Despite what you may hear from some people, the Press Release is still an effective marketing and pr strategy tool in 2019. It just has to be written in the correct way, and it needs to be distributed properly.
There are many different types of press releases, but they all contain many of the same traits. The most important similarity between all press releases is that they need to be engaging and well written.
Here are some things to think about when putting together your latest press release:
Attention spans are short and if you can’t interest people immediately, they probably won’t read your content. This means that the headline needs to be interesting enough so the reader will be intrigued to read more.
Don’t wait to drop the big news, insert it into the press release headline and if you can use a number or a dollar amount, that’s even better. Journalists like numbers and data so put some thought into how you can represent something this way.
Impressive and recognizable names work well also, so don’t hesitate to name drop in your press release’s headline.
The First Sentence
If you grab their attention with the headline and they move on to the first sentence of the press release – good job! But your work isn’t done yet, you need to hit them with all of the information in that very important first sentence.
I recommend putting some major time into the wording of the opening line to try and make it as succinct as possible while also including everything. It can be a bit of an art form to write a great first sentence and sometimes a second opinion is just what you’ll need to make sure it reads well.
Pack It Full
Don’t publish a press release for every small announcement. Wait until there’s big news and pack it full with a few newsworthy items.
If they can read through and recognize a few tidbits that are worthy of writing about, the better chance you have of them taking the time to write about you or republish the release on their website.
Do the Work
Make sure your press release isn’t rushed and that you take the time to put some valuable information together. Rather than just talking about your company, try and include some industry data in a way that you can tie it back to your announcement.
By doing a little bit of work and including some sourced data, you are saving the journalist time and increasing the chances that they will write about you.
Editors, journalists, and writers are extremely busy and they receive a ton of email pitches. If you can help them out as an expert in the industry, it will better appeal to them and save them time.
If all goes well, the headline and opening lines will be enough of a hook to interest the reader. In the body, you will include more information, some valuable data, and quotes from respected people involved in the announcement.
By the end of the press release, the reader will need more information about the company so they can tie everything together in their head – and hopefully, in the story they may write.
If your press release is structured correctly, you should still have enough interesting information to finish strong with a paragraph that tells about the company’s complete history.
After that, make sure to include a contact name, email, and phone number so the reader can contact you using their chosen method of communication.
Make It Succinct
I’m not going to tell you to keep your press release to a specific length because if an announcement takes up a page and a half – and it’s information that needs to be included – then that’s how long it deserves to be.
But you should make sure your press release is not dragged out.
Keep it as succinct as you can by combing over every word to make sure it needs to be there. Save time and space where you can, and do not include quotes just because you think you need to. Quotes can either be the most interesting lines in the release or the most boring. Make sure they move the story along.
Get it in Front of the Right People
After you’ve written your release, have triple checked it yourself, and have others read through it, you will need to distribute it correctly.
This is another important aspect of the press release process and should warrant some major research. You might even want to look into what a press release distribution service can do for you.
At the very least, you will want to put together a hand-picked media list to reach out to.
Don’t Waste Your Time
Many people fail to gain exposure through the distribution of a press release simply because they do not put the time into doing it correctly. If you are going to create a release and send it with the purpose of gaining press, then do it correctly and don’t waste your time.
Do your research on keywords so the publishing of a press release can impact your website’s SEO and Google ranking. By using a free keyword research tool, you can quickly figure out what keywords to include that will positively impact you.
The press release is not dead; it has just changed. Follow these steps to create an effective press release in 2019 and go get yourself some press.
Did you enjoy these PR Tips? Looking for other great tips beyond an effective press release? Check out more of our PR 101 series where we break down the essentials for aspiring PR pros and those looking to refine their craft. To start, learn about PR media relations in our All-Inclusive Guide to Media Relations!