How to Write a Press Release

How to write a press release

Public relations is an important part of any business. You can’t avoid it. If you deal with customers you need to be communicating with them or more broadly via social media and traditional media.

One of the most traditional forms of communicating publicly is a press release. If done well it will simply, strategically, and creatively tell your story.

How do you write a press release people will read and journalists will cover?

How to Write a Press Release

  1. Target your story – Which journalists or bloggers are you trying to reach? What are they interested in/what do they cover? What is top of mind for the general public? When you understand your target audience you can tailor your writing and strategy.
  2. Write your story – Hire a pro. These people know what they are doing. They write the content and headline in a way that will draw people in.
  3. Search Engine Fun – Use keywords placed strategically in your release to increase your opportunity of being found online when someone does a search.
  4. Drop the jargon – Jargon is formal and less relatable. It’s eye-rolling, actually. Use a less formal approach that will help people relate and understand.
  5. Quote me – Journalists and the public want to hear from the expert, the person closest to the issue or product. Don’t include quotes from someone just to “include them”, use relevant quotes to support your storytelling.
  6. You want what? – Include a call to action. Drive the reader to your website, product, or service. All too often news releases miss this and then businesses wonder why they didn’t get more business leads or interest.
  7. Multimedia, anyone? – Share photos and videos to enhance the storytelling. According to a recent report from Cision (a press release distribution company in Canada) “71 per cent of journalists and influencers will almost or often use multimedia assets in their content.”
  8. Measure, measure, measure – Track the amount of traffic to your website, engagement on your social media pages, and sales data after you send out the press release.
  9. Do the interview – Don’t send out a release then avoid your phone or email. Be prepared to do interviews by making time in your schedule.
  10. Timing – Don’t send your press release at 4:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. It sends the message that you’re hiding something or just clearing off your desk before the weekend. Reporters are busy so give them advance notice so they can read and make plans with you to do an interview.

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