Fri May 20 2022
HOW TO WRITE A PRESS RELEASE| 7 STEPS
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7 steps on how to write a press release
A press release is like a 'magical grail,' the key to a successful release of a new product. Use it right, and you get the best results, use it wrong, and everything turns sour. And so, learning how to write a press release is very important than you might have thought.
A killer press release can generate enough buzz and attract enough attention for your new product. In addition, it is considered by most companies as the first key step towards a successful launch. When used right, it helps prevent new product failure. Therefore, you should know:
· The key elements of a press release
· How to write a press release
· What qualities make a good press release
· How to publish a press release
With that said, let's start with learning how to write a press release.
To successfully create a killer press release that will deliver to your expectation, you will need to follow the steps below. These steps will guide you on where to start and how to write each part of the press release. So, let's check them out:
Step 1: Create a Newsworthy Angle
A press release has to be newsworthy. This is the first and most vital thing to note when writing a press release. Remember, captivating your audience is the goal here; therefore, you need to find that angle that will get them engrossed and use that.
So, how do you do this?
Well, think like your target audience. To do this, you will have to ask yourself some questions like:
- What do I want to read?
- What topics are more important?
- What tone would capture my attention if I was the reader?
Researching what questions are mostly asked by your target audience online will help you get enough details to build a newsworthy PR.
Step 2: What is the objective of your press release?
Since you have the newsworthy angle defined, now establish your press release objective.
Basically, what are you trying to achieve via your press release?
And so, to be able to clearly and effectively determine your objective, you will also need to ask yourself a couple of questions:
Are writing to inform your customer about:
- A PR for a new product to the market,
- Changes in the organization, or
- Simply showcasing your brand as an expert in that field?
Whatever your questions are, ensure they are specific so as to create a clear objective that focuses on one point.
One thing to note: always keep your objective in mind throughout your entire press release creation.
Step 3: Create a catchy headline
The headline is a valuable part of a press release simply because it has a huge impact on online marketing.
Let's take you, for example: How many times have you clicked on a post just after reading a 'catchy' headline? – I guess several times.
Catchy headlines create curiosity that can only be satisfied by reading the entire post. Without this type of headline, you can get readers, and without readers, there is zero conversion.
Now, how do you create a catchy headline? Here are a few tips to employ:
1. Generate at least 10 versions of your headline
A snappy press release headline can easily pay back tenfold. However, the surprising thing is that your best headline idea is not usually the first one you come up with. That is why it is essential to come up with 10+ catchy headlines.
2. Add exciting elements or numbers to your headlines
Numbers in Titles act as a visualization tool as it helps create quantifying statements, which in turn add some level of authority to your topic. This is why numbers still top the charts on headline elements that capture the reader's attention.
The image below shows the significance of each type of headline:
3. Ensure you include your keyword
A keyword is still an important element of a quality headline. According to Brian Dean from Backlinko, "keyword may not be as important as it once was, your title tag remains an important on-page SEO signal."
Furthermore, to further improve the performance of your headline, he recommends putting your keyword closer to the beginning of the title.
Step 4: Storytime
With all others steps done well, this part is where your writing skills and creativity come to play. And so, how do you create a captivating story? Here is how:
1. Start with the most important information
The first part of the body is like introducing what the press release is about, including the 5 Ws. These 5Ws are fundamental pillars in structuring your press release. Keep in mind all the details that you will be sharing in this first part will be in brief, and if the reader is interested, he will surely continue reading.
The 5Ws include:
· What is the story about?
· What is happening
· Where is it happening?
· When will or did it happen?
· Why is it important?
2. Secondary Details
This part will be about expanding on what you mentioned in the first part (introduction). And so, to make sure your content is readable and well structured, ensure you use heading, subheadings, and bullet points. Also, don't forget to add relevant images to your body to enhance readability as well as improve your PR SEO.
We also recommend including putting quotes from a senior member of your organization. This step is essential in that it helps improve the credibility of your content while making it more relatable.
3. Include additional info
This is basically about adding other relevant information that is important or related to the topic.
The DOs and DON'Ts when writing your story
- Keep sentences short and direct to the point
- Break your content into smaller paragraphs
- Follow the AP style of writing.
Step 5: Keep it short and sweet
Craft a press release that is not more than 500 words. A short version is the ideal length of your press release as it will help avoid jargon and create more curiosity. A short press release is also an easy and sweet read.
Length is what really makes a press release crucial, and one page (500 words) is more than enough. So, as long as it is concise and clear, it doesn't have to be too long. Just ensure your information is well laid out and that they are written and organized in an elegant format to spark the interest of your audience.
Be sure to include a couple of internal links but don't overdo them; 2-3 are enough for a press release.
Step 6: End with a call to action
Don't leave your already captivated readers hanging. Use a call to action to end your press release.
Remember, this is the last thing they will read, and using a call to action to guide them increases your conversion rates.
And so, if you want the reader to follow you on social media, you can include a closing phrase like:
"To get daily updates about our new products, be sure to follow us on our social pages…" and then include links to your social media pages.
However, if you want them to get in touch, provide a contact number or email address.
Step 7: Use visual and multimedia where passible
Adding visual and multimedia references give your release an extra vital edge that will impact its readability and credibility.
The fun fact is that in today's day and age, visual and multimedia aid references entice most people. Additionally, people hate reading long boring text. Instead, they opt for short clips or infographics when checking out almost everything. Visual aid help substantiate your press release, which in turn shows that it matters and it's essential or revolution.
However, ensure the visuals you are including are of high quality and well designed to not negatively impact your press release. Remember, when something good is worth a share, one single share can hugely impact your outcomes. So, always create captivating content accompanied by high-quality visuals that are well-thought-through.
3 qualities of a good press release
What really makes a good press release? This is a common question to most PR writers and companies as it is the only way they can craft what they will deliver.
You see, there are three core characteristics that a successful press release should have: Nimbleness, Atomization, and Usefulness. These core qualities put your press release one step closer to being successful.
And so, let's have a look at what each quality is and how to employ it in your press release writing.
Agility or nimbleness is the key feature of a successful press release. When we say agile, we mean it should be designed to fit multiple formats. For example, your press release should have:
· Catchy and tweetable headlines
· An easy-to-read landing page
· Compelling visuals
· Search engine-friendly elements such as links, key phrases (keywords), etc.
· A well-structured landing page that renders well across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Your target audience lives in different places, and the sooner you, the sooner you can exploit any applicable distribution channel to reach out. A press release should not only be published in one or two places, and it should also feature accompanying information.
So, for example, you have a press release picked and published by a media outlet. The next and immediate thing to do is share accompanying information on your company's blog. You can also tweet a variety of key features as well sharing them via other social media pages.
YouTube, SlideShare, Tumblr, and Flickr are among several other sites you can utilize to share your news. Remember, you don't have to have an account on any of these sites. All you need is to approach several influencers who have experience in your industry and share your ideas and press release with them. In this case, you will be enhancing your media coverage on all fronts.
Useful content addresses three key issues:
ü What outcome you are looking to generate
ü The action you want or expect your audience to take
ü And where your target audience lives, which is addressed through atomization.
When crafting your press release, ensure that the content can easily capture reader interest. After that, it should be informative – it should clearly inform the reader about what you are sharing. And to sum it up, the content should entertain your audience in one way or another.
How to publish a press release
While writing a press release is the first and significant part of the entire work, its distribution is as well the other significant final part of it.
Of course, we have the traditional distribution levers options, which include:
ü Sharing the press release with your subscribers/followers through email and social media, and
ü Publishing it on our website/blog
But can these two distribution channels ensure maximum coverage? No, not exactly. These two mediums can only cover a small portion of the targeted audience. Therefore, to ensure maximum coverage, you can use the following tips when publishing your press release:
1. Select specific journalist
Reaching out to a specific journalist is more valuable and productive than just blasting your press release to every journalist within your reach. The key aspect here is that you work with a journalist that will be of value to your industry. Therefore, you will have to reach out only to a journalist that are experts in covering your industry.
Send them personalized messages, and hopefully, you can chat about what your press release is about.
2. Share your release with your right journalist a day or two before
Sharing your press release with the journalist prior to the publishing day will give them enough time to craft newsworthy information. Remember, you should only share it under embargo. This way is highly beneficial to both the organization sharing the PR and the journalists.
3. Avoid publishing your press release on the hour
Most companies publish their PR copies on the hour (i.e., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., or 5 p.m.). Therefore, publishing your release within those hours may limit your reach or influence.
The aim here is to avoid competition, especially if you're using distribution services like Business Wire or PR Newswire. And so, you should choose more distinct timelines to share your release, for example, 1:22 p.m., 3:28 p.m., or 5:12 p.m.
4. Share more info on media
This is specifically a step that you will prepare for and only execute if the release gets picked and published by the media.
In cases where your press release is picked, it is recommended that you publish the second-wave stories. These stories should give more detailed and expansive information on what's in your press release. By doing this, you are giving other media outlets more information to write and base their content on.
Additionally, you should share more information on your social media pages to help keep the buzz going.
Are Press Releases still relevant in this day and age?
Although we have a sea of information available online, press release still remains influential and important. Its relevancy hasn't diminished that much due to the following three reasons:
1. They are Authoritative
Well, it's true we have a sea of information that is readily available online. But the big question is: Are they valid, and can they be trusted?
This is where a press release exactly beats other information mediums since it is verifiable for both public and professional media outlets. In fact, a release conveys credibility as they are seen to be official statements from an organization.
And so, with that authority, the press release remains relevant and important to all parties (organization, media outlets, and the public).
2. They come as a "Complete Package."
People's attention span is constantly diminishing, and with lots of information out there, a few people will comfortably read through a 1000 words content. Therefore, press releases come out as valuable content to read about particular products or topics.
This is simply because they are short and addresses all questions within one message. In fact, a press release answers "the who, what, why, when, where, and how" questions. And this is simply what makes them suitable for today's society.
3. They are Portable
Being unquestionably viable is what makes a press release an ideal communication medium. The message is what is important in every communication medium. Whether it is boring or not well-formatted, the message is the jewel that every reader is looking for. Therefore, having a medium like a press release that provides reliable and official information is worth a share.
So, when sharing a press release, avoid putting any barriers such as copyright that may limit its sharing. Let people write and talk about your news, and as noted earlier, give them extra information via your blog to keep the buzz going.
Remember, a press release is ideally meant to be spread, so keep it that way.
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