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How to Write a Well-Crafted Press Release that Boosts PR
Finding a great press release example on which to base your next news release is incredibly helpful, but it’ll only take you so far. Because your business has unique qualities, you’ll need to address them to keep the release from being dry as dust.
This article discusses the different types of press releases, why you need a good press release, and the writing process of a press release that will make your business shine.
What is a Press Release (PR)?
A PR or news release is a formal written statement delivered to the media to provide information, an announcement, or promote something.
Traditionally, a press release was sent to newspapers and other print publications. Nowadays, they are just as likely to be distributed online, through social media, and even by text message.
A PR should always be written in the third person and never sound like an advertisement. The goal is to communicate facts while maintaining a level of objectivity.
Types of Press Releases
Different types of press releases are available, each with its own purpose. Take a look at the different types of press releases and when you should use them.
Product Launch and Update
The most common press release type is the product launch. This happens when a business releases a new product or service to the public. For example, Apple might issue a press release whenever they launch a new iPhone.
Things to remember in product launch and update releases:
- Include images, videos, or infographics to help tell your story
- Make sure your product is newsworthy
- Consider adding quotes from customers or experts
Pro tip: If you’re announcing an update to an existing product, be sure to include information about what’s new and different.
Mergers and Acquisitions
A business announcement is generally used to notify the public about changes within a company. While a press release does not necessarily require an official organization name, it should indicate who is responsible for the message.
Include details about the company being acquired or merged into another entity, including contact information and relevant financial data. For major announcements, such as mergers or acquisitions, state the date and place where the news was announced.
If you partner with a non-profit or another business, this could be an event to be reported on. Press releases that announce collaborations can be a great marketing tool for both organizations.
If you want a successful execution of the press release, make sure to:
- Include quotes from both parties
- State the benefits of the partnership
- Outline what each organization is bringing to the table
- Be sure to include contact information for both organizations.
Pro tip: If the partnership is of limited duration, such as for a specific project, mention that in the press release.
Press releases for events can provide journalists with something relevant and timely to release. They also serve as an excellent opportunity to advertise your event and attract more people to attend.
- Include all the essential details, such as date, time, and location
- State why the event is newsworthy
- Include a quote from the organizer or another relevant individual
Pro tip: If your event is open to the public, include ticket information.
Whether you opened up a new branch, relocated, or are opening for the first time, it’s best to announce the details with a grand opening PR.
Here you can announce:
- the grand opening’s location and date,
- the people involved,
- how it’s going to be celebrated, and
- the reason for the move (if applicable).
Pro tip: If you’re unsure where to start, take a look at some grand opening press release examples.
Press releases are an ideal tool for announcing changes to your brand. They are short, and simple, and can include links to any supporting information (e.g., logos, brand colors, and typography). While they’re not nearly as expensive as advertising campaigns, they provide a great return on investment.
When writing a PR for your rebrand, be sure to:
- Include the old and new logos
- Use a quotation from the CEO or another relevant individual
- State the reasons for the rebranding
- If applicable, mention any awards or recognitions the company has received
Pro tip: To take things a step further, consider planning a launch event. This will allow you to show off your new brand and generate excitement.
In larger organizations, Executive promotions, as well as new employees, are regarded as important news. Companies are constantly recruiting and changing leadership roles.
Making announcements about the changes to crucial positions can help the stakeholders know what’s happening and help the candidate get started in their new position within the business.
Pro tip: If it’s more than one change in executive-level staff, try to include all of the names and positions in the first paragraph. If it’s not necessary, consider including a headshot, a short bio for each executive, and a personal quote from the story’s highlight.
Awards and Achievements
In the case of business success, it’s okay to be proud. Press announcements about awards and achievements can help to establish your business as a reputable authority within your industry.
The press release contains details about the company, why they were awarded the award, information on how the prize was awarded, and details on the ceremony (if appropriate).
Pro tip: Include images or videos of the award ceremony and headshots of any executives who received the award or prize on behalf of the organization.
How to Structure a Press Release?
Now that you know what types of press releases exist and when to write one let’s get into what should be included in a press release.
Here’s a basic template you can use:
1. The Headline
Since media outlets often pick up stories based on the headline alone, make sure yours is interesting and to the point.
You’ll need a killer headline that’s no more than one or two sentences. Remember to K-I-S-S (Keep It Short and Sweet) while including all the necessary information.
2. Date of publication
Make sure to include the publication date near the page’s top. If you have an upcoming event, include the date of the event as well. Most press releases simply put “for immediate release” in the date of publication field.
3. Contact information
Include your company name, email address, and phone number at the top so media outlets can easily get in touch with you.
You can also include the name, position, and contact information of any other relevant individuals, such as a company spokesperson.
The summary should be a brief overview of the press release. Include all the pertinent information, such as the event’s date, time, location, and reason.
If you’re announcing something like a new product, include a brief description of what it is and how it works.
5. Intro Paragraph
The first paragraph is the most essential part of the press release. You need to grab the reader’s attention and give them a reason to keep reading in one or two sentences.
Think of this as your elevator pitch – you have limited time to make a good impression, so make it count!
6. Detail Paragraphs
The body of the press release should provide more information about the topic. Include all the relevant details, such as who, what, when, where, and why.
If you’re announcing a new product, you must include information about its features and benefits. When announcing an event, including information about the speakers or performers.
The last paragraph should be a brief overview of your company. Include information about your history, mission, and any relevant awards or achievements.
You may also include your website link so the reader can learn more about your business.
It consists of 2-3 sentences about your company or product.
Traditionally, three-pound signs are included at the end of the press release to indicate the end of the document. This is not strictly necessary. Nowadays, most people simply include a link to their website at the end of the press release.
Why Conduct a Press Release?
Depending on the situation, there are many reasons why you might want to write and distribute a press release.
Perhaps the most common reason for writing a press release is to generate media coverage. If you have an upcoming event or something newsworthy that you want the public to know about, a press release can help to spread the word. This type of planning is essential for any business that wants to generate interest and awareness.
Getting attention to your brand is essential for any business that wants to be successful. A press release can help you to get your business name out there and in front of potential customers. If you’re releasing a fresh product or launching a new service, a PR can be a great way to generate buzz and interest.
If your business is facing a crisis, such as a recall or a lawsuit, a press release can help to manage the situation. By getting ahead of the story and providing accurate information to the media, you can help to control the narrative and protect your business’s reputation.
A perfectly executed PR can get you a lot of free publicity. While many ads, print and electronic, can charge thousands for one advertisement, a well-done press release can get you featured front and center for almost no cost. Remember that a PR is worth the effort that you put into it.
Let’s Start Writing!
Now that we’ve covered what a PR is and the reasons to write one, let’s get into the writing process and some tips, like formatting and distributing.
PR templates expedite the writing process. The more focused your PR writing is, the better your chance of getting picked up by a high-profile publisher site or media outlet. To start, the following is a blueprint that works for us.
1. Compose a Headline
That’s clear and to the point. The headline should give a quick summary of what the press release is about. It should be easy to read and understand without being overly sales or promotional.
The headline should distill the central purpose of the press release in 15 words or less. Headlines serve as your elevator pitch to your readers; the goal is to get them to read more.
It’s essential to pay attention to the PR formatting guidelines of the newswire. If they prefer formatted uploads, use boldface, heading 1, or Heading 2 to call attention.
The headline should be placed prominently at the top of the page, so it’s one of the first things that a reporter or editor sees. Remember that some news outlets will rewrite your headline for clarity and space, so make sure it can stand independently without the rest of the release.
It’s also worth noting that the headline often appears in search results, so make sure it’s keyword rich and accurately describes what’s in the release.
2. Write Your Lede
Again, many PR writers find it easier to write the release first before slapping a headline on it. If that’s your writing style, you may use a placeholder heading on top of the body until you have a firm grip on it all.
Your Lede (yes, you read it correctly) will answer WH questions:
An Example: Pixar (who) will host a holiday giveaway (what) on Dec. 20th (when) on FB and IG (where) to give some families the cruise of a lifetime (why). One lucky household will join director (name) for a private luxury tour of the new addition to the Ghibli theme park (how).
Now, hold your horses. This one’s a fictional release, but you can see how it ticks all the boxes, right? That’s how you should craft your Lede as well!
Your Lede is typically one sentence and should never exceed 25 words. You want to pull your readers in without giving too much away.
If you have a lot of essential information to include, save it for later in the release or leave it out altogether. If it can’t be conveyed succinctly in one sentence, it probably doesn’t need to be there.
Remember that your Lede will most likely get cut off in search results, so ensure the important stuff is up front.
3. Start the PR Body
After your Lede is crafted, it’s time to dig deeper into the details. In this section, you’ll want to use the inverted pyramid style of writing. That means putting the most critical information first, followed by the less important details later.
The body can be anywhere from two to five paragraphs, each section covering a different angle of your story. Again, you want to keep it focused and not try to cram too much in. Every sentence should serve a purpose and advance the story.
You’ll also want to include quotes from people involved in the project and relevant data and statistics. This helps add context and support to your story.
And if you have any additional information that didn’t quite fit in the body, put it in a boilerplate at the end. This can be a brief (one or two paragraphs) overview of your company and what you do.
4. Include Quotes
As we mentioned, quotes can be a great way to add value to your press release. They can provide insight and context and help tell the story from different angles.
When picking quotes, look for people directly involved in the project or with first-hand knowledge of it. Avoid using marketing speech or jargon that would require explanation. You want the quotes to be understood by everyone.
It’s also important to ensure the quote adds something new to the story. If it’s just repeating what’s already been said, it’s not doing its job. When writing quotes, keep them brief and to the point.
5. Give the Audience Something to Do
PRs are meant to be read by the media and the general public. But that’s not all you want them to do. You also want your audience to take some sort of action.
It could be visiting your website, signing up for your newsletter, attending an event, or anything else that furthers your goals. Whatever it is, keep it clear and concise. You don’t want people to be confused about what you want them to do.
A call-to-action (CTA) can be as simple as: “For more information, visit www.example.com.”
6. Use Headings and Subs as Necessary
If your PR is longer than a page, you’ll want to include headings and subheadings to break up the blocks of text and enhance readability. It’ll also make it easier for readers to find the information they’re looking for.
When it comes to headings, use them sparingly. You don’t want to overuse them and end up with a wall of text. A good practice is to use them only when you start a new section.
7. Add Contact Information
Include your complete contact details at the end of your press release. This should include your name, title, company name, website, phone number, email, and social media handles.
Make it easier for your readers to get in touch with you if they have any questions or want more information.
If you have multiple people who can be contacted, include all their information. But if you’re the only point of contact, there’s no need for an email address.
Also, include a link to your company’s logo or headshot if the media wants to use them. If you do, ensure they’re high-quality and in the correct format.
8. Inform Your Readers Who You Are and What You Do
If you send a press release to the media, they will want to know who you are and what you do. They won’t have time to research your company, so it’s up to you to give them the information they need.
This is where the boilerplate comes in. A boilerplate is a brief (one or two paragraphs) overview of your company. It should include your mission statement, what you do, and any relevant information that would interest the media.
The goal is to educate the reader and understand who you are and what you do to increase the likelihood of them wanting to cover your story.
9. Denote the End
After including all the necessary information, it’s time to denote the end of the press release. This is usually done with a “-30-” or “####”. This lets the reader know they’ve reached the end of the document.
10. Apply to Letterhead Template
If you want to give your press release an extra touch of professionalism, you can apply it to your company’s letterhead. This is optional, but it can make a difference.
To do this, simply open up your word processor and create a new document. Next, locate the Insert tab and click on “Header”. From there, you can choose a pre-made header or create your own.
Once you’ve got the header set up, you can copy and paste your press release into the document. If everything looks good, you can save it as a PDF and send it out.
11. Include Multiple Formats
When you send out your press release, include it in multiple formats. This includes PDF, Word, and plain text.
This is because some people prefer one format over the other. So, by including all three, you’re giving them the option to choose which they prefer.
12. Keep a Press Release Example on Hand
Your PR is ready to go. Once you get traction, you may now keep as many personal contacts as you can. Sending future PRs via personal email is highly effective at getting published.
But don’t stop sending it to distribution services. And while you’re at it, put your release on all your social networks. You’ll want to tweak it based on the formatting of the platform.
For example, you may want to include a link to your blog with a brief tease on Facebook or an image of the entire letterheaded release on Twitter. Do what makes sense.
Best Press Release Examples to Emulate
This is not an exhaustive list. But to see what a quality press release looks like, here are some examples to get you started.
Sample Press Release:
Dropbox x Salesforce
Sample Press Release:
Sample Press Release:
Sample Press Release:
Sample Press Release:
Sample Press Release:
Who Writes Press Releases?
You may choose to outsource the entire process to a professional agency if you have a private relation budget. But if you want to keep things in-house, it’s best to assign the task to someone on your marketing team.
BrandLume can help with both. We are a full-service agency that offers press release writing and distribution services. But we also provide DIY resources, like this guide. So, if you want to write your own press release, we can help you with that too.
Either way, we’re here to help you get the most out of your press release.
We hope the press release example texts presented here will give you proper insight into how to use, craft, format, and distribute these vital communication pieces to the public. For further help or to put an experienced team to work for your publicity needs, contact BrandLume today.