How to write a great press release

12 Jan 2022

Digital PR

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What is a press release?

A press release is a brief yet captivating summary of a particular news story, with the intention of capturing the attention of a journalist. If you do manage to stand out amongst the masses and your work lands that top spot in an online newspaper or magazine, you will, in turn, gain immediate exposure and SEO benefits with very little cost.

With everything to play for, you need to make sure that you’re absolutely nailing that press release, crafting something that’s guaranteed to blow a journalist’s socks off and make them forget about every other email they received that morning. That’s why we’ve put together a list of our tried and tested methods, so make notes.

Appeal to your target audience

To write a great press release, always make sure that you’re appealing to your target audience. It’s easy to fall into the trap of producing a piece of content that you personally would want to read, but that may differ to the opinions of your readers and the journalist. Think carefully about the angle you take, discovering a topic they would actually care about. This will vary depending on where the press release will (hopefully) be published and the demographic that the newspaper or magazine appeals to. When it comes to choosing a story to go after, question whether it’s relevant to your business, or are you reaching a bit too far? Desperation doesn’t deliver, so if the latter is true, you may want to go back to the drawing board. 

Grabbing headline

The headline will be the first part of your press release that a journalist lays their eyes on, so it’s got to be a good’un. Think short and sweet as opposed to a lengthy ramble. It should allow them to understand exactly what your news story is about in a matter of seconds, without having to dive further into the article to uncover the facts. Failing at the first hurdle isn’t going to get your press release published, so decide on a title that will practically leap out of their emails and drag them in by the collar. 

Structuring your press release

Any great press release is written in a structured way, so that a journalist will know exactly where to look when pulling out relevant bits of information. You should always begin by writing ‘for immediate release’ at the top (if this is the case) to indicate when the piece would need to be published.

Secondly, writing your introduction is (after a grabbing title) one of the most important factors to consider when writing a press release. Alongside being completely enthralling and leaving the reader on tenterhooks, waiting for the next paragraph, ensure that you’re getting the 5 w’s in there; who, what, where, when and why. No one wants to spend ages trawling through a press release, so prevent confusion by clearly defining each. 

Any piece of content marketing should be trustworthy and reliable, so make sure to cite your sources, quotes and data in your press release to prove your credibility to a journalist. If you can show a unique take on things, or maybe you’re releasing some brand new data to back up a news story, then you’ll be much more likely to catch their eye. 

Finally, after you’ve ensured that all of the relevant details are in there, don’t forget to write your contact information at the bottom. 

Don’t over-complicate it

Being a good writer is vital for putting your press release together, but without getting your tone of voice right, you’re unlikely to maintain a journalist’s interest. This links in with our previous point, being that you have to truly understand your audience before letting your fingers do the talking. Some may love puns or a tongue-in-cheek style of writing, but others could absolutely hate this. The same ‘rules’ apply when producing any form of content, so prove that you’ve done your research by adhering to a journalist’s desired style (one which will suit their readers perfectly), being sure to avoid any unnecessary waffle in the process. 

Check it over

We repeat, check your work over before hitting that send button. Be confident that everything makes grammatical sense and have a fresh pair of eyes take a look to see if it reels them in. If they’re just as enthusiastic as you are, you’re ready to take the plunge. After taking all of the above tips into consideration, we’re sure that you’ll be onto a winning press release. 

Looking for a hand with incorporating great press releases into your digital marketing strategy? Our team of experts are on hand to help. We’ll make sure that all bases are covered, from digital PR and content marketing to PPC and SEO, to guarantee that you’re getting attention for all the right reasons. Get in contact today! 

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