Guide to Writing Good Press Releases | What You Need to Know
If your company is making waves or has important information it wants to deliver to the rest of the world, chances are you’ve already been considering issuing a company press release.
If writing press releases hasn’t already crossed your mind, you might be wondering, “What is a press release exactly?”
If you don’t know how your company could benefit from creating a press release or are struggling with how to release a press release, it could be holding you back from the critical next step you need to take.
AdvisoryHQ understands just how imperative it is to know what resources are available to help spread the word about your company. What is a press release good for? We’re here to help you answer that question and give you a few pointers for writing press releases that will draw customers to your business or event.
What Is a Press Release?
To most individuals, a news press release or company press release can sound like a daunting endeavor – far too formal for a small company or not right for your occasion.
Unfortunately, this mindset keeps companies from taking advantage of the numerous benefits of knowing how to release a press release and better your business.
For starters, what are press releases?
What is a Press Release?
A press release is simply news that you are sharing with clients and other individuals about your company.
You can have several different kinds of press releases: an earnings press release, a company press release or a news press release, for starters. Each type has the potential to be a good press release that can be advantageous for your business when used appropriately.
An earnings release would share detailed financial information with your clients and investors at set intervals throughout the year. While this may be helpful in some circumstances, a company press release or news press release would likely benefit you more. When writing press releases of this variety, you are sharing information or events about your company that would be pertinent to clients.
For example, you may issue a company press release if you are having a grand opening ceremony or are officially under new management. A news press release might be beneficial if you are changing locations, making significant changes to your online shop or altering your list of services.
Knowing how to answer the question, “What is a press release?” is a great first step towards writing press releases that can benefit you. Next, we’ll take a look at a few tips and tricks to help you learn how to craft a good press release.
Formatting a Company Press Release
Writing press releases well means adhering to an expected set of standards regarding what a good press release should look like. Without the proper formatting, your company press release may not attract as much attention as it could with the proper attention to detail. If you need to know more information on creating a press release, take a look at these basic details to help you get the formatting correct.
First and foremost, if you are writing press releases, they should always be typed on standard white letterhead. As with many professional documents, a good press release will also be double-spaced in a standard and easily-read font selection.
At the top of a good press release is the contact information for the person you intend to send your company press release to. You should include the name, title, company name, address, and phone number (or as much of this information as is available). Beneath this, you should list your headline in boldface print. We will give more tips on creating a press release headline shortly.
Source: Press Release Template
A dateline will come just before the body of your release. It should list the location and date clearly and easily, similar to a newspaper article. For example, your dateline could read, “Chicago, Illinois, January 1, 2017” to let your audience know exactly when and where your company will be holding the event or who the news applies to.
When many people consider the question, “What is a press release?” they imagine it to be a relatively lengthy document. On the contrary, writing a press release doesn’t have to require a lengthy essay. It should be just long enough to convey all of the critical information your clients need to know. Limiting yourself to one page (or two at the absolute most) is beneficial for a good press release.
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Headlines Draw in Readers
The first thing that most readers and audiences will see is oftentimes your headline. You have only a very small window to convey to your audience that there is worthwhile information within your article. Your headline must capture their attention, answering the question, “What is a press release about?”
Writing press releases can start or finish with drafting your headline – whichever way is easiest for you. You want to keep it relatively short. Experts recommend limiting headlines on a good press release to around 67 characters, as this is often the number of characters that a search engine will display. In order to do this, the title will frequently fall between 2 and 22 words.
Consider presenting the information in a very straightforward but powerful manner. You don’t need any catchy wordplay or semantics when it comes to creating a press release title. Simply conveying the appropriate information can be all you really need to do in order to draw attention to your writing.
There are headline analyzers abundantly available online to help you tweak and refine titles when you’re busy writing press releases. Consider typing in drafts and revisions of your titles into these headline analyzers to see how effective they are or how they could be improved:
- Blog Post Headline Analyzer: While this may be designed for blog posts, it also works beautifully for writing a good press release title. This headline analyzer will take any generic headline and help you consider the word choice, length, and title formatting. It produces a numerical score to indicate whether your title is good or needs improvement.
- Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer: This tool adds more specificity to your headline development, allowing you to select which topic or field your headline would be categorized into. Creating a press release title through this analyzer will help you to more deeply consider the emotional implication of your word choice.
Add Company Information
What are press releases if they don’t convey important details about your company’s information? Writing press releases is a great way to generate free (or potentially paid) publicity for your company through written articles and advertisements in new outlets. A good press release will include vital information regarding your company.
First of all, if your company has a logo, it should be included at the top of your press release on the letterhead. This works to increase brand recognition, which should be the goal of any good press release. If your logo incorporates contact information or your website URL, this is ideal, but it isn’t necessary to alter your logo just for the sake of creating a press release.
Your contact information should be included somewhere in the press release. You are writing press releases in hopes that the media will inquire and potentially write more articles about your business. If they cannot contact you, it makes it difficult for them to want to pursue you and help generate a buzz about your business or product.
Additionally, you should be incorporating links into a good press release in order to bring more people into your specific website or research. If this is appropriate for you, you can add further marketing content or promotional information on the landing page for these links. It makes it convenient for readers and media alike – already intrigued by the information you have shared – to uncover more details about your business. Links could move outward to:
- Social media pages (including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or whatever applies for your company and brand)
- Your website home page
- The retail section of your website
- Valuable links that contain research that applies to your brand
What is a press release must-have? Another great tip for writing press releases is to include a meaningful quote directly from someone within the company. When creating a press release with this strategy, it helps you to personalize your information and make it feel more accessible. Make sure that the quote conveys real, valuable information that furthers the message you are including while writing press releases.
Popular Article: Best Paid & Free Press Release Distribution Sites
Search Engine Optimization
In the content of your press release, you should keep your most important topics in the forefront of your mind. These important keywords are critical for you to incorporate into the body and headline of your press release. A good press release allows other people to find it easily on search engines.
Search engine optimization doesn’t have to be incredibly difficult. You can even utilize free services to help you determine keywords that are popular within your field that apply to the news you need to release. Consider using this service from Google AdWords to assist you.
Each keyword that you select for search engine optimization should be incorporated into the content a minimum of three times. The most important keywords should also be a major factor in writing your headline, as this is the first thing that search engines will scan when consumers are looking for information or products and services similar to your own.
If a press release is to be kept to one page or so, you should have room for approximately 300 to 500 words, giving you plenty of wiggle room to incorporate more than one keyword that should be search engine optimized. Steer clear of shortening keywords to save word count, and focus on writing press releases that use the keywords exactly as they are in order to make the most of your content and press release.
How to Release a Press Release
What are press releases good for if you don’t have a specific goal in mind? A good press release should be written to specific companies or reporters with an end goal in mind. It should answer basic questions (who, what, when, where, why, and how) about a specific event, product or service that your company is offering or preparing to offer to clients. Learning how to make a press release effective is a critical learning point in writing press releases.
You will be sending your releases out to other outlets, so consider who your audience will be. This may mean writing press releases a bit differently for each reporter or outlet that you intend to send your company release to. Your press release should generate information that would be valuable for a reporter to share with his or her particular audience, so write with that in mind.
If you are still figuring out what to do with your finished piece, you may also consider press release distribution sites. These sites and companies have experience in taking finished press releases and distributing them to various news outlets, media outlets, reports, editors, search engines, and syndicators to help generate a buzz about your business.
Source: PR Newswire
If it wasn’t too long ago that you were asking yourself, “What is a press release?” it may be worth considering one of these companies. For inexperienced individuals who have little history of how to release a press release or lack contacts within the industry, paying for this service may be incredibly beneficial to you. There are many companies that can complete this service for you. Below is a short list you may want to consider as a starting point for how to release a press release:
These companies are a mixture of both paid distribution services and free distribution services. You may want to examine the free options first and then determine if an upgraded option would work better or gain more visibility for your company.
This could also depend on your marketing budget for which upgraded options will work best for you.
Conclusion: What Is a Press Release Good for?
What is a press release good for? They have the potential to generate free publicity or even minimally paid-for publicity for your company, your brand or the product you’re hoping to sell.
Writing press releases well is an invaluable asset to your company in terms of the benefits that they present in a company press release or a news press release.
Once you understand how to make a press release effectively, you can issue them on a regular basis as the need arises. Be sure to pay careful attention to the content, as a good press release will answer all of a customer’s or reporter’s basic questions and detail specific information regarding the next steps they can take to be more involved or make a purchase.
A good press release can be an instrumental part of growing your brand and boosting business – if you know how to make a press release work for you. Follow these tips and tricks for creating a press release to see how your business can benefit from a good press release this year.
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