How Do You Write a Press Release?

How do you write a press release when you have absolutely no experience in public relations or marketing?

It is possible to write a press release that gets you the news coverage you are looking for without spending huge amounts of money. This article looks at how the art of writing press releases has changed in recent years and provides insights into five things you can do to give your press release the best possible start. If you need some additional help, take a look at our press release template.

Back to basics

One of the most important facts to grasp as soon as possible is that writers and journalists are looking for an easy life. The trick to writing a press release that gets traction is to get into the minds of reporters and write like them. This facilitates the progression of the press release from an email attachment to a published article with very little effort on behalf of the journalists.

How do you do this?

Firstly you need to confine all traditional guides to writing press releases where they belong, in the past. Times have changed and the press releases that are successful in today’s market are very different from those that were once used to connect PR professionals with media contacts. When trying to make your press release stand out from the rest, there are four basic things that you need to remember:

  • You need to keep it brief so that people will be tempted to read it
  • You need to be creative so they will enjoy reading it
  • You need to use plain language so they will understand it and remember it
  • You need to make sure it is free of any grammatical, spelling, and punctuation errors if you wish to be taken seriously. That’s where proofreading services come in handy!

Follow all of these rules, and you may just get the attention you’re looking for.

How to write a press release: The New Rules

Picture of the number oneUse basic language

Company ABC unveils full-service, innovative solutions for maximum impact and business success. Our unique service model can take your business to the next level.

Does that make any sense whatsoever to you? No.

Don’t be tempted to fill your press release with clichés or jargon that only someone in your industry will understand. Translate the descriptions of your services and products into the most basic language you can. Get back to basics and in simple terms describe who, what, where, why and when.

An example of a simple description of a complex service: Savers looking to beat inflation are shunned by banks

Picture of the number twoDon’t get all emotional

ABC company is excited to announce the launch of our new widget. We are delighted that all our hard work has finally been realized.

Journalists don’t really care how you feel. Why? Because their readers don’t care how you feel. They are looking for news and storylines that are interesting, fresh and informative. The most powerful part of your press release, and the element that is most likely to be published, is your quotation. Don’t waste this by delving into the depths of your emotion psyche. Focus on what the announcement brings to the table and why people need to know about it.

An example of a press release that is based on fact, not emotion: Kashoo for the iPad

Picture of the number threeGrab Your Audience’s Attention

ABC company celebrates 10 years of successful trading in the widget industry.

So what? That’s really great for you, but again, why would journalists or their readers give a damn about that?

Yes, your credentials and accolades may give your business credibility, but they are not the most important thing about your announcement, and they, therefore, shouldn’t be used to open the press release. Put the news first and the supporting information much further down.

Example of sharing newsworthy facts: Oracle Buys Pillar Data Systems

Great headlines mean you will make the headlines

Company ABC announces multitudes of additional advanced features to its existing medical billing services.

Stop the press! Multitudes? I’m sure every journalist in the country was captivated by that one.

Journalists get thousands of press releases sent to them on a monthly basis. You need yours to stand out. Create a headline that grabs attention and don’t be afraid to be slightly off the wall.

Example of great press release headline: The most amazing press release ever written

Picture of the number fiveGet to the point. Fast.

People today are impatient. In a world where we are accustomed to communicating with our friends and family via 140 characters or less, we just don’t waste time on niceties anymore. Reporters are busy people, and they want to know what’s in it for them within the first paragraph of your press release. Understandably, if you do get your press release in front of journalists, you will want to use the opportunity to tell them as much as you can about your amazing products and services. Try to resist this temptation. Highlight the key news and provide links to further information. That way reporters can learn more about you when (and if) they want to.

Example of getting to the point in press releases: 300 Years of Fossil Fueled Addiction in 300 Seconds

If you have written a press release and could benefit from some expert help refining the details, please do check out our proofreading and editing services. From just $0.020 USD per word, you can gain access to professionals who can help you to craft expert press releases that get results.