Press releases are the equivalent of writing your business news on a little plaque and displaying it on a plinth in the town square. Type the term into a search engine and you’ll see that everyone, from large corporations to smaller kitchen businesses are using this as their ticket to publicity city. We’ve written a fair few press releases in our time and are happy to divulge a secret or two to help you spread your business breakthroughs…
Why write one?
Press releases are excellent tools to help spread news about your company. Each time you release a new product, make a change to your company or start an exciting new project, you’re going to want to shout about it, after all, it shows that your business is growing!
Another great benefit to issuing press releases for your company is that you’re effectively doing your own publicity. By sending word around, you’re getting your company name and details into all sorts of exciting places, not to mention the SEO boost you’ll be getting from it.
What needs to be in it?
A successful press release is 50% format and 50% content. If your release isn’t laid out properly, industry professionals who received them on a daily basis won’t be able to find all the information they need to feature your announcement in any publications. Sticking to the same format time and time again will also ensure that you don’t miss information out.
Start by using a professionally designed press release template with your company logo on it, preferably right at the top of the page. This shows the recipient that it is an official document from your company, and gives it that smart, professional edge that a press release should have.
The next section will be your release date. If you’re working ahead of yourself and don’t want the information released just yet, you should write ‘Embargoed until [date]’. If the information is hot to trot, you should write ‘For immediate release’. This way your media outlet will know when the information is okay to report.
It is an industry standard to use Ariel font when writing up a press release, and to have your header in bold, right in the middle top of the page. Try to keep it short, catchy and to the point— one liners are best.
Your first line should be the hook you need to get people interested in your news, make it catchy and make it relevant. You should then proceed through your points in order of importance, including your ‘who, what, when and whys’, and finishing with a nice, rounded conclusion. Press releases are best written in the third person, and kept relatively factual. Don’t go for the hard sell or be too commercial. You want to deliver the facts in such a way that your outlets can report them. You can read some of ours for inspiration in our Press room.
One of the last pit-stops should be a quote from yourself and from anyone else involved in the project/product launch/event with full name and title so that the quotes can be taken from the release and re-reported elsewhere.
It is traditional to signify the end of the release material with stars, dashes or ‘ENDS’, so that any further information provided is not included in any articles. The content under your ‘ENDS’ should be information about your company, and about yourself as a media contact, so that should they need to, media outlets can obtain more information from you.
Where do I send it?
It is normal for companies to feature their press releases on their own website, in a ‘press’,‘press room’,or ‘about us’ page, as well as distributing them to local news outlets (depending on how large your company is) and business websites who would be interested in featuring your announcement as a story. Once your news has made it into a publication or website, you can take a press cutting to add to your ‘press room’.
Doing your own press is simple and can have some really great benefits, in terms of keeping your customers informed, showing your business’ growth and getting your name where people can see it. Next time your business has news, why not share it with the world in your very first press release?
Do you regularly write press releases for your company? Share your tips for others in the comments below!