A press release is a short document you send to media to distribute your brand story, product launch, or company announcement. A well-written press release can get you noticed and press coverage on your topic. A poorly written press release will get ignored.
Press releases are a very relevant part of your integrated marketing and communications strategy, and they are widely used today. Journalists continue to rely on press releases for content. But, on average journalists get anywhere from 50 to 100 press releases a day, so you need to make sure that yours stands out. Here are a few tips for writing a press release.
Tips for writing a press release
1. Choose a newsworthy story
If your topic isn’t newsworthy, then don’t even bother to write a press release. First off, who are you communicating to? Define your audience. Then, ask yourself why your audience will care about this story, and how it will be relevant to them.
Topics that are typically newsworthy for a press release include:
- Product launches
- A new executive hire
- Receiving an award
- Upcoming events
- Crisis management
- Announcing partnerships
2. Write a captivating headline and lead
Your headline and lead are the most important part of the release, as many journalists will stop reading after the first few lines. Your headline should include all the key points and why your audience would care. The lead, or first paragraph, needs to include the who, what, when, where and why of your story. Ideally, your headline should be 70 characters or less and the lead should only be a few sentences.
It’s incredibly difficult to capture your message accurately and concisely, while still grabbing the journalists’ attention. That’s why working with a PR pro can help craft a press release that gets you noticed.
3. Include quotes
Quotes are a critical part of any press release because journalists will often use them verbatim when developing a story. Quotes also add authority to your release when you quote someone knowledgeable. So, quotes should come from senior-level executives, industry experts, or customers or influencers.
4. Be clear on the call to action
The call to action, or CTA, is what you want people to do as a result of reading your story. It can be as simple as visiting your website or calling your company. Whatever it is, place your CTA both early on in the text and at the end, in case people stop reading. Simply adding a hyperlink is not a CTA, so make sure to be clear on what you want your readers to do.
5. Add a media contact
At the end of your press release, include a media contact including your name, email and phone number. That way, if the journalist has questions, they know exactly who to ask and how to reach out.
Work with the pros
In the end, writing a press release is difficult and requires experience to know how to stand out. Thus, it’s better to leave the writing to a professional company like a PR agency. You can still direct the exact vision and messaging in the release but partnering with a PR agency can help amplify your message. Contact us if you’re looking to distribute a press release in the Netherlands.