How To Write A Press Release That People Want to Read
Want to learn how to write a press release that shakes your industry? That’s exactly what you are going to learn here.
This guide demystifies the press release writing process and provides expert tips to help you create press releases that journalists and editors will find irresistible. In addition, you will learn how often you should send out press releases to get maximum media coverage.
If your company or brand is doing something great, then you should not hesitate to share it with the world.
Whether you are announcing a new product launch, recruiting a new employee or giving back to members of your local community, a press release is an incredibly effective tool to attract immediate media exposure to your business and get your message out to your target audience.
Contrary to the talk that press releases are outdated, PR remains one of the most effective inbound marketing strategies to grow your online presence.
Not only can a professionally written press release enhance business credibility and increase customer engagement, it can also build SEO traffic and boost social sharing potential.
But with many reputable journalists and editors receiving over 26 pitches per day, you want to make sure your press release stands out so it can be considered for publication.
So the question is, what should you include in your press release content? And how do you target the right journalist to increase the chances of getting your press release published?
In this guide, you will learn how to create relevant press releases and target the right journalists in your industry for optimal coverage. You will also learn the perfect frequency of sending out press releases.
What Is A Press Release?
Press release is an official piece of communication that’s used to announce something newsworthy about an individual, brand or business. Press release is typically sent to journalists and editors for the purpose of creating news stories from the information presented.
Press releases are referred to as earned media in that you do not have to pay journalists to get your story featured in the media. Rather, the decision regarding whether your story will be published or not relies solely on the journalist’s discretion. This is why you need to make sure that your press release stands out among numerous pitches that come into the journalist desk every day.
While the media industry has evolved drastically over the last decade, the fundamental ideas behind press releases have endured the test of time. It has, however, evolved slightly along with the modern marketing and communication tools.
The advent of social media, blogging and influencer marketing and 24/7 cable news has made it easier for consumers to access information. So writing press releases with the journalist and the end consumers in mind is the single biggest secret to getting your story out to the consumers in the crowded marketplace.
What Does a Press Release Structure Look Like?
In order to be able to write a great press release, you need to understand the press release structure. Telling your story in a clear, intelligible way makes it easy for journalists to easily skim through your content and determine if they want to cover your story.
Understanding Organic SEO vs. Local SEO
Google and other popular search engines use signals such as keywords to determine which web pages show use for a particular search query. The process of making changes to your website to improve ranking is called organic SEO.
When users type out keywords into the search box, the search engine searches across millions of web pages to find the right match. The goal of any business is to appear at the top of the search results page when keywords that are related to their products or services are being searched.
Local SEO works quite differently than that. While organic SEO is aimed at bringing potential customers to the client’s website, local SEO is targeted at helping customers find the client’s brick and mortar address. Local search engine optimization is concerned with building relevance and reliability around certain locations so potential customers can find a business when they’re nearby.
Local SEO experts use different strategies and tactics that work to achieve high ranking in Google and other search engines. Google, for instance, considers various ranking signals and local business data, including the business’s online citation and social mentions to determine local results.
If you have clients who have a store, shop or restaurant, local SEO is imperative for their business to compete in their local market. An SEO data shows that more than 60 percent of people want search results to be tailored to their location. Likewise, 76 percent of people who search for something nearby using mobile devices such as smartphones visit that businesses within one day.
How To Write An Engaging Press Release
Define Your Target Audience
Every press release is targeted at a specific group of people or businesses. Defining your audience will help you choose the appropriate angle that matters to them. The storytelling angle refers to the perspective from which a story is told. It becomes very easy to write a story that interests your target audience when you know the people your press release is addressing.
Make it Newsworthy
Space is limited in print as time is limited in media. To get your story a place in the press, you need to convince the journalist about the value and newsworthiness of your story.
The first paragraph of your release, also known as the lead, should essentially cover the most important information about your press release, including the who, the what, the where, the when and the why.
For example, if the CEO of your company wins an award, then you need to talk about why the award is important by talking about the award itself, where and when it was conferred and what it means to the honoree.
Craft An Irresistible Headline
Something great just happened in your company and can’t wait to share it with your community – customers or clients, journalists and your social media followers. Just like writing a compelling blog post, setting up your PR for success starts with your headline. You only have a line to work with, which can make it seem intimidating. However, creating a captivating headline doesn’t have to be a hassle.
Following these following guidelines to create an attention grabbing headline:
- Make your headline simple and short, 70-10 characters is okay
- Use clear and understandable language – Avoid use of irrelevant words, no matter how poetic they sound
- Use active voice, e.g. XYZ Launches new website
- Paint a picture
- Write the headline last
- Use shocking but true data
- Make it newsworthy
Write In Clear, Simple Language
Remember that a press release is not written to impress the journalist or your reader. Rather, it is a tool to express yourself regarding the development in your company. Therefore, it is important to be as clear and lucid as possible. Remove unnecessary jargons or vague expressions that may get the reader distracted. When you communicate clearly, you make the job of the journalist easy. They can quickly skim through your release and determine if the story is something they will like to cover.
Avoid Echo Headlines
Echo headlines refer to cases where your headline, sub-headline and first sentence literally repeat the same thing. Excessive repetition results in bald appeal which may do more harm to your reputation than it is worth. The ideal thing is to make the headline and the sub-headline distinct from each other.
How Often Should You Send A Press Release Out?
Sending out press releases frequently is a great way to draw a journalist’s attention to you and your brand name. Based on this understanding, you might be contemplating sending a release once every week or 2-3 times a month.
But what is exactly the perfect frequency for sending a press release out without spamming the journalist?
You’ve probably at some point received a bunch of emails from someone or a brand trying to sell a product or service you are not interested in. How was the experience? Annoying, right?
That’s exactly how journalists feel when they’re bombarded with irrelevant, spammy or non-newsworthy content.
Rather than placing emphasis on the number of times, the focus should be on the relevance or newsworthiness of your story. That said, you should only send out a press release when you have news or something important to say.