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A Quick Guide to Writing a Great Press Release

Updated: Feb 29

woman with newspaper doing public relations

Steps to a Successful News Release

Small and medium-sized organizations can benefit greatly from an effective press release about their business or product. Marketing and PR can often get pushed down the to-do list but with limited resources. The press release can be your secret weapon to grab attention and boost your brand. Download our press release template to get you started.

When done right, a press release can be 10 times more successful than advertising. Here are a few reasons why you might want to distribute a press release:

  • Generate buzz: Announce news like a new product launch, community initiative, or milestone achievement.

  • Attract customers: Reach new audiences beyond your current reach, sparking interest and driving traffic to your website or store.

  • Build credibility: Being featured in news publications adds legitimacy and establishes your brand as a thought leader in your industry.

  • Attract talent: Showcasing your company culture and achievements can attract top talent looking for a place to make a difference.

  • Boost SEO: Press releases often get picked up by search engines, improving your search visibility and driving organic traffic.

With your reason for writing a press release set, use this quick guide plus our template to get you started.

Identify Press Release Goals

First and foremost: what is it that you want to achieve with a press release? Is it introducing yourself to the market? Is it to introduce or promote a new product? Do you have an upcoming event or have you partnered with another organization? Whatever your goal is, make it clear; it will help keep the release focused.

For additional perspective, check out: What Makes a Good Press Release: 15 Ways to Stand Out.

Understand Your Audience’s Needs

An important step in crafting press releases is understanding your customers' needs. First, who are you trying to reach? What do they already know? Why do they need your company or your product? Put yourself in their shoes to better understand their needs.

Define Your Strategy

Once you've identified your audience, identify how to reach them. Is it through a local publication? Through an online blog? While you may think a top-tier publication is the only way to get noticed, remember your target isn't the publication it's the audience. If you are a small business, the local paper may be the best outlet.

For more information, check out: When a Mid-tier Media Outlet Might Be Better.

Craft Your Message

In the most basic terms, a press release simply answers: who, what, when, where, and why. Additionally, keep in mind:

  • Craft a captivating headline: Think of it as a movie trailer. What's the most newsworthy element? Keep it concise, informative, and attention-grabbing.

  • Hook 'em in the first paragraph: Start with a bang! Briefly introduce your company and state the core of your news. Think of it as a tweet-sized summary.

  • Fill in the details: Expand on your announcement, providing context and relevant facts. Use quotes from key players like founders or CEOs to add personality.

  • Keep it clear and concise: Remember, journalists are busy. Aim for one to two pages, using bullet points for key takeaways. Avoid jargon and complex language.

  • Put emotions or feelings in quotes: While you want to keep the release "just the facts," add a quote from the CEO or a relevant company representative that provides perspective or the why. For example, it's not recommended to use hyperbolic language in the body of the release but in a quote, there is more room for descriptive words.

  • Add links, images, video: Just like blog posts, press releases are enhanced by including images or video and, of course, linking back to your website.

  • Include contact information: Make it easy for journalists to reach you for further details. Provide a dedicated email address and phone number for press inquiries.

Finally, all press releases end with a "boilerplate," which is a short paragraph summarizing your company's mission, target audience, and key achievements.

For more information, check out: How to Write a Press Release.

Distribute Wisely

Press release distribution is where strategy comes in. As intuitive as it might seem to sent the release to anyone and everyone, remember it's not the outlet you're trying to reach but the audience throught the outlet. Additionally, consider investing some money to use a distribution service -- just be aware that prices can range from free to thousands. Look for the right one that fits your budget.

Additionally, don't forget to share your release on your social media, website, and email newsletters. 

Track And Engage

After publishing your press release, watch and listen. Keep track of what your audience and your customers say and do afterward. Look at your business profile. Check reviews, forums, and social media to see what people are talking about you. Engage in the conversation where possible.

Summary of a Great Press Release

Remember, a good press release is about telling a compelling story about your business. Be confident, highlight your achievements, and don't be afraid to showcase your unique personality. With a bit of effort and this handy guide, you can unlock the power of the press release and take your business to the next level of visibility and success.

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