What Is A Press Release? (Plus How To Write One)

In a nutshell, a press release shares something newsworthy about your company. It is sent to members of the media. The idea is to get journalists interested in something going on in your company and encourage them to print your press release and maybe write a story about you.

News outlets publish press releases as a courtesy to their readers. Press releases typically cover information that is newsworthy in one of three ways: impact, immediacy, and recognition.

Impact, Immediacy, Recognition

Ask yourself if the information you want to share meets one of those three criteria. Is your announcement going to impact someone? Is it important news that people need to know? Or are you recognizing someone in your organization?

If you can answer “yes” to one of those three questions, your information may qualify for a press release. Some examples of information that would be used via a press release include:

  • The merger or acquisition of your company with another company
  • An announcement of a building/store opening or a location change for your business
  • Company involvement in a charitable event, such as hosting an event or donating a noteworthy amount of money
  • The release of a new product or service, or expansion of services and/or products
  • Announcements regarding senior management promotions or awards
  • New research and findings your company has discovered

When used correctly, a good press release can do wonders for your business. First off, press releases are a back-door form of advertising. It’s a way to get your name in the papers without directly purchasing advertising for a specific product or service.

Second, press releases can encourage journalists to write articles about the news your company is sharing in the press release. The backlinks included in these types of articles can do wonders for your company’s search engine rankings.

Third, sending press releases can help you form relationships with local and national journalists. These relationships can lead to open doors for future publications about your business on news sites and in newspapers.

As you can see, using press releases can be valuable as you work to help your business grow. Next, let’s talk about how to write a proper press release.

Related Article: 9 Marketing Tips For Small Businesses That Really Work

How To Write A Press Release

News editors and journalists expect press releases to be written in a specific format. Once you have that format down, writing press releases for your business will be easier.

You’ll get into a groove and be able to get one written and sent out quite quickly. Here are some tips on how to write a press release.

The Header

The header for any press release is simple and can have the same format every time. You’ll want to start with a basic format such as:

  • Company name and contact information in the upper lefthand corner
  • Your company’s logo in the upper righthand corner
  • “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” or “PRESS RELEASE” centered below the company information

The Press Release Headline

Next, you’ll want to place your press release headline. Your press release headline should be engaging, direct, and have good use of action verbs. This is so the headline grabs the attention of the reader.

For example:

Starbucks Announces Quarterly Earnings Results

Samsung Introduces Galaxy Note 20

SEO Services, Inc. Donates $10,000 to Fight Hunger

Garnering the readers’ attention in a way that makes them eager to read the press release is vitally important.

The press release’s lead paragraph should follow the headline.

Lead Paragraph

The lead paragraph always starts with the date in bolded letters. It’s then followed up by a sentence explaining the “5 W’s” of the event: who, what, when, where, and why. Here’s an example.

August 27, 2020: SEO Services, Inc. announced this afternoon that it would be donating $10,000 toward local hunger relief efforts. The company’s CEO , Grant Josephson, announced yesterday the reason behind the company’s action.

Second Paragraph

The second paragraph of your press release should contain supporting information and at least one quote.

“The SEO Services, Inc. team believes deeply in supporting the community it serves. Our sincere hope is that this donation will, in some small way, help our community work toward an end to hunger in the Phoenix area,“ Josephson said. Local food shelf organizations reported in July that hunger relief requests have more than doubled since April. This prompted Josephson and the staff at SEO Services, Inc. to take action.

Third Paragraph

A press release’s third paragraph should contain other supporting information that would be considered non-essential:

SEO Services, Inc. team managers, employees, and their families worked hard over a two-week period to raise money to support local food shelves. Events held included a company-wide picnic fundraiser, a 5k race, and other fundraising efforts. Working together to support Phoenix area customers and community members is a primary goal of SEO Services, Inc.

Finally, you want to end with an opportunity for a call-to-action, as well as your company’s contact information.

Call-To-Action

Here’s an example of a call-to-action you can use on a press release.

If you would like to learn more about SEO Services, Inc., its services, and how the company supports the community, visit their website at www.companywebsite.com

Here are some other tips you’ll want to keep in mind as you craft your press release.

  • Keep your press release information to a maximum of one page
  • Stick to factual information
  • Avoid “I, we, me, our” in press releases, except when quoting people

Finally, you’ll want to end your press release with the name of the press contact in your company. Include their email and phone number so that journalists can reach them if need be.

This is especially important in the case that a journalist wants to contact your press person to write an accompanying follow-up article for the press release.

Now that you know how to write your press release, let’s talk about where to share it once it’s written.

Where To Share A Press Release

Where do you share your press release once it’s crafted? There are a few places you can share your company’s press release.

Share With Local News Outlets

First, you’ll want to send your press release to all of the media contacts you know. Reach out to local newspapers, including smaller area newspapers. Reach out to local news channels to ask for publication on their websites.

Check on each publication’s website to find a press release contact person or email. As you go about compiling a list of media contacts, work to form relationships with those contacts if you can.

Take them out to lunch so you can meet in person. Send them other newsworthy information as you hear it. As you form relationships with local media, you increase the chances of journalists reaching out to you for quotes and other feedback.

The more you can get your name into local news publications, the better it is for your company.

Publish On Social Media

You can also share your press release on your company’s social media sites. Hopefully, your company’s social media sites already have a large following that includes clients, community members, and business owners, and team members from other companies.

Make your press release announcement shareable and encourage others to share on their own social media sites if it makes sense. This can be especially beneficial if your media release is announcing a new product or service.

Related Article: The Importance Of A Good Customer Relationship Management Process

Share On Your Company Website

Lastly, share your press release on your company’s website. Have a “Press Releases” Or “News and Events” section on your website for this purpose.

And consider sharing a press release on the main page of your company website when it first occurs. This is a good way to keep website visitors aware of new and exciting events within your company.

Conclusion

A press release is a great way to share important news about your company as it grows and changes. And using press releases to form relationships with local journalists can open important doors to help you get your foot in the door with media outlets more often.

If you’re not already doing so, use press releases as free advertising for your business.

What is a press release

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