How to Write a Killer Press Release
In this digital, almost-Black Mirror world made of 280-character tweets, vlogs, and podcasts, press releases are considered an antiquated form of communications. Many marketers have spoken – press releases are on life support.
However, certain studies say otherwise. Take this research, for instance, which reviewed over 100 press releases across five key technology sectors to determine how effective they are in communicating a business’ message. Results showed that press releases are effective in communicating essential elements such as key messaging (98% of the press releases covered in the research), direct quotes from a company spokesperson (82%) and a link to the business’ website (46%).
So even if the communication landscape has evolved, press releases still have a place in the world, especially when pushing out key messages.
The role of the press release has grown. It’s no longer just about announcements and postings; it’s also about beefing up communication strategies, especially when it complements other forms of content marketing.
To make the most out of press releases, you need to understand its multi-dimensional character, which is exactly what Your Marketing People will cover in this article.
How often should you write a press release?
There’s no written rule on the frequency of writing and distributing press releases. A good rule-of-thumb is to take a company milestone and turn it into a well-written announcement that’s relevant for your business and audience.
Is there a newsworthy event happening like a launch?
Are there upgrades to the products or services that you offer?
Are any of your key representatives speaking at an event or sitting in an interview?
Essentially, to sustain your business’ visibility, we recommend releasing at least one press release a month, or every time something newsworthy occurs.
What are the types of PR?
Press releases vary according to objectives, milestones, and key messages. Fundamentally, press releases are news articles written to promote a business.
Here are some types of press releases to help you get started with ideas:
- Starting a new business
- Celebrating an anniversary
- Announcing company restructure
- Launching branch or satellite offices
- Receiving an award
- Participating in a philanthropic event
- Announcing a partnership
- Change in a company name
- Announcing a rebranding activity
- Expanding or renovating the business
- Launching a product
- Launching a website
- Announcing free information available
- Sponsoring a workshop or seminar
- Your key representatives speaking at an event
- Announcing a public appearance in media
- Announcing an interview of a key spokesperson
- Announcing the results of research or surveys your organization conducted
- Announcing that an individual in your business has been selected to serve in a leadership position in a community professional or charitable organization
- Making public statements on future business trends or conditions
- Winning a pitch/bid
- Obtaining a new, significant customer
- Establishing a unique vendor agreement
- Forming a new strategic partnership or alliance
What makes a killer press release?
When writing a press release, it’s important to use simple everyday language that people can understand. Complicated words that force your readers to think twice will chase them away.
You can check your readability score at https://readability-score.com/. If you achieve more than 8, you’re good to go!
Here are some killer samples of how you can put the elements together:
So how long should a press release be?
A press release should be short and snappy. The ideal length should be one A4 page containing at most 500 words that are structured in three or four short, readable paragraphs. The first paragraph must grab the attention of the readers and carry the essential message. The following paragraphs should then expand on that message and provide more details. Most writers call this the “top line” approach.
Why should you write press releases?
- Gain exposure – Press releases allow you to tap into earned media by getting journalists and media outlets to publish your story. When influential outlets cover your news, they broaden your visibility as much as they build your authority.
- Increase traffic – Press releases allow you to expand into an extensive distribution network. By having your story published in various journals, media outlets, and syndicated sites, you increase your visibility and searchability. Being present on several online and traditional media platforms drives people to your owned media and prompts them to learn more about you.
- Increase Sales and Boost Profit Margins – Highlighting key features of your products/services and your expertise can help you become top-of-mind among your customers, eventually leading to increased sales and higher profit margins.
- Build your SEO strategy – Having your story covered in various media outlets can help boost your SEO strategy. Journalists and media outlets include backlinks to your website and lend more credibility to your business, especially when more dominant sites publish you.
- Reach target audience – Press release distribution used to be perceived as a one-size-fits-all blast tactic reaching both everyone and no one. However, it has now evolved in order to get messages to niche audiences. Landing your story on news wires, for instance, is a targeted approach as they arrange stories according to themes and interests, making use of filters and tags.
Speaking of PR wires…
There are many ways to distribute a press release. You may pitch it to editors of specific media outlets directly. You may also opt to use distribution platforms as well as PR wires such as PR Newswire, PR web, eReleases.
One thing to keep in mind: To maximize chances of getting picked up, your press release should be localized and tweaked according to the media outlet. Making sure that it stays relevant for a niche audience is always a good tactic to ensure it gets published.
Your Marketing People has solid experience writing press releases for our clients. Keen to see more samples? Want us to write your press release? Please feel free to contact us!