5 Tips on Writing a Killer Press Release
- 64% of journalists use Google or Yahoo! to follow the news
- 100 million people use search engines every day
- 80 million people get their news online every day
A Press Release is an announcement to the media. You can announce anything: news items, personal promotions, events, awards, new products and services, and accomplishments, etc.
Other times, they can also be used to generate a feature story. Journalists are more likely to respond to your feature story idea if they receive a press release.
But instead of thinking PR only as a method to earn news coverage, think of it as a good marketing tool to connect with your audience.
Top Benefits of Writing Press Release for Your Business
Almost 80% of internet sessions begin with a search. So, without a doubt, there are several benefits you can obtain by optimizing your press release. For example, you can:
- Increase search engine rankings of your website and pages
- Drive more customers to buy your products, services, and offers
- Establish yourself as an authority figure in your industry
- Catch the attention of journalists, editors, and writers who are searching Google to find more news-worthy content.
A carefully crafted Press Release can help you separate out from the rest and build strong relationships with journalists over time.
But does that mean writing your own press release is difficult? No, that’s not true!
You do NOT have to be an expert to properly craft a press release that gets a result. In fact, everything is very simple. Just follow these 5 effective tips to craft a killer press release that your journalist will feel proud of reading.
How to Write a Killer Press Release [With Example]
Now that you know what to announce to your audience or journalists, now is the right time to get it down to share it with your community, followers, and industry.
Cool Idea Inc., a fictitious ad agency, which recently got 100 Facebook followers after three years of paid Facebook ads efforts. To announce this achievement, Cool Idea could issue a press release like the ones explained below.
Rule # 1: Use Catchy Headlines
Just like blog titles, you have limited space – one line – to craft your PR headlines. Although it sounds scary, you must consider your diction to make it more memorable.
Here are few tips to create a catchy headline:
- Use action verb
- Use clear and easy to understand language
- Keep your headline simple and concise
- Use one line for headline to capture your people’s attention
Most importantly, make it interesting: Just remember that journalists get over a dozen of releases every day, so take some time to craft a catchy headline.
Rule #2: Don’t be Shy; Rather, Be Upfront
Reporters, journalists, and influencers are most likely to share your announcement if you are upfront about why they should care about your PR.
In the first paragraph, for example, cover the who, what, where, why, where, and how an aspect of your news announcement.
This is because journalists don’t have time to go through all the fluffy background information – they only need some factual data that will help them tell your story to someone else from a position of authority.
Rule #3: Include an Irresistible Quote
Once you have written down all the details, it’s time to give it a life with a quote. Journalists can use quotes to paint a picture of how your announcements will affect your industry, audiences, and landscape.
For example, you could include a quote from the key stakeholders of your business including executive team leaders, and those directly affected by your news.
Quoting key authority figures will highlight the importance of your announcement.
Do not go and ask for a comment from everyone in your organization, though. Just pick one or two critical people in your organization (CEO, Manager, Project Leader, etc) and focus on their unique perspective.
Rule #4: Offer Details to Support Your Story
In the final paragraph, offer details that solidify your story. For example, you can mention creative and innovative ways your company developed the project or announcement at hand (as explained above).
Also, you can comment on future implications of your announcements.
- Avoid mentioning superfluous facts and tidbits about your company
- Instead, make your PR article helpful and concise.
Rule #5: Make it Obvious – Mention “Who” and “What”
The Internet is full of press releases and sales pitches that do not explain clearly what the company does and what the announcement is all about.
Instead of being a joke, make sure your release is incredibly easy to reference.
- Use simple and plain English to explain what your company does or what your announcement is all about
- Make your message straightforward and succinct
- Include a link to your company’s homepage early on
- Include a link to a reference, if you cite data
- Make sure that every reference has an associated title and company name as well
Ask your friend or a colleague to read through your PR article and ask them if they can easily identify what your company does, why the announcement matters, and why key figures are quoted. If the answer to any of these question is no, then go back to the drawing board.
Here are few more tips on improving your Press Release:
- Research for real press releases on the Internet to get the feel, tone, the structure, the language, and the format of the press release.
- Avoid using technical terms that laymen may not understand. If you are using specific industry terms, define it.
- Create each release to a specific media outlet and only send it to a specific reporter who covers that industry, topic, or beat. You can find this information on the media outlet’s website. Do not take shortcuts by blasting the same press releases to multiple outlets and multiple reporters. Rather focus on the small market.
- Use your headline as a subject line of your email. This will help your email stand out from the rest in the editor’s inbox.
- Send your release by email. Do not use too much formatting – giant text and colorful text. They do not enhance your release; it only distracts.
- If you are attaching a file, make sure it is either a plain text or Rich Text format (.docx)
- Use PDF release only if you are sending a release with lots of graphics.
- Do not scan your release and sent the jpeg of it. Just type the release straight into your email message.
Over to you
What other best practices do you follow while writing good Press Releases? Please share your ideas and experiences with us.