carry on with the news or jump to another.
The headline shouldn’t be more than 110 characters. Take your time to design one; keep it simple and clear. The core elements of a good headline are:
1: use of action verbs
2: direct and simple
There are headline analyzers available too. Here you can see where you stand with your headline.
STEP 4: LEAD (writing your lead by answering the five W’s)
Answering the five W’s is critical – say what the news is about, who is involved, where and when it happened and why is it of great importance. The lead is the first and foremost paragraph of your press release.
The journalists won’t bother running through the rest of your press release if you fail to be precise in the lead and convey the message. The lead should be simple, and the jargon should be avoided as it only consists of 35 to 40 words. This part summarises your whole press release and gives the idea to the journalist how happening your news is to the media outlets.
STEP 5: WRITING THE BODY
The body is where the story lies. The lead has to be specific as the body follows it. The body has all the details of the press release. You can develop your story here by introducing the factual bits of information and give the journalist color to create the story.
Remember, this part is significant for your press release. Here you make the job easier for the journalist by not leaving any gap or eliminating the crucial elements.
The body paragraphs should be in flow logically without repetition. You have to deliver a compelling story by putting the arguments, background, controversy, issue, evidence, etc.
The best way to project with a good body of a press release is to think like a reader. Reach their expectations by putting yourself in their shoes. Consider what they will think next after reading every point and address them as you move along.
STEP 6: THE QUOTES
This part deals with the introduction of your spokesperson to the press release. This person is the front of your business. The quote helps shape the narrative and add context to your press release. Quotes should not go over 80 words, and it should include the intelligible attribute.
The quote should come from a high ranking official, which adds weight to your press release. It should not be irrelevant. The quote should hit the emotional chord with the reader to add credibility to your effort. The human touch brings a great personality to your press release.
You should aim for two to three paragraphs of quotes and end the final section with quotation marks.
STEP 7: THE BOILERPLATE
Boilerplate in a press release describes the organization and the goal it wants to achieve. Considering the factual data, aspirations, and marketing goals- all into one paragraph makes the boilerplate valid.
You have to be simple, and the data you need to enter should mention the aspects like when the company was found and where are its headquarters. It is like adding a more holistic idea of your company. One should aim for 120-150 words to create an effective boilerplate.
STEP 8: PUTTING MEDIA CONTACT DETAILS
The contact details are necessary for your press release to stay in contact with the journalists. The details you add, open the window of reaching out to you whenever it is needed.
STEP 9: THE CLOSING PARAGRAPH
Now you need to bring the press release to a neat ending with a closing endorsement. This part assists the journalist to see that you and your business are there to watch and are credible enough to write. The press release must mark the end of it by writing the word ‘END’ and inclusion of ‘# # #’ at the very end.
Together with the closing paragraph, the guide to writing the press release also ends.
But before signing out to start your work, you should consider the following points for writing an impressive press release:
- As you are not able to speak to your audience, make sure you are clear to avoid any misinterpretation.
- Be concise to grab the attention of the readers instead of arousing no interest.
- Correct grammar imprints a positive first impression on a press release.
- Proofread again and again as correct spelling is dire.
- Keep it short, tight and crisp
- Avoid using unnecessary terminologies that are not easily comprehendible.
- Prepare yourself for sudden striking questions, phone calls, and interviews.
TIPS FOR WRITING AN EFFECTIVE ONE
Writing a press release can be very artful as your writing will either make the deal or break it.
The understanding of the key to an effective press release is mandatory for you in the process of writing one.
Key # 1: Think before you draft:
Before drafting your press release, you must define your goals. The writing procedure is different if you have different goals.
Let’s say if your goal is to increase customers, you would want to reach potential customers and write it in a way that targets them. If you want to improve your SEO, then you should reach out to the high-quality backlinks. So an effective press release is based entirely on your desired goals.
Key # 2: Adopt a journalist style of writing:
As you are writing for the journalists so you need to put yourself in their shoes and write what they would think is attractive and happening for the media outlets. Journalists usually want relevant, simple, and informative pieces of news.
Key # 3: Target for the right person:
Make sure your sales pitch goes to the proper journalist; otherwise, your most significant press release may lead you nowhere.
Key # 4: Newsworthy press release:
The factors that make the press release newsworthy are:
1: the impact of it on the audience,
2: Is your news relevant to what is happening now?
3: Big names in the press release will bring you big views, so recognition matters a lot.
THE FINAL INFORMATION:
Remember that journalists seldom move to tears by the phrases you add in your press release. You need just to tell them what your product or service has to offer to the reader.
Your press release should fit on an 81/2-by-11 sheet of paper. It is not a place to write an essay on your product. The pitch should be a long game. You are the honest broker and you talk to them directly and in simple words.
You should deliver straight-forward and precise press releases so that the journalists understand how you do your business. Stick to the main goal and try not to veer yourself. Try to mix the media by putting images or a nice banner associated with your product or service.
Always provide the links to your text so that interested people can easily access you for more information.
YOU ARE READY TO WRITE NOW!
Taking time to learn the process of writing a press release may sound tedious and hectic, but getting it right can bring a long-lasting impact on your business.
So, if you think you are tired, stay alert as this is the point after which you are ready to be creative and innovative.
Best Of Luck for your very own first Press Release!!!