How to Write a Press Release in 11 Steps
How to Write a Press Release in 11 Steps
Press releases are an important part of any digital marketing strategy. From announcing new products to introducing a partnership with a community organization, they are the ideal way to share with the world the good things your company is doing.
Using a press release example is an easy way to create a press release, but the problem is that press release samples are hard to come by that match your specific needs. Press releases have a specific structure and are difficult to write, which is why many companies outsource them to experts. You can simplify the process and cut costs if you learn the basic elements of writing 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.
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 now is one of the times you should use it. Branding is critical in 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:
Some releases are rushed and announce information that needs to get out right away. In this case, the words “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” should be placed at the top of the release. You can also write a release early for a future event, just make sure to designate the date and instead use the words “HOLD RELEASE UNTIL” at the top of the document.
You want to control when your press release hits the media and the public, and this is the best way to do that. Choosing a specified date allows you to tell journalists and readers when you are ready for the information to print or released. When you share a press release can greatly affect the success of your campaign.
The organization starts the release with their logo and colors, ensuring that readers know exactly who is sharing the information.
4. Include a Strong Summary Paragraph
The first paragraph in a press releases 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.
6. Writing the First Paragraph
As with any piece of content, the first paragraph works as the lead of the 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 press release. The press release from Sephora above also does a good job in the first paragraph to address these six important elements.
8. Your Concluding Paragraph
In all reality, press releases are just like any 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 the didn’t fit in the body of the release.
The concluding paragraph gives your reader a 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 title and concluding paragraph from McDonald’s shows how a concluding paragraph shows why the company is hosting the All American Games:
10. Contact Information
As the press release is the 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 example from Target shows you how a larger company may choose to share their contact information.
If readers can’t get ahold of you after reading a press release, then you’ve wasted your time.
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