Most companies take Press Releases for granted and do away with releases in a half-hearted attempt to get them out of the way. At the same time, Press Release continues to be that traditional form of PR and communication that is still practiced far and wide in the world.
Most importantly, a Press Release is that content item in your communication that you cannot afford to take lightly.
It can drive results. Real ones. People begin to associate the quality of your products and services with the quality of the content you share with them. It is that important. You may never have noticed but writing a press release is a craft. A craft that can take your coverage either way.
What make a good press release? We all know the formatting, the grammar and spell checks that are required — but what really gets your release some attention — is the way you are going to tell your story.
You need to craft your business tale in a way that editors publish it. That’s one objective. The other objective is — to help journalists find a lead for a complete independent story through the information you share with them in your release.
What’s even better — sprinkle information in your press release to help them find multiple story leads about your company. That is what I call a good Press Release.
A Press Release that is followed up with media queries is a good sign. It means you piqued someone’s interest. It also means you are about to get more coverage than what you thought earlier.
Okay — so you have news to share and there is no other way to distribute your information but to issue a Press Release. Go right ahead but make sure you follow these steps to get your messages cracking.
Cover the 5 ws (what, where, who, when & why — not necessarily in that order)
Get to your main information right away.
Use company’s full name, avoid acronyms and abbreviations.
Embed statistics, numbers and hard facts
Include a testimonial from a top executive in your company (In case of a joint release, include statements from stakeholders)
Place the executive’s statement earlier in the Press Release ( newspapers generally go with word count, your statement might just suffer a ruthless edit if placed right at the end)
Use your executive’s statement to share numbers and insights that the journalist/editor would like to publish. In other words, more meat is more press.
Do not write long, elaborate sentences. Make them short and cut out all the extra words and sentences.
A press release should ideally be one page long and maximum one page and a half.
Include notes to the editor and contact information in a separate section
Break up your content in paragraphs.
Double check your numbers, names, designations and facts.
Spell check like your life depends on it.
Write for the common man. Use simple language. Replace your big words with simple ones.
Structure your press release to tell your company’s story.
Share on a company template for easy differentiation.
Check out this infographic on Press Release writing. Share with us about how your write your Press Releases and what steps you take before sending it out?