Press releases remain the absolute linchpin of most PR strategies, but there are plenty of people in business who don’t know the first thing about how to write a press release. Here’s what you need to know to create a press release that works.
In some corners of industry and commercial business, public relations is still something of a dark art, not quite understood but discussed at length all the same. Partly this is because the tools, methods and activities that fall under the banner of PR activity are constantly broadening and changing, but the humble press release is the exception. They may be a more traditional method in an exciting digital age, but a good press release will still let you spread your message to a vast number of people both online and offline.
In order to write a press release that works, it needs to stick to a few particular rules. Any agency you engage already will know what works, but it’s worth keeping these points in mind if you even just want to write the first draft. Seriously, it’s amazing how many PR professionals pull their hair out when they realise they need to start a client-written release from scratch because they’ve ignored the basics.
With that in mind, here’s some of the elements that you need to consider, each learned from years of providing copywriting services in Newcastle and beyond:
How should I structure a press release?
If you’ve had no formal training or seen how a PR professional writes a press release, then it may not be clear that there’s actually a very rigid form at play in most cases. In it’s simplest form, the correct structure of a press release will see it start with the most important information and before gradually broadening to include more general details.
Part of the reason for this approach is that it uses the same guidelines as journalists, making it easier for them to pick up and use your story, but it’s also about grabbing the reader’s attention by the eyeballs and not letting go.
Do I need to include quotes when I write a press release?
In a word? Yes, of course they do (okay, five words). Quotes are absolutely vital, not least because it’s the part of the release where you can include opinion. Whole pieces written from one point of view are just a rants, and news outlets do not publish rants from outside sources.
Quotes from a relevant figure in your business, even if that figure is you, will add a definite context and expertise and give you the chance to show that you know what you’re talking about. Just be sure to get approval for any quotes you write on behalf of others and that they stick to your brand values and key messages.
Can I send one release to multiple groups?
You can send a single release to as many different groups as you like, but it’s better to be more selective. Making small changes to the content will allign the release with the editorial requirements of a publication, giving it a much better chance of being used. You won’t often have to write multiple different press releases, just tweak some of the quotes and maybe some of the mid-point information to suit particular cases. It takes a little extra time but it can yield far better results.
So there you have it, a simple set of pointers that, when followed, will help you to write a press release that gets picked up and generates interest and engagement.
Alternatively, you can get in touch with me using the form below. There’s no need for a retainer, and you can commission press releases on an individual basis. It doesn’t matter how big or new your business is, Mark Grainger Copywriting services in Newcastle will create and distribute a press release that gets the word out there, whatever the message may be.