Did you know the press release originated in 1906, as a way to spread the news about a railroad accident? Since then, the press release has taken a much more positive tone and developed into an invaluable marketing tool.
But in an age of 24-hour news and social media, how can you make yours stand out? That comes from writing it perfectly.
Read on as we give seven tips on creating the perfect press release.
1. Optimize the Headline
Consider how many emails you get in a single day. Now consider how many of them are relevant to your daily life or occupation and disregard the junk and spam ones. Of all the ones you have left, think about how many you actually read.
The result is that you end up with a very small percentage of emails read. Now imagine how many emails journalists get with press releases just like yours. Why would they decide to open the one you send?
The deciding factor is the headline, which needs to grab attention. It has to be short, snappy, and sum up the body of the article. Ideally, try to keep it to under six words.
After this, you can use the subheading to elaborate. Use exciting, dynamic language to attract people to the body of the email. Make sure to add a subheading that is italicized to make it easier to read.
2. Make Sure It Has Value
A press release benefits both the journalist and the publisher, or it should do. If your press release is of little value, then no one will read what the journalist puts out.
Thus, you need to make sure your press release is newsworthy, or it may not even get picked up by a journalist anyway.
Firstly, think about your target audience. Is it customers, potential customers, shareholders, or other business leaders?
Ask yourself if the news would be interesting and relevant to them. Once you have done this, check if anyone outside of your own company would be interested in the announcement.
If not, then the press release is not going to be of value. You could damage your reputation with journalists by sending releases that are not newsworthy, so wait until you have something of real value to send.
3. Perfect the First Paragraph
Taking the previous outlook on trying to grab attention as quickly as possible, one press release strategy is to assume that the intended audience will not read past the first paragraph.
This makes it imperative that you don’t bury the lead information in the larger body of text. All the main points and key information should be in the opening paragraph.
This could be who you are, what you do, the news you are sharing, and how people will benefit. After this, the second and third paragraphs can elaborate on this information.
4. Drop the Press Release Fluff
When copywriting, fluff is the term given to content that adds little value other than building the word count. When you write a press release, fluff needs to be eliminated as your writing needs to be succinct to hold the reader’s attention.
Long, descriptive words in a sentence are a prime example of fluff. You may think they are building excitement and helping a reader visualize, but they are distracting from the hard facts and necessary content.
Put anything you write into an online grammar checker. As well as editing the spellings, make sure you are eliminating hard-to-read sentences. Shorten them, rearrange them and take out words until it is easier and more enjoyable to read.
5. Add a Quote
Quotes are a great addition when you write a press release. On a purely practical level, they break up large blocks of text for readability purposes. This keeps people engaged in your release.
In addition, if chosen correctly they can add a lot of value. They work really well if you have a quote about your news from a third party, and have permission to quote them.
This adds an air of authenticity to your piece.
It should sound realistic, and definitely should not be made up. Try to keep it short and snappy, almost like a quick soundbite to add to your point.
This is an option to help you structure and build the perfect press release, including headings, the body, and the quote.
6. Include Contact Information
There are a number of reasons someone may want to contact you as a result of a press release. They may want extra information, or they may want to conduct an interview.
In any eventuality, you need to make it easy for them to reach you. A contact name, email, and phone number are the least you need to put on.
Do not forget to embed website addresses, so reporters can get information directly from your site.
Finally, if you have a large press or PR department you may want to include the contact details of someone who works for you to deal with queries.
7. End It Right
The correct way to end a press release is with three hashtag symbols. This lets the reader know the press release has concluded and shows you have researched how to do a release correctly.
Once you have sent your press release out, that should not be the end of it. Follow up with a few people you sent the release to.
Ask them if they managed to look at the release and if they want any extra information. Many press releases will go under the radar just because of busy schedules and workloads.
This is a small prompt, reminding people to double-check what you sent and note its value.
Edit and Edit Again
Before releasing the press release, edit it and edit again. This will trim down your release for readability, making it the perfect copy. Release it to your email list and watch it convert to leads and sales!
If you found this article helpful, we have many more marketing tips to assist you. From digital to traditional methods, we can help your business boom in the coming year!