Writing a press release in simple steps with valuable tips
Writing a press release can be very effective for your business or website. After all, you are notifying journalists or editors of your news. If they find the press release interesting enough, they can publish it in their media. The big advantage is that placing a press release is many times cheaper than, for example, advertising. Advertising in the newspaper can easily cost thousands of dollars and advertising in the search engines will soon cost the same each month.
But writing a good press release is not easy, if you search Google for "How to write a press release" you will find hundreds, if not thousands of results, but in this article I want to give you some tips that will increase the chances of publishing your press release. At a minimum, make sure you have the following points in order.
- Provide current real news and no disguised advertising
- Create a clear structure with the core message at the top
- Always put your contact information, link and logo there
- Write your press release simply and make it understandable for any reader, avoid jargon as much as possible
That's the basics, in the rest of the article I want to teach you to write a proper press release with the right structure, what it should meet and how to publish it.
But what exactly is a press release?
Simply put, a press release is a means of bringing your news to the attention of journalists through an article written by yourself. The main reason for sending out a press release is to generate 'free publicity' for your company, event or website. This is publicity for which you do not have to pay as with an advertisement, but comes as an article in the publication of the journalist.
The advantage of a press release is that it is free, you can write it yourself and send it to journalists. And when it appears as an article in a media outlet it comes across as more familiar than just an advertisement.
Content of the press release
A press release must be real news, a journalist will quickly realize if an article is (disguised) advertising for your product, service or website, and will then most likely not spend time on it.
Topics that do well in the media:
- Publishing your research data, have you done research on something? Then you can incorporate the results into your press release
- You are the first to do something in your country, region or place. For example, the first to introduce a new technology
- Visit or collaboration with a famous person or VIP
- That your company is going to do something for the environment, for example switching to environmentally friendly materials or investing in sustainable techniques
- Organizing an event for which you want to be known
- Launching a new product or service, but only if it doesn't become a sales pitch. For example, tell what problem it solves
Clear format and structure of your press release
Say it for yourselves, what do you prefer to read? A piece of text where the writer only writes down what he thinks at that moment and is therefore unclear to the reader? Or a structured text with a clear headline and introduction?
Create a striking headline and title
Editors and journalists receive many press releases every day, and just like you and I read the newspaper, they first read the headline of the article. If it stands out, you are more likely to read the article. So you need to create interest with your headline. Without a good headline it is possible that your interesting press release will not be read at all.
A good headline that stands out should meet the following criteria:
- Summarize your message in a short and concise sentence, about 10 words or a maximum of 100 characters
- Answer what, where and who. The answers to When and Why should be incorporated into the article itself
- No sales pitch, you are not on the market, stay relevant
- Want to use an assertion as a headline? Then use quotation marks it is after all a statement by you
Write a short introduction / lead
Write a clear introduction or lead. In this introduction you put the main message of your article. The journalist should immediately see what your message is about. This should trigger the reader to read your message further. Briefly and concisely answer the five most important questions in a press release. What, When, Where, Who and Why?
Preferably keep a maximum of 55-65 words (160-200 characters) for the introduction or lead of your press release. Keep it interesting, try not to cram too much information in there.
The body of your message
Have you written the introduction? Then we come to the final message, the body of your press release. Here you tell your final news. Start with the most important and then work through to the end. Do you have a new product, app or website? Then tell first what problem it solves, that's how you keep the reader hooked. After that you can mention the other things. Clearly answer the questions What, When, Where, Who and Why?
The most important info should always be at the top, if a journalist would copy it one-on-one, the whole piece should still be clear if the last paragraphs are not included.
At the end of your post you can put another bit about your company, who you are, what you have done in the past and what milestones you have achieved. This is just so the journalist can quickly see who you are and what you can do.
You can make your press release more personal by placing a quote, this can be a quote from someone in the management, but also from a customer. An example is "I hope that our new hotel will offer many guests a pleasant stay in the future".
Headings and sub-headings
You can make a longer piece of text easy to read by making sure it is easy to scan. Place some sub-headings after every 2,3 paragraphs, this keeps the text easy to read, but it also keeps the reader's interest, a large piece of text scares off, causing the reader to drop out.
For writing a press release, sub-headings can also be useful. Write down the points you want to talk about, the sub-headings, and then go into more detail later.
Images in your press release
A picture says more than a thousand words, so I always recommend to add an image to a press release. A press release without a photo will be less noticeable and less likely to be clicked. Support your news with relevant images and, for example, your company logo.
Do not send press releases with attachments such as images or videos. Many companies do not accept attachments because they can clog up the journalist's email box. In that case, post a link to a website where the journalist can download larger images.
Your contact details
Place a "note to editors" with the information where a journalist can contact you if they have questions or want an interview with you. Include your company name, your name, job title, email address and phone number.
Sending out your press release
With Buzzafy you can easily create your press release and with the push of a button send your press release to the affiliated journalists. Buzzafy also has a network of websites where your press releases are automatically placed.