If your company has a public announcement to make, then a press release is the formal way of doing it. Press releases are official documents that are sent to media channels, journalists, newspapers, magazines and all those who act as a medium of communication between you and your target audience.
A press release is more of a statement released by the company itself for marketing as well as communication purposes. These are done in case a company is launching a new product or service, announcing a joint venture, making a declaration or simply doing some crisis management.
If you notice, companies constantly make efforts to be fresh in the minds of the public. And for all the good reasons, press releases are a profound way to do so.
You see, these releases are sent to media outlets that are already known as credible sources of information.
Press releases give these companies a chance to promote the brand while saving their reputation. This is what makes press releases so important, even today when social media is a go-to tool for everyone.
So, keep scrolling!
In this blog, you will learn all about writing effective press releases.
Why Are Press Releases Still Relevant?
If you have your own business, you must be aware of the term ‘return on investment’ or ROI. It simply means how much profit has been earned on a certain investment. In this case, brand awareness is the revenue a company is looking for.
Press releases are still relevant for these basic reasons.
- Cost-effective: A company can promote itself in many ways. It can either publish an advertorial or use an advertisement's help, but these methods are costly. Press releases, on the other hand, are comparatively economical and come free of cost. You can share it directly with the news outlets or through your social media handles.
- Informative: An advertisement might leave you at a cliffhanger sounding a little preachy, but the basic purpose of a press release is to inform the public about an activity or initiative with the help of facts. For example, if you are starting a new company, the press release will underline the reason, the intention and the purpose.
Since a press release is such an important document, it must be written carefully.
Who Writes It?
Generally, there are only two ways of doing it; either do it yourself or hire an expert.
How do companies do it? They generally:
- Give it to in-house PR professionals: Press releases are written by PR or public relations professionals. Almost all big companies have an in-house PR wing that takes care of all the external communication, including press releases.
- Outsource: It means hiring experts on a contract basis to write press releases. Small companies resort to this method to save time and money. Instead of building an in-house PR team and hiring people, they give their PR operations to a separate agency like MyTasker. Another option is to give it to freelance PR professionals.
Now, let’s take a look at the events where a company might need to write a press release.
Types Of Press Releases
Some of the most common events where a company might be required to write and send a press release are:
New products are launched almost every day by various companies. Amidst that, how would you make sure that your product gets the due attention and limelight?
It can be done by sending a press release announcing the same. Such a press release will contain all the details about the product, its features and the actual date when the sale will begin.
There are some general announcements that a company has to make on a daily basis. Be it a new initiative or an event, or you might have been recognised through an award, you need to keep the public informed.
A press release can be a good way of doing it. It will contain all the information related to that particular initiative or event.
These things don't happen regularly, but when they do, you must be sure to grab some eyeballs.
Major announcements may include entering a joint venture or a new product and service market. You might be rebranding your product or starting a new business, or getting into a new sector. All these are major announcements.
New Team Announcements:
Sometimes companies do reshuffle their staff members. New CEOs, CFOs or other CXOs are appointed. These also must be announced publicly, and a press release can be a way to do it.
Now, this is the trickiest one. Competition among companies is fierce and cutthroat. Businesses do try to put each other down. And sometimes, companies make mistakes which can hurt your company's reputation.
This is where press releases come into the picture. It gives you a platform to voice your own opinion and make your own statements.
If you know the structure of a press release, you can also become an expert in writing press releases.
Structure Of a Press Release
A press release looks and feels like a news report. That's the purpose of it. Sometimes, press releases are published as it is, so it's very important to adhere to a basic structure.
All press releases must contain 5Ws and 1H; What, When, Where, Who, Why and How. These are the fundamental questions that a news report or your press release must answer.
A press release can be divided into a number of parts. Let's understand them in the order of their placement.
It’s the first thing that is visible on your press release document. It is the identity of your brand and proves the authenticity of your press release. It can be placed on the top right, left side or centre of your document.
This is the most important part of your press release. The headline of a press release should sound like the headline of a news report. A headline must contain the most important information or simply the information for which the press release is being written.
It should be short and crisp. It should be to the point and avoid any excess or unnecessary information. You can provide two to three options for a headline. This will help the news outlets choose whichever is most suitable for them.
It tells your readers when and where a particular event took place. It will contain the date and place of the event.
It’s advisable to add a few pointers before you begin with the body of the report. Pointers are generally the summary of your report divided in four to five points which contain the most important information you want to share.
It can be done in the absence of sub-headlines.
Now, it is the actual press release. The body of a press release is a combination of paragraphs answering all the necessary questions. It can be divided into three parts.
- Opening paragraph: The opening paragraph must contain the peg of the story. It should break the news and introduce the newsworthy item. The opening paragraph must answer questions like what, where, when and who. It is basically the actual announcement itself.
- Body paragraphs: The body paragraphs consist of three to four paragraphs where you elaborate on the information provided in the opening paragraph. They answer questions like why and how. It is where you can insert some data and the most important quotes from the relevant people.
- Conclusion: It is the ending paragraph. Now, for example, if you are conducting research and have found something ground-breaking, it can talk about what are some of the steps you are taking to tackle the situation.
It serves as a disclaimer. The paragraph just below the ending paragraph should contain general details of your company. Details like when was your company established and what you actually deal with, can be provided in this paragraph. To differentiate it from the body, you can use the italics font to write company details.
This is an indispensable part of your press release. The journalists or media outlets should know who has written the press release. The contact details must contain the details of the person who has written the press release and sent it to them. This will help them coordinate with you in case of any doubt.
If you have launched a product or service or launched a new initiative, you must add some relevant photos of the event. These photos can be a part of your press release or can be attached to the email you send along with the press release.
You can refer to the template below to understand the structure of the press release in a better way.
Writing an effective press release is easier than you think. You just need to keep some points in mind.
Write An Effective Press Release
If you keep these basic points in mind while writing a press release, you will be amazed to see the output.
- Know the purpose of your press release: You must know your audience and the purpose of your press release. Knowing the purpose will help you understand what’s so newsworthy about your company and what information you are actually willing to share. Know the newsworthy point and start with it.
- Use data and quotes: You must use some data to reiterate the point that you are trying to make. Remember that your purpose is to inform and not overwhelm, so the quotes must be relevant and short. Adding quotes or statements from the appropriate people will also make your press release worthy of publishing.
- Avoid writing long copies: A news publication will not spare a lot of space for your press release to be published. The press release should be short and to the point. Only necessary things should be added. You can avoid any irrelevant information that can jeopardise the purpose of your press release.
- Know who to send it to: If it’s a new car launch, send it to an automobile journalist. If it’s a new medicine or FDA approval, send it to a health reporter. You should know who covers what and send it only to the relevant people.
Having said that, let’s look at some of the common mistakes you must avoid while writing a press release.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
First and foremost, you should treat your press release as a report, not an advertorial.
Some people make common mistakes, like writing press releases in the first person. Using pronouns like we, ours, and us is a huge mistake. The press release must be written in the third person and subtly. There should be no use of informal language.
Another mistake people make is making the headlines too catchy or flowery. Headlines should match the actual news item. It might irritate the reader if it is different from the news item.
Summary: This Is How You Can Write an Effective Press Release
Having an announcement to make and wanting the media to talk about it, a press release can be a way to do it effectively and efficiently. Press releases are published as news reports and inform the public about the new initiatives that you have taken.
Want some help with the same? Visit MyTasker for more details.