Catching up over a coffee, a friend asked me how to write a press release. Even though I write them every day, it was interesting to define exactly what makes one press release stand apart from another. Of course, what you’re writing about makes a huge difference – some topics are more exciting and newsworthy than others. But no matter the topic, it’s always possible to construct a well-written and engaging press release. It can get you valuable press coverage, provide content for your website or give credibility to your brand or company. When crafting your next release, keep these Top 5 Press Release Tips in mind.
1. Communicate one idea per release
The most effective press releases have one announcement or idea to share. It could be an award, company restructure, event, or breakthrough. If you have too many ideas in one release, the information can be lost. Keep it clear and logical. If there are several ideas to share, write more press releases.
2. Write for your audience, not your peers
One of the biggest mistakes people make when writing a press release is writing for their peers rather than their audience. They write to impress their colleagues rather than thinking about the best way to communicate with their target audience. Be careful of acronyms and assuming knowledge. Explain the ‘why’ – why is your award/company restructure/event/breakthrough interesting for your target audience. How will it affect their lives? If you put yourself into their headspace, you’re more likely to communicate more effectively.
3. Use quotes
I like to include quotes in my press releases. I find it warms up a release and is helpful in conveying emotion – it’s a real person responding to an award/company restructure/event/breakthrough. Because it’s a quote, the text can’t be altered. Other parts of your release might be moved around a bit if picked up by a publication. Your quotes are solid.
4. Put time into the headline
Many news editors, journalists, and bloggers will only have time to read the subject or headline of your press release. If the headline attracts their interest, they’ll read on. If it doesn’t, your release could be headed straight for the trash. Communicate clearly, concisely, and creatively (without going overboard).
5. Company and contact details
It’s a good idea to include short information about the company at the bottom of the release. Always include contact information in case the story is picked up and the editor or journalist wants more information.
On a final note, if you know how to do search engine optimization, employ those techniques to ensure search engines are attracted to your text. Do a keyword analysis and emphasize hyperlinks but not at the expense of good, readable copy. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, the team at Dinkum Interactive can help – it’s our bread and butter and we love it.