5 things to think about when writing a press release
A press release is your opportunity to be heard, and to tell your story in your own words. It will be sent out to publications, published on your website, and shared with clients and customers. But how do you write a good one, that’s going to get published in the right places and catch the eye of the right audience? Here are some top tips for writing press releases.
We’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news, but your audience aren’t going to find every single update from your company immediately interesting, so you need to find a way to grab their attention. It is often the way you frame a story that gets them hooked, whether that be something they stand to gain or lose, some new information that they need to know or something they find entertaining or amusing. There must be something that the audience gets from the release.
The structure of a press release can be straightforward and there is a tried and tested method that many communications and PR experts use – the inverted pyramid.
If you stick to a structure like this, it will encourage you to share the information that matters to your audience, without adding in unnecessary waffle.
The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is so relevant when issuing a press release. Not only does it make your news more visually appealing but including a tangible and relevant image makes your release much more likely to get published. Many of the publications you send your story to will be digital, and everything digital is visual. Audiences like interesting images, so cater to them!
A press release is a professional document, being sent externally to people who are going to publish your piece or use your product or service. The journalists who are (hopefully) publishing your story could copy and paste most, if not all, of what you write, so it’s important that your spelling and grammar are correct and don’t forget to fact check numbers and statistics.
It is also worth being mindful about your tone of voice and how formal you want your release to be. There may be a difference between your company’s standard tone of voice, and the tone of the publications you are looking to get coverage in, so sometimes it may be necessary to alter your tone of voice for the publication.
The Mailing List
What is the point of spending ages structuring and crafting a story if you have not got an up to date, or relevant list of people to send it to? It is a good idea to regularly update your distribution list and try to maintain your relationships with those on the list.
It is also a good idea to have an area on your website to host your press releases, make sure you send to your employees and colleagues, and if you have a regular company newsletter or a mailing list of customers or clients, send to those too!
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