Writing a press release might be an easy task.
Writing an engaging press release that gets you press coverage in the media business? That's another story.
Public relations is an essential thing for every company looking to get brand awareness, and one of the best ways to show what you're up to is a press release!
First of all, let's define what a great press release is...
According to The Balance Small Business, a press release is "a written publication that reports specific but brief information about an event, circumstance, or other happening. It's typically tied to a business or organization and provided to media through a variety of means."
So, we can all agree about the importance of a press release correct?
Now, you may be asking yourself a lot of questions, and I get it! There's nothing more intimidating than a blank sheet of paper with no idea of where to start.
I need to get clear about something; writing a press release does not guarantee you will get immediate or broad media coverage. Although it does increase the chances of getting media attention, it does not ensure anything. Make sure your press release is a part of your strategy and not your entire strategy.
At Gray Group International, we're always looking to make our readers thrive through their work, and with that in mind we've prepared this guide on "how to write a press release?" so next time you'll host a conference or an event, your business will be all over the media.
Oh! Also...we've created a free press release template so you can get started, just download it at the end of this article :)
Now, let's get to it!
This step is KEY.
Not only because failing to plan means planning to fail. But because you'll be able to have a sense of organization within your work.
This will help for better understanding and information flow throughout your document.
If you feel unsure as to how to organize everything before you write a press release, follow "The Inverted Pyramid" method.
It has helped me greatly to organize any kind of informative document for the media business.
Another thing about the press release format is that your document should be two pages maximum. However, if possible, stick to one, it'll help you greatly. Remember, LESS IS MORE.
There's nothing more unattractive for a reader than spelling and grammar mistakes.
If you are anything like me, once you discover a mistake in a text, you stop paying attention to it.
I'm sure I'm not the only one.
Prevent that from happening with your carefully crafted press release by proof-reading it several times and making short paragraphs that journalists can easily review.
I assure you, journalists will thank you.
If you're not 100% about the meaning of a word, LOOK IT UP. If still, you're not sure, look for another way of saying it. without affecting your story.
If you're writing in a foreign language or for foreign journalists, take your time to really understand the identity of the language you're using to write your story. If possible, have someone proof-reading it as well.
When you're sure your press release is good to go, read it one more time.
This is the make it or break it moment. If your press release has a title which catches journalists eyes from the first sight, they'll read it and are most likely to pay attention to it.
You may have a great press release, but if your title fails to emphasize the important message or key points of your press release, don't expect it to be considered newsworthy...
How do you write an engaging and relevant title? You may ask yourself, well...a few things to consider while making it are:
Short and sweet
Friendly with search engines
Not too much text, but include enough information
Test, test and keep testing
According to CopyBlogger: Eight out of ten people will read headline copy, but only two out of ten will read the rest.
Knowing that you may want to put some thought before releasing a press release. Remember you only got one chance per event. Make the most out of it!
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, it's important you know that a press release is by no means the most effective thing out there.
Yes, sure, it can be of great help to get media coverage. However, you don't want to rely solely on it because chances are that you'll find yourself disappointed afterward.
Make sure your strategy revolves around what's in it for your audiences. What do I mean by that?
Well, if I use my press release to talk about how great of a company I am, and how amazing my product is, and how long it took my company to make it, and the INSANE amount of money we invested. That's all cool and dandy but why would my audiences care about that? What does it have to do with them? How can it make their lives any easier? What need does it solve? Why is it relevant?
Ask yourself what's in it for your audience and what impact it can have, and I assure you, results will speak for themselves.
While some media channels will use your press release to consider the possibility of booking interviews or making entire news of further information they'll ask, it's crucial you keep in mind that some other journalists will base their report entirely on your press release and since you can't be entirely sure as to how much space you'll have, let's say for example, in the newspaper, you want to include small bits of data and details they can pick up and build around.
Also, it'll make the press release easier to understand for the media, and this should be one of your main goals!
You may have heard that nowadays people are not getting interested in stuff if it is not moved by feelings. This can be true for press releases as well.
Use your press release as a way to engage with the media and make them interested in your story.
You could even use a customer's testimonial to bring more joy and excitement from a human being about anything that you're looking to promote to journalists.
According to CopyBlogger "every element of compelling copy has just one purpose — to get the next sentence read. And then the sentence after that, and so on, all the way down to your call to action. So it’s fairly obvious that if people stop at the headline, you’re already dead in the water."
I'm not saying the oldie but goodie written format is wrong. I'm just saying, why not experiment a little bit further?
You can go ahead and distribute your press release to the media on non-traditional channels such as video, outdoor projectors at industry events, direct mail account-based campaigns.
However, be careful! Think about the easiest way in which journalists will be able to engage with your story and consider it as relevant.
Take into consideration a journalist has a busy life, in most cases, it is very fast-paced and results-driven.
They'll highly appreciate this and in return, you'll get advocates to your conferences.
In the past, it was very common to deliver a sheet of paper to journalists when they entered the conference.
Nowadays, most press releases are sent through email. (Oh, how I love technology).
Take a few minutes to conduct keyword research. This will greatly improve your chances of getting featured in traditional media and also online such as social media channels or online newspaper.
Also, do your best to include links to your main communication channels, this will open the door for media coverage to get more information about your organization and your services or products.
A common mistake if that event organizers do not share their contact information.
Contact information is important for journalists to get in touch with you and follow up with your event, product release or conference.
Imagine a journalist being extra interested in making an entire special coverage for your product and you didn't share your contact information!
Sure, he can look you up but I cannot assure you they will have the time to do so. Journalists are very busy people and it's in your best interest to make things as easy as possible for the media business to take you in.
There you go! 9 useful tips to begin writing your next press release and become a media success through your next big day.
I'm sure you still got a few questions as to how an effective press release should look like, so let me introduce you to two press release examples that I found surfing in the world wide web.
These companies included Public Relations as a part of their marketing strategy and it sure is working properly!
Remember we talked about thinking outside the box a few minutes ago? Well, I couldn't help but showing you one example on that. This one is not written, it's a video!!
According to the description in AdvantisComm's Youtube Channel, "Advantis produced this video to accompany a news release regarding a client's recent acquisition. Advantis interviewed the CEO and edited the responses to support the content of the news release. The video was picked up by media outlets and helped increase reach. "
Watch the video below:
Cision PR, who classified this press release as "The Non-Boilerplate Boilerplate" stated in their blog about the press release: "Like a melty popsicle on a hot summer day, Popbar’s “About Us” section comes at you fast. Rather than announcing “About Popbar,” they work their company summary into the release itself, with a simple, “Popbar is a perfect treat for anyone…” Also staying true to their brand, they keep their boilerplate light and sweet – with fun lingo that celebrates all the ways and places people enjoy their snack. And of course, being as Instagram-worthy as they are, they work in their social presence too. "
Writing a press release doesn't have to be a daunting experience.
It's just a matter of knowing what you're going to talk about and providing enough information for journalists to do their job and make you look like a million bucks.
The tips above are just a mere introduction to all the things you can do regarding writing the perfect press release.
It takes a lot of effort to make your PR strategy come together and get the desired results. However, make no mistake, it is not impossible to do so!
However, we know getting started is the hardest step, so we put together a template you can use next time you're looking to get media coverage.
Or, if you just don't have the time...talk to us and let us take care of your next media release where the only thing you'll see is results!