The press release is key to effective communication of information from a business. You’d be hard-pressed to find any business that doesn’t utilize press releases in some way.
Press releases are vital for advertising and marketing in all forms, no matter what your niche. The clear and efficient communication that a press release offers is key to reaching and engaging your target audience.
That said, they’re also difficult to master just right. If you’ve been trying to perfect your press releases, here’s a quick and easy guide on how to write the best press release.
Press Release Characteristics
There isn’t an exact formula to the perfect press release. While there are characteristics to keep in mind when you write a press release, know that there are many different purposes to keep in mind.
These are some of the most important characteristics of the perfect press release.
Accurate and Truthful
This is the most important section that you’ll read on the topic of press releases. When working on a press release, your primary goal is to communicate something to your audience.
That means that your audience is depending on you to be telling the truth. Whatever you’re communicating to your audience in your press release should be completely accurate and as truthful as you can be.
You’re only as good as your word. A press release being filled with inaccuracies will swiftly lead to an audience that doesn’t trust your product anymore.
Choose the Right Angle
With any writing, it’s important to consider what angle you want to come in from. Put simply, your angle is the tone and goal of your writing.
If you’re delivering grave news, you would likely not want to communicate this with a humorous tone. If your audience expects humor and wit, a dry and straightforward press release may come off as callous.
Your press release will always be made with your audience in mind. Make sure that you’re making it with the format that best fits your audience’s expectations.
A press release will most often take the form of a simple written word. That means that you’ll want to make sure that you have a format for the press release.
The format of a piece is more or less the shape that it takes. Consider what makes a piece easier to read for your audience.
You may choose to write in shorter sentences broken up into multiple small paragraphs. This can help a reader flow into the next sentence easier. Multiple headings to break up the release can also cut down on a piece feeling like a wall of text.
Make sure that your format fits the message you have to convey. Breaking up complicated issues into multiple headings and paragraphs is wonderful formatting. Taking a simple issue and stretching it through a wall of text to fill space will frustrate your audience if they even stay to read it.
You’re already a great source for your audience to go off of, but it never hurts to reinforce your authority. Information that you’re delivering must have come from somewhere, after all.
When necessary, establish authority in your press release by citing your sources. This also helps with transparency and provides your audience with exactly where you’re getting your information. That way, readers aren’t concerned that you’re simply saying whatever comes to mind.
One useful rule of thumb for effective writing is never to end a paragraph on a citation. Doing so can sometimes feel to a reader as if they’ve been given the information they could have found themselves. Cite the source and then explain to your audience why that’s important.
Have you ever noticed how much more engaging writing can feel when statistics are brought in? Doing so gives your audience a much clearer, more solidly communicated idea of the issue at hand.
This won’t always be relevant, of course – not every press release worthy statement has statistics attached. But when you’re able to, adding statistics is useful.
Say you’re discussing how much of your latest product you’ve sold. Adding the statistic of exactly how many you’ve sold can give your reader a “wow” moment. This goes doubly for if they’ve purchased said product.
There are a few strategies to keep in mind. For example, people prefer frequencies more than percentages. Six out of ten provides a more solid idea than sixty percent does to most readers, especially with visualization.
Once you’ve formatted your statistics properly, they’re a vital connection for your audience.
Correct Spelling and Syntax
You may feel this goes without saying, but it truly can’t be stressed enough. Before a press release comes anywhere near the public, ensure that it’s thoroughly proofread.
A press release should have zero grammatical mistakes whatsoever. Releasing a notice to the public that looks like it was written in a hurry tells them that you didn’t put much effort in.
Make sure that there are no spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, missing punctuation marks, or any other typos. That way, your audience doesn’t feel as if they’re reading something written hastily or poorly.
The final thing to consider is the form your press release takes. Don’t mix this up with formatting! By form, we mean whether your press release is digital or physical.
A physical press release is effective to get the information directly in front of readers. This works best for a smaller audience, such as a workplace or classroom.
For larger audiences, eReleases are often a better way to go. These can be sent out to an audience of email subscribers or a central hub. Since they’re distributed over the internet, they can reach significantly more people than a piece of paper.
Now that we know some of the key characteristics of an effective press release, let’s put them together. Consider the following three parts as a rough press release template.
Like any writing, a press release begins with an introduction. Here, your goal is to grab the attention of your audience and hold it there.
That means that the first few sentences are the most important. Communicate to your audience exactly what the issue is here. You may also want to give whatever your solution is in the introduction as well.
Since some readers fail to read past the beginning, packing as much information into the start can make sure no one walks away without the needed knowledge. This is a good place for statistics to go to draw in a reader’s attention.
The body is where the bulk of your press release will be. Here is where you’ll be putting all of the most important information.
It’s strongly recommended to ensure that you use a quote or two in this section. Quotes give the audience something to take away, as well as giving more authority to what you’re saying.
The conclusion should be a summary of what you’ve said in your press release. It’s important that you only summarize here – don’t present any new information in your conclusion.
It’s a good idea to end what your actions for the future will be. Congratulation to those that may deserve it in context is also a strong ending.
Contact details should also be placed here. This lets the audience immediately follow up on your call to action. Additionally, it helps make sure they know that you’re serious about communication.
Press Release Template
If you’re struggling, consider looking up a press release template. This will handle the formatting for you while you plug the important information in where it belongs. For a simple template, consider the following list:
- The snappy headline to grab attention.
- Introduction to draw in the audience.
- Transition to the body, presenting the bulk of information.
- Provide sources and quotes to establish authority and convey information.
- Convey the most important, essential takeaways.
- End body on less important but still relevant information.
- Conclude, contact info, call to action.
- “Boiler Plate” for your audience.
This is roughly the template that all press releases will follow. You may have been caught off guard by the “boilerplate” at the bottom.
The boilerplate is called so because it’s the foundation that balances everything above it. A boilerplate is essentially your business card. Use this section to give your audience any additional information about you as a company or entity that they may need.
Double Check and Send
A press release can feel daunting, but it’s easier than you expect once you get the hang of it. Do your best to follow press release templates until you feel you can write press releases confidently. Above all, make sure to double-check and proofread everything before you send it.