Every company has a story that they can share with the rest of the world, and press releases are one of the best ways to share this story. They are easy to produce and come with great benefits. Don’t be intimidated, you don’t need to be a public relations specialist to know how to write a press release. Just reference this guide whenever writing a press release and you should have no problem writing your own press releases.
Have An Interesting Story to Tell
Before worrying about the technical writing of a press release, it is important to remember that a press release is a way of telling a story about your company. It is important that the release includes the 5 W’s (who, what, when, where, and why). These elements are essential when telling a story. Leaving any of these elements out will result in a huge gap of missing information and could confuse your readers.
Writing a press release will also be easier if you know why your story is interesting to other people. Reporters use different elements to decide if a story is “newsworthy”. The things they look at are timeliness, conflict, impact, prominence, proximity, human interest, and oddity. You can use these same elements to help with writing a press release, or even when deciding what your press release should be about. Once you’ve decided that, you can start actually writing your press release.
The headline is the very first thing that people see, so you want to grab the reader’s attention immediately! Headlines are what will make the reader want to know more and continue reading. Headline writing is an art; there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong when writing a headline. The headline should create curiosity but not give the story away. Headlines should follow a thought, but are not complete sentences; it should be short, simple, and to the point. Your readers should have a good idea what they’re going to get from your article just from reading your headline.
The Introduction, Body, and Conclusion
The body of the release is where you actually get to tell the story. There should be a clear beginning, middle, and end to the release, which comes out to at least three paragraphs total. The introduction of the story should hold all of the important information. Cover the who, what, when, where, and why as early in the release as you can. People are busy, so give them the details as soon as possible. If the important facts are not there at the top, it is unlikely that the reader will continue reading to find them at the bottom. In fact, most of them will simply stop reading the release altogether.
Once you’ve written a good introduction, you can get to the meat and potatoes of the story. This is where you can add in the minor details. Think back to elementary school with the inverted pyramid, that is the idea here. As the story moves along, add more facts and details that are relevant to the story.
Also, remember to keep paragraphs short; short paragraphs make the story easier to read and will help with the flow of the story, making it a quicker and easier read for your readers. Short paragraphs are also more inviting to a prospective reader than a large block of text.
Once you’ve reached the end of your release, it’s time to write the conclusion. For some, the conclusion is the most difficult part to write, but a solid conclusion can be the bow on top of the present that is your release. The conclusion should wrap up everything discussed in the release. Make sure yo do NOT introduce any new ideas. Conclusions should give a sense of finality; good conclusions should leave the reader with something to think about or even wanting to know more about the company and what it has done before.
Additives-The Boiler Plate
The headline and body are the main part of the press release, everything after that is considered an additive. One thing you should add to your press releases are images. Images are great to have with press releases. People are drawn into images and they naturally attract the reader’s eyes. Ironically, having an image standing alone will catch more attention than a block of text ever will. If you are using an online press release distribute like Vocus, you will want to link your release back to your website. Many companies also include wsomething called a boiler plate at the end of the release. A boiler plate is a few sentences, usually no more than a paragraph, that gives a brief history of the company putting out the release.
Press Releases are a VERY valuable resources for companies. They boost your visibility, have the ability to reach different audiences, and help to establish you as an expert in your field. Reference this guide on how to write a press release when writing your releases and you will soon reap the benefits press releases bring!