How to Write an Effective Press Release
A press release is a short, concise, news story written to promote something significant and specific. It is sent out to members of the media so they can spread the word about your product, service, or event if they deem it newsworthy. Also, you can use it to cost-effectively promote your company directly to your clientele by posting your news release on your website, social media, and blogs.
Now the question is, how do you write that perfect press release? The first thing to keep in mind is to try and write the press release in AP Style, with a dateline at the start. Next, you need that perfect, attention-grabbing headline. The headline is the most important part of the press release and if a journalist or media member isn’t enticed by reading the headline, they won’t read it. You have to appeal to them and make them care about the story. Good questions to ask are: “Is this important?” “Does this have news value?” “Why now?”
After attracting the reader with your captivating headline, the next step is to have a strong lede, a sentence summarizing the news you are trying to convey. A good lede sentence should be around 25 words and should have a clear and concise synopsis of the product, service, etc. you are promoting. Using the five W’s (who, what, when, where, why) is a good way to make sure to create a lede that is informative and will detail the purpose of the press release.
In the body of the press release, you can elaborate on the lede and support it with details that are relevant to your audience. A good length for a press release should be around 400 to 500 words or roughly the size of this article. One important tip is to think like a journalist when writing out the details, meaning to use pertinent information and to eliminate fluff. Everyone feels like they have the best product or service, and it’s easy to get sucked into straying away from the essential details of the story.
Quotes from a spokesperson within the company can be a great way to supplement your press release. It also increases the chance that a journalist will cover the story as they can easily pull the quotes from the story to use in their own reporting. Make sure the quote has a purpose within the story and also don’t go overboard with quotes. Two to three sentences will be enough to get a point across.
Lastly, be sure to provide a call to action, contact information, and a boilerplate. These are essential parts of the press release as they give instructions on how to get more information about your company. A good call to action should motivate the reader to visit your website, give you a call, visit your booth, etc. The boilerplate should appear on every press release you send out and should include information such as company name, what the company does and the services it provides, company mission statement, date of foundation, and the number of employed workers. Finally, be sure to add a contact phone number and email, in case someone has any questions about the press release they can get a hold of someone.
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