A press release is a tool made to announce something significantly newsworthy in the most effective way possible. The whole purpose of a press release is to get coverage and get perceived by a target audience.
Regularly optimizing press releases as part of your content marketing efforts can benefit your overall strategy. Their added perk as a marketing tool is that they can generate demand organically, thanks to interest from reporters. The whole idea behind the press release is communication. It can be written, recorded, or even shown – the form doesn’t matter as long as it’s effective.
Writing an effective press release can be an excellent addition to a marketer’s skill-set however, it is actually difficult. Even if you are familiar with web postings or blog writings, the press releases may seem challenging for writing as they come with their own sets of formatting rules, language, and target audience. Moreover, if you familiarize yourself with the basics, then you can be creative.
Structure of a Press Release
- The headline of the Press release: Create a catchy headline, add numbers or other distinct elements. Add keywords to the press release heading.
- Mention the date and venue
- Press contact/Manager info: Name, E-mail, and Phone
- Summary Bullet points: Summarize the writing in few key points
- Introduction paragraph: Concise the background information
- Detail paragraph: Discuss the event/project.
- Closing statement: Conclude the meeting.
The ideal length of a press release is a single A4 side page or about 300 to 400 words (the length of a short news item). That’s just 3-4 short paragraphs and a couple of quotes. Remove the unnecessary waffle that doesn’t add anything to the story. Don’t be tempted to include background information about your company in the opening paragraph. Write a press release by keeping a target audience in mind. However, the press release is not written directly for the target audience, it is written for the editor/journalist/broadcaster and then they tailor it to the readership/viewers/listeners of that publication/program.
To write an effective press release, answer the following questions:
- Who? Who are the key players – your company, anyone else involved with the product? Who does your news affect/who does it benefit?
- What? What is new?
- Why? Why is this news important – what does it tell people that they need to know?
- Where? Where is this happening?
- When? What is the timing of this? Does this add significance?
- How? How did this come about?
In conclusion, the following should be considered to write an effective press release:
(1) Writing a short, catchy headline, (2) Get to the Point –summarize your subject in the first paragraph, (3) Body – explain why this matter to your audience, and (4) Closing statement.