How To Write a Press Release in 11 Steps
Press releases are an important part of any digital marketing strategy. Writing news releases can be an opportunity to disseminate important information, increase your branding and even improve your SEO. Here, you’ll find important steps on how to write a press release successfully.
What is a Press Release?
A press release is typically defined as an important story or statement that is sent to members of the news media. The press release covers the who, what, why, when, where and how of the information. Press releases are composed of specific structural elements, including a heading, intro, body, boilerplate and more.
What is a Press Release Used For?
In business, press releases are typically used to announce partnerships, events, structural changes, new hires, new products or anything else considered newsworthy. The goal of a press release is to have the information in the release to be distributed to a target audience in the most objective way possible.
From announcing new products, events or new hires to introducing a partnership with a community organization, press releases are an ideal way to share with the world the good things your company is doing.
How Do You Write a Press Release?
Following the template of an already existing press release example is an easy way to create a press release, but the problem is that press release samples can sometimes be hard to come by that match your specific needs. Press releases have a specific structure that needs to be met, which is why many companies outsource them to experts. You can simplify the process and cut costs if you learn the basic elements of how to write a press release on your own.
There is a basic formula that every press release follows, which gives constraints on your writing that help structure the information. While the formula should be followed, the creativity and taste come with word choice, sentence structure and credible information. So without further ado, here are some key steps on how to write a press release.
2. Stay Consistent With Company Colors and Logo
You’ve worked so hard to create a brand and logo that customers associate with your products, and making a press release is one of the key times you should use it. Branding is critical when considering steps to writing a press release, and your company’s colors and logo should always be present in the headline section. For example, check out this press release example from the Utah Jazz:
The organization starts the press release with their logo and colors, ensuring that readers know exactly who is sharing the information. For bigger brands, this is one of the easiest ways to catch people’s attention and make sure they read the release. Similar to a headline, your logo and colors may be the deciding factor of if interested parties actually read the press release or not.
4. Include a Strong Summary Paragraph
The first paragraph in a press release is the summary paragraph. This paragraph has a few important functions and guidelines:
- No longer than five sentences
- Give the reader a summary of the information in the press release
- Draw the readers attention to read the release
- Attract the attention of journalists skimming through many press releases
- Include bullet points at the top to draw additional attention
- Add the most exciting and relevant information along with the key points
When readers find value in a press release immediately after they start reading, they are likely to continue. This is your chance to grab their attention and ensure higher press release visibility.
6. Writing the First Paragraph of Your Press Release
As with any piece of content, the first paragraph works as the lead of the press release and should include six elements: who, what, why, when, where and how.
- Who: who are the main players, who is the company and who is the release about?
- What: what’s your topic and why do readers care about it?
- Why: why did you choose this time to send out a press release and how will it affect the readers?
- When: when is the new hire, the product release or the other event taking place?
- Where: where is the event being held or where is your company?
- How: does your release help your readers and provide a valuable experience, and how?
If readers can pick out these elements from the first paragraph of a press release, they are better able to understand the overall message of the release. The press release example from Sephora above also does a good job in the first paragraph to address these six important elements.
If you can succinctly answer these six questions, you’re well on your way to learning how to write a press release.
8. Your Concluding Paragraph
In all reality, when learning how to write a press release you can approach it just like any other type of content. Your goal is to catch the attention of the reader from the beginning, provide relevant, credible, interesting information in the body and then wrap it all up with a compelling conclusion. Your conclusion is what would be your closing remarks if you were giving a speech. This is also the place to put any necessary information that didn’t fit in the body of the release.
The concluding paragraph of your press release gives your reader continuity to the next step. It could be something as simple as contacting a new supervisor or trying out a new product. It’s a great place to put expert opinions and quotes that motivate the reader to learn more about what you are announcing.
The following example of a press release title and concluding paragraph from McDonald’s shows why the company is hosting the All American Games:
10. Contact Information
Since making a press release is a way to attract customers and media attention, the press release should have information about how to contact you. Always ensure that your contact information is up to date and current. Include at least a few of the following things:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Link to company’s social profiles
- Link to company’s website
This press release example from Target shows you how a larger company may choose to share their contact information when writing a press release:
If readers can’t get a hold of you after reading a press release, then you’ve wasted your time. This may be one of the most simple, yet important steps of how to do a press release.
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