In today’s modern, digital world, the good old-fashioned press release is often overlooked as a way to promote a brand. But a press release (also called a news release) is still an effective means of spreading word about important events or milestones for your company. The truth is that a lot of what we read as “news” about organizations probably started off as a press release.
Today, in fact, a large number of press releases — especially those that are posted online — are published ‘as is.’ So, if you write one, you had better make it good.
How to Write a Press Release That’s Effective
Is your topic newsworthy?
The first tip in writing a press release — and this probably seems pretty obvious but it isn’t always — is to make sure you actually have something newsworthy to write about. There has to be an angle, a hook, a story. Why does anyone care about what you are writing about? If you can’t answer that question, don’t bother writing the press release.
Pick the right target
Make sure you target the press release appropriately; don’t send your new product announcement to a sports magazine if it is a new app to help busy parents plan meals.
Use care in your writing
Nothing undermines the value of a press release more than spelling and grammatical errors.
What about keywords?
Although you should include keywords in your headline, you shouldn’t be overly concerned about using them in the body of the press release. The idea is that your news release should be for people first, not search engines.
Press Release Format
Follow the standard news release format, which generally consists of the following:
- Heading or headline. Make sure it is descriptive, and compelling. The average consumer will not bother to read past self-indulgent marketing drivel.
- Contact information. Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? I can tell you that it isn’t. I used to do book reviews, many requests for which were accompanied by a news release with absolutely zero contact information.
- Release information. “For Immediate Release” is customarily put at the beginning of the press release since it is ostensibly current news.
- Dateline. The place of origin for the release is generally placed directly before the first paragraph.
- Initial paragraph. Make this even more interesting than your headline. And make it newsworthy.
- Body text. This needs to reinforce the news angle of the first paragraph. Keep it strictly news. Avoid text that sounds in any way sales-y.
- Final paragraph. Wrap up the previous paragraphs with a solid conclusion. Also be sure to repeat the contact information here.
The press release can be a great way to boost business if you focus on a compelling news angle and a well-written piece. Does your promotional strategy need work? Contact us today to set up a consultation!