In 2022, the gae of the internet, brands need to create their own buzz. Consumers are now scanning social media to get to know the latest news so one way to control the narrative around your brand is through press releases. Whether it is a change in your organizational structure or the launch of a new product, a regular cadence of news will help your brand stand out and build mindshare with reporters or journalists over time.
So how to write a press release? Before we get into that, let's check out what a press release is.
What is a Press Release?
A press release is an official statement (recorded or written) that a particular organization issues to the news media. It's also called a news release, press statement, or media release. It needs to be a statement containing understandable language and a quote from a key player in the company. A press release is usually a page long and can be two pages at max. It is not only a chance for getting news coverage, but also a chance to be present in front of the customers and stakeholders. There is no cut-and-dried formula on how to write a press release. But here we have curated a few points you need to remember while writing one.
Types of Press Releases
1. Product Launches and Updates
Product launches and product updates need to be released to get the word out about the new solutions the organization is offering the customers. These releases included the availability, pricing, specifications, and other such details.
2. Mergers and acquisition
Announcing acquisitions and mergers needs to include details about the other organizations involved, information that other future and current stakeholders, quotes coming from the leadership teams.
Press releases announcing any event needs to have this information included:
- What the event is about
- Who is attending
- Where and when it will be held
- Pricing of the event
4. Branding & Rebranding
For announcing branding and rebranding, the press release must contain images of the new brand and explain the reason for the rebranding.
5. Leadership Changes
Changing leadership changes the decisions of the company. And it's an advancement that everyone needs to know. Add quotes, the executive headshots, and any new crucial decision.
6. Award Announcement
Company recognition needs a press release to be able to reach millions of people and in it, keywords are of utmost importance; keywords like “high performer” and “best” to add depth to the achievements of the company.
Format of a Press Release
Here’s the format of a typical press release:
- Add contact information and “For Immediate Release” at the top.
- Summarize the news with title and italicize subheading.
- Add news peg and news location in the opening line.
- Add 2 to 3 paragraphs of context and additional details.
- Add bulleted facts and figures.
- Add company description at the bottom of the press release.
- Add 3-pound symbols at the end of the statement to indicate the end of the release.
How to Write a Press Release: 5 Steps to Follow
Writing a strong-worded press release is important to break crucial company news. This would make businesses grow better so here is how to write a press release in 5 steps.
1. Write a Compelling Headline
Having decided on your announcement, you now need to put it down in words to share with your followers, industry, and community. Similar to writing the title of a blog post, the press release’s title is also the key to the success of your press release’s influence. You got one line to make your press release eye-catchy so even though it may be scary, choose your words carefully. Here are some tips to make your headline captivating:
- Use action verbs to formulate your line
- Be specific so that the reader already knows what the press release is about
- Keep it crisp and short so that it registers in the reader’s mind
- Use the trial and error method before committing to one line
- Add number elements as it will act as a visualization tool
- Induce your keyword in the title
Reporters or anyone in the media industry get hundreds of press releases every day so invest your time in coming up with a compelling headline so they leave an impression on the reader. On the other hand, consumers see news stories scattered over their timeline all the time which is why the title of your press release needs to be intriguing enough to reel them in.
2. Follow the Inverted Pyramid Rule
Your press release needs to be newsworthy so give your readers a reason to read them. The reverse pyramid or the inverted pyramid is the best way to ensure this readability factor. An effective press release follows this format:
- The most important information (includes the 5 Ws)
- Secondary details
- Additional information
To know what to write in the first paragraph of your press release, keep in mind the 5 Ws:
- What is happening?
- When is it happening?
- Why is it happening?
- Who is in charge?
- Where is it happening?
Answer these 5 questions and you have your first paragraph of crucial information ready. The second paragraph included secondary details like any quotes you want to mention or details that are not covered in those 5 questions mentioned above. Remember to put them in descending order of importance. The last section needs to have a boilerplate copy, any list of dates and times for an event, and the contact details of the concerned.
3. Write a Tempting Quote
Bring in the details of your press release by quoting someone from the key stakeholders in the company. It will give reporters the context around your announcement and paint a picture of how your announcement affects the particular industry, landscape, and customer base. Choose a quote that reflects the importance of the development the company has put forth. It should shape your narrative and emphasize your announcement. Pick one or two critical spokespersons and focus on their unique perspective so it could be anyone from the project leads, executive, or anyone who is directly affected by the announcement.
4. Background Information is Valuable
Background information is to be included in the last section of the press release and while reading that the reader (reporter or consumer) must have all the key details regarding the announcement. These details should strengthen your narrative and focus on the noteworthy and creative ways the company has moved on with its vision or announcement. If applicable, add comments on the future implications this announcement has brought to your company. Another way to add value to your announcement is by aligning the narrative with something that is currently going on. This newsjacking technique will make your press release valuable to the consumer and the reporter.
5. Emphasize the “Who” and the “What” & Add a Summary
Describe precisely what your company stands for in plain and clear language and add the website link of your company early on. While citing data add a link to its data source. Make sure each name mentioned in the release has a title associated with it.
Summaries exist at the beginning of a press release which means it directly plays an important part in being visible in the search results. Here are some of the best practices you could adopt while writing a summary:
- The points must be 1 to 3 concise sentences of medium length.
- Incorporate all the five Ws.
- Add in primary and secondary keywords.
- Make the news angle precise (such as local impact, conflict, progress, emotional response)
- Provoke the reader into thinking about your announcement.
The Bottom Line: How to Write a Good Press release?
Date, spacing, grammar, spelling, and boilerplate are some of the key points to remember while writing a press release. These must be of top concern to keep your press release concise. Boilerplates are of utmost importance as they contain the bio of the company, the mission of the company, founding dates, and other such company-related information. Plus, do not forget the five golden Ws that state the hows and whys of your press release. And just like that, you can now learn how to write a press release!