Press releases are essential for getting all pertinent crucial information out to the public to know the latest news. Knowing how to write and execute a good press release is extremely important, and every marketer should know how to write an effective press release.
Journalists scour through thousands of press releases throughout their careers. They are also very busy so they will not waste their time on anything other than the best press release, including proper format.
When writing a press release for your company, there are a few things that it should always include, such as:
- Identify newsworthy information. Do this by creating a hook
- The correct format for the press release and readability
- The average American reads at a 7th-8th grade level
Throughout this blog, you will learn what’s included in a press release, how to format one, and when you should be writing a press release for your company.
What is a Press Release?
A press release, also known as a news release, is usually a one to two-page document with breaking news or information that is being shared with the public. They can also be used to create brand awareness about the company.
When writing a press release, it is crucial to answer these basic questions and topics:
These sound very basic, which they are, but it gives the audience it is being targeted a clear understanding of why the press release was written. Press releases should be kept short and straightforward.
Why Should my Company Write a Press Release?
Companies use press releases to accomplish many different objectives such as:
- Gaining media coverage
- Build brand awareness/reputation
- Manage a crisis
- A cost-effective way to market
When Should I Send Out the Press Release?
There are various times and circumstances where sending out a press release is beneficial for a company. This includes anything newsworthy and worth sharing with the public.
- New product launches
- Exciting or interesting events going on.
- Research opportunities
- Breaking news announcement
- A crisis happened
- Hiring a new executive (more so for larger companies)
How to Write a Press Release?
If you are not familiar with the press release formula or template, you may want to think about hiring a professional content writer to create your press release. The basic outlines of a press release are extremely important.
Tips For Writing Your Press Release
Know your audience
When writing a press release, it is crucial to know who this piece is being produced for and going to be distributed to. This includes target audience demographics, such as age, gender, income, etc.
Create a unique pitch
Press releases are a significant part of your company's image to the public. Since many things are digital in the media, writing a creative press release is crucial to creating engaging content.
An elevator pitch is a great first place to start. The elevator pitch is the center of your product’s unique selling point and how it relates to the story. It should be brief, persuasive, and mention your goals.
Collaborate with other team members
Teamwork is key to creating a good press release. Since they are simple, short, and to the point, it can be challenging to include only the most important information. Brainstorming with other co-workers will frequently spark up new ideas and enhance the overall quality of the press release.
Use a reputable source
Using a high-quality source to distribute your press release is essential as well. However, these do come at a cost; however, they are worth it. For example, the Wall Street Journal charges about $100 per 100 words, not including photos or videos.
The format of a press release is generally the same nationwide. Keeping your comfort consistent and clear throughout all of your press releases ensures that journalists know what information is included throughout it. Here is an example of the press release format:
- For Immediate Release
- Name of Press Contact:
- [INSERT HEADLINE]
- Summary Bullet Point One
- Summary Bullet Point Two
- Summary Bullet Point Three
- [CITY], [STATE] - Introductory Paragraph
- [Second Paragraph]
- [Third Paragraph]
- Closing Paragraph
What Information and Content do you Need in a Press Release?
The basic structure of a press release contains five necessary elements. Journalists are quite particular about these elements as well. Mastering them early on when writing a press release will ensure that the journalist takes time to read and process your press release. Often a press release is formatted in what is known as an inverted pyramid.
- Clear interesting and to the point
- Contact information
- How can the media contact you? (phone, email, etc.)
- City and state (where is the newsworthy event happening
- Body copy
- Most important content listed first
- What is the organization about?
Examples of Outstanding Press Releases
If you are not familiar with the Johnson & Johnson Tylenol crisis in 1982, this is a prime example of how a company dealt with a crisis through press releases and media exposure. A horrible crisis occurred when someone replaced Tylenol capsules with cyanide-laced capsules. This was not the fault of the company but someone in the Chicago area.
This could have been detrimental to the company. However, Tylonel dealt with the situation by pulling all of their products off the shelves of thousands of stores, costing them millions. By doing this and communicating to the public, they created more brand awareness and trust throughout the company. Even though they lost millions, they gained the trust and awareness of consumers for a lifetime.
Here are a few examples of some newsworthy press releases in the past.
Apple released a press release about their new computer. This press release is so effective that it highlights the features and design of the new product in depth while keeping things simple and to the point. The image is sleek and shows the new product. They also highlight the importance of the improvements they have made.