Writing any content for a brand and its publicity is much different than writing a press release. You may ask, why so? The answer is that press releases have a different target audience than any other marketing written content. A press release is sent to the media with the aim to get positive media coverage and an impactful news story. As it is sent to professionals such as reporters and editors, press release writing requires a specific tone and ability.
Before getting more into how you can craft an impactful press release, let’s discuss what a press release is.
What is a Press Release?
A press release is an official statement of brands and corporations that is delivered to the members of the media, such as editors, journalists, and reporters with the purpose of providing information or making official announcements. Press releases are one of the most effective forms of communication in a marketing campaign that can increase brand visibility and reach. Media has all the powers to manipulate the general mass which is why press releases are directly sent to the media platforms in hope that they will get published and generate positive coverage from the media. Any product or service launch, news about any brand opening, or changes in management can be the subject of press releases.
1. The Inverted Pyramid Rule:
One of the most important features of a press release that will create a definite impact and will get you the much-needed attention from the media is that it is written for the journalists to make a news story out of it. If you are new to press release writing, do not stress over your content structure and how those most definitely will get the attention of the reporters. There is a cheat sheet that writers have been using, and still use which has proven to be highly effective. This is including the writing style of the inverted pyramid in the press release content. This style has been proven to get the immediate attention of readers, especially journalists as most of the news stories and reports are written following this style. In this inverted pyramid style, the most important information is placed at the top of the content, followed by lesser important information. This helps the readers understand what the content is about without reading the entire press release.
2. Catchy and Bold Headlines:
A headline is the first thing a reader will notice about your content is its headline. A headline of any written content is the reason why everyone will read it, so the utmost importance should be put there. So when you are crafting your headline for the press release, make sure it is fascinating to readers to an extent that they are compelled to read what you have to say. The headline should also consist of action verbs, creating anticipation among the readers and it should be kept short and simple. Keep in mind to always keep the fiesta and last three words of the headline interesting as people tend to scan over these areas the most when they read a headline.
3. 5W-H Questions:
As mentioned before, a press release should be written in an inverted pyramid structure where the key points of your content should be kept at the very top of the primary section. This primary section is incomplete without the 5W-1H questions (who, what, when, where, why, and how). These questions contain the most important information in any scenario and attract the reporters the most. Do not forget to clarify ‘whom’ you are talking about. If this ‘whom’ is a celebrity or a well-known person, always mention their full name as early as possible in the content. Summarize the answer to ‘what’ in a short and clear text. This will give the reporters a better idea of what they can expect in the following content.
4. News Worthy Content:
This rule is connected to the target audience of your press release. Remember that the press release is not published for the general public but for the people of media to get positive media coverage. So your content should be written in such a way that it is newsworthy, otherwise, the reporters will not be able to create a news story out of it.
5. Find Your Angle:
A press release can be written from different perspectives with different objectives. So it is important to find your angle which will depend on who and what you are writing about. It can be emotional or about a conflict, or it can be for a local community, different situations will present you with different angles.
6. Insert a Great Quote:
The writing style of a press release is very formal and follows a particular style that makes it different from any other content. This is the reason why reading a press release can feel monotonous and boring. You can change this feeling by giving it a human touch and adding a quote. But make sure the quote is relevant and is given by an important person to the brand. It can be an expert in the industry or your management.
The length of a press release is important and again is tied to the target audience. Remember the target audiences of a press release aka the reporters and editors are very busy people who have hundreds of press releases presented in front of them. To capture their attention, the press release needs to be short and precise. The length of an ideal press release should not be over 300-400 words.
8. Add a Boilerplate:
After you have put all the important and necessary information in your press release, it is time to focus on like, and most importantly, the boilerplate. A boilerplate usually contains your company’s link or any relevant links that can provide a better depth to the writing. These will be linked in the article and will take the readers to any necessary website such as a LinkedIn profile or other social media profiles.
9. Maintain Personal Contact:
This is all about creating a good distribution network for your press release. If you are not going to write your own press release, and rather trust a writer or a journalist, then you must make sure that you are at least maintaining a personal connection with these people. This will create a better relationship between your company and the media and the chances of your press release being published will increase.
10. Additional Points:
Your press release must contain keywords to create a better SEO and increase your website’s web traffic. These keywords should be ideally placed in the headline, the summary of the content, and the first paragraph of the content. Additionally, your press release must contain the date and location from where the press release is being published.
These are the 10 professional tips that you need to use the next time you are writing a press release to achieve better results.