A press release is a certified declaration or information written or recorded by an organization that should go to the news media and beyond. It can also be defined as a communication that helps announce a story to the public and is deliberately sent to journalists or media people with the name of making them publish the news provided. The press release is also known as a press report, newscast, or broadcasting release. They are carved by organizations that include businesses or charities or from political aspirants and celebrities. A press release is said to be the most versatile piece of writing in communication. A press release is very important and helps safeguard coverage.
Press releases are mostly written by officers working in public relations offices, with the name of getting their client’s message to the people and also help protect their reputation. Press releases are also used to promote a product or create awareness about a certain issue or a trend. A press release may take up to half a page or about 130 words since they are shorter than other news stories. They also contain an embargo it restricts the press release from being published before or after a specified date and time. For example, a politician may desire to send out a press release with the speech that they intend to make so that it can be published in the newspapers so they can make a report first before he or she makes the speech.
Here are numerous diverse motives for issuing a press release; it might be that the customer is releasing a new-fangled merchandise, has won an award, raised a new round of funding, the list continues…
Press Release Pre Writing Tips
Before beginning your press release, here are some of the tips you might use to make your press professional;
- Here are some of the things you should make sure to do
- Have a strong Go straight to the point and be enduring since you have a short time to ensure you grab the reader’s attention.
- Write professionally to avoid errors and silly mistakes. Ensure to proofread and avoid any slang and glitches.
- Make use of relevant quotes. If the business or industry you are writing about has a quote that can help illustrate or clearly define what you want to talk about, ensure to use the quote.
- Ensuring to provide the solution towards solving it is almost certain that every cell starts with the problem, and they always have to be a solution provided to solve it. Also, ensure not to do the salesperson’s job since this information will be in the news.
- Make the press release punchy. Using 25-word sentences or fewer words for this will help make it punchy.
- Keep it as tight as possible. Use a few paragraphs to get your points to the target, and avoid lengthy and waffle explanations. Include all the key information in the first paragraph to make it easy to understand the entire context just by reading it.
Here are some of the things to avoid
- Make sure not to offer opinions; be sure to avoid any fluff. Ensure it is based on real facts.
- Please avoid using the first-person narration. Could you avoid using the me or us outside quote? Always use the third person.
- Don’t use words like “you” to avoid addressing the customer directly.
Elements Of A Press Release
A press release comprises six elements, including dateline, introduction, headline, body, and other components.
- The headline or title
The headline of a press release helps summarize what the whole article is all about. The headline is the most important part of the press release since it is the first thing every reader sees. You should ensure that the headline is engaging and concise. The headline should be very effective to help grab the reader’s intention and increase the reader’s urge to keep reading. Here are some of the things you should avoid doing in the headline
- Ensure not to use closing punctuations
- Avoid exclamation marks.
- Always ensure all adverbs, adjectives, verbs, nouns and prepositions which are longer than four letters or longer start with a capital letter.
- It should be engaging and well written.
- Include some of the keywords from the body of your press release.
In this part, provide a summary of all the key points to answer the 5W’s questions; Where, why, when, what, and who. It will help readers easily grasp the general idea of the whole press release in two to three sentences.
- The location and date line
As the name suggests in this part, you should ensure to indicate the location and date of the announcement. It should be written and separated from the first sentence buy end dash and spaces in the body’s first line. The ditch line plays an important role in ensuring that the journalist knows that the information in the press release was currently authored.
- The body
It is the most important part of a press release. In the body, any important information and announcement are effectively provided in detail. The body might contain quotes that are involved directly in the news. Quotes help human touch, and it’s important to the business.
The body is made up of a couple or more paragraphs. The body should follow the pyramid structure. Starting with the most relevant information and then the essential one.
- The Boiler plate
The boilerplate is a paragraph that provides details, and a quick overview of the company being referred. It provides present reliable background data.
- The ending or closing
The ending marks the end of your submitted work. It is important to include an ending clause to avoid any extra information being mistakenly added during publishing.
Before reaching out to reporters, ensure enough research and provide all relevant information by the specified time of release. The research is to be done sometime before the release date.
Use a compelling title.
The title should be touchy and attention-grabbing since it gives the first impression of the whole announcement. The title should be short and compelling. This part determines if the reporter or reader will continue reading or leave it. If the title is interesting, the reporter will be urged to keep reading since the headline reflects the report’s headline.
One should keep in mind that there are many press releases that the reporters read each day. Keeping the lead paragraph informative and ensuring easy flow will help the reporter understand the whole article. As said above, always make sure to answer the 5w’s questions. All core information is to be provided in the lead paragraph, and any other supporting information in the other parts of the press release.
Using supportive quotes
Since it is based on genuine facts use of supportive quotes will help create a human element and ease communication. These quotes can help add credibility and validation to the product to be highlighted and the whole announcement. Always confirm with the client if there are any quotes they would like to be used.
Use of a clear action call
It is most important to ensure you end the press release with a call of action if it is access to your contact info, signup sheet or even your website. You should always avoid leaving the reader digging to look for additional information. For example, on an occasion when attention spans are short, provide it to them with just a button click.
You might also consider including a photo. The photo helps display the story in just one picture, as in most stories in the news with a simple caption. It is most compelling and a great way to convey the information.
When choosing the pictures, ensure to think big and avoid portrait pictures. Also, avoid using images with flashy logos since they look bad in the background. In a case where you should use a black and white picture, ensure to check on the tones.
How To Finish a Press Release?
It is important to have a conclusion signal at the end in bold. Provide information about how people can reach you, “please contact,” and give details of your handles or a definite person. So that journalists can easily reach you consider providing your phone number.
If required, you can also consider providing more information in the ‘notes to editors’ section. Also, ensure to number these points to make your press release as smart as possible.
How To Send The Press Release?
Generally, ensure you use email to send your press release to make the subject line more attention-clinching. Ensure it is pasted rather than sent as an attachment to avoid your email from being flagged as spam. Since journalists end up receiving lots of emails, ensure you do a follow-up using phone calls to be sure they have seen your email.