tips for writing an effective press release

How to Write an Effective Press Release

Have you ever worked on a project or event that did not gain enough visibility? With today’s consumer having access to thousands of media sources and entertainment, it can be difficult for brands to earn media attention. So how do you get journalists to care about your story?

The solution — write a press release. 

A good press release should evoke curiosity, include facts or quotes, and provide journalists with enough color to effectively write their story. In this post, you’ll learn how to write an engaging press release that captivates the media.

What is a Press Release?

A press release is an official announcement of a developing story, event, or product for an organization that is distributed to members of the media. Press releases are often used to gain publicity or notoriety for a brand.

Why are They Important?

If you are not writing press releases to promote or gain visibility on current projects or events, you are doing yourself and your business a disservice. Sharing noteworthy press releases will help lift your brand, likely increase sales, and gain a trusted following. 

Not convinced? Here’s some other benefits of press releases:

  • Get more coverage on publications and blogs
  • Increase overall traffic to your website
  • Show up in news wires
  • Obtain more backlinks to your website
  • Build trust and credibility with your audience

Press Release Template

Press releases normally have a very formulaic structure. To help you get started we’ve broken down this structure into seven key elements. Let’s dive right in.

1. Do Something Newsworthy  

First, you need to do something newsworthy in order to capture a news outlet’s attention. The story you are telling has to be compelling and it’s important to know who your desired audience is a head of time. According to Marketing Land, a whopping 39% of journalists want to be pitched exclusive content. This doesn’t necessarily mean the story has to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it should be something notable for a news outlet to share with the larger public. Brands can do something newsworthy by creating unique content such as experiential marketing campaigns. This content often involves live entertainment, stunts or elaborate events to help immerse consumers with a brand.

2. Develop a Headline 

This is one of the most important steps to standing out. Believe it or not, the headline is what will be the deciding factor if your press release gets picked up or not. The headline has to hook the reader and set itself apart from any other piece of content that may come across a news outlet’s desk. 

3. Write the Lede 

After establishing a catchy headline, the lede is the next big piece required when developing a compelling story. The lede is oftentimes a few sentences that sets up the entire press release. It needs to tie in the newsworthiness, hook, and overall message to keep someone reading.

4. Build the Body

Next, it’s time to flesh out the story by writing the body copy. The best way to write effective body copy is to utilize a news reporters’ style of writing. The press release needs to be written in a way that bits and pieces of it can be pulled directly into a journalist’s article with one unified, cohesive voice. The less work a journalist has to do, the better and more likely they will pick your press release to move forward with. 

5. Add Visual Touches 

This step is key – adding visual touches will bring the press release to life, and will give it a visual identity to help it stand out amongst other press releases trying to be picked up. These visual elements can include and not limited to screenshots, original photography, diagrams, logos, videos, and drawings. 

6. Proof the Story

Additionally, it is important to have someone proof your press release. Run the final version through other people to check grammar, credibility, and just to gain their personal outlook. Take their feedback as an opportunity to make it better and adjust accordingly. You never know the lens of someone else and they may be able to provide you with additional information or perspective that can make the release stronger. 

7. Share the Press Release

Lastly, once you have the final product, it’s time to publish it. There are two ways you can get your press release visible to others, organically and inorganically. Some organic opportunities include sharing the press release on your business’s social media channels, personal social media channels, websites, and through emails. From an inorganic standpoint, in order to reach a much larger audience, you will need to work with a PR distribution service. You can work with one or multiple. You can also send the press release directly to local news stations to see if it is something they would like to share. 

Key Takeaway

In conclusion, it is important to remember these 7 steps when writing a press release. Find a compelling lens and tell truthful, newsworthy, exclusive stories. You never know what success and visibility it will bring your way until you put it out there for people to see!

Written By
Sarah Meacham
The past 4 years are just the start of Sarah’s growing client base as a Brand Manager. She’s built relationships and campaigns for brands like Icy Hot, Atlantic Records, Metro by T-Mobile, GOLD BOND, Ideal Dental, and Carter BloodCare. When she’s not going to bat for her brands, she’s taking swings at tennis balls. She isn’t afraid to dominate coworkers on the workplace ping pong table, but she’s truly at her best on a full-sized court.
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