A strong press release is a powerful and cost-effective way to grow your brand.
Press releases inform media contacts like news outlets, journalists, and Social Media Influencers of your newsworthy events, and an effective one will lead to free publicity and give your business access to a larger promotional platform.
However, in the age of information overload, standing out from the crowd is more difficult than ever, and an attention-grabbing press release is important when trying to build your business.
With that being the case, here are Six Tips to Writing a Powerful Press Release.
1. Use Strong Headlines and Opening Sentences
Media contacts receive hundreds of e-mails a day, and it is your job as a marketer to stand out from the pack. To do this, you must grab their attention immediately.
With your headline, use strong language that isn’t click-bait-y and points to how your business is unique.
For example, the headline “Company X Has a New Product You’ll Love” is vague and sounds spammy. However, “Company X Releases Vegan Protein Balls for Athletes” offers specifics and emphasizes the distinctive qualities of the brand.
After your headline, use the first few sentences to inform your reader of the reason for your press release and why they should care.
In order for media contacts to understand what your business provides, they need to read the entire press release. Getting them hooked early is necessary to do that.
2. Be Authoritative
When writing a press release, take off your marketing hat and put on your journalism one. To do this, you should follow the general rules of journalism to legitimize your business to media contacts.
It may seem obvious, but using quotes, focusing on the facts, and using numerical data to support your claim shows that you’re a reputable business that people should work with. Focus on objective truth rather than persuasive ad copy. If you come off as unreliable in practically any way, people will ignore you.
3. Be Concise
People in the modern age have short attention spans. In fact, the average person reads less than 50% of a news article.
To combat this, you must make the press release digestible.
Be short, to the point, and informative. Minimize fluffy language and make sure it’s easy to read from start to finish. If your press release is longer than three to four paragraphs, you have likely included too much information.
Press releases are not investigative journalism pieces that explore every angle—they are attention-grabbing news blasts that quickly connect your brand with media outlets who will share it with a wider audience.
4. Be True to Yourself and Your Business
Hundreds of thousands of businesses are making products, selling goods, and promoting themselves every day.
The way to cut through this mess is to be true to who you are as a brand and a business.
Don’t write what you think your media contacts will want to see. Highlight your strengths and explain what makes your product unique. You are showing them that your brand is newsworthy. Different is new, and new is interesting.
5. Make People Care by Finding an Angle
There is a psychological phenomenon called the Spotlight Effect in which you think people care about and notice the same things you do
The fact is, they don’t.
As a marketer, your job is to fight human nature and make them care.
To do this, find an angle. What makes your product different? Who will it benefit? Why are you passionate about this product? Don’t tell them what your product is—show them how it’s useful.
6. Use Proper Press Release Formatting
Media contacts can tell very quickly whether a press release comes from a reputable business or not, and a lot of that will come from the format. Don’t just throw words onto a Word doc—most marketers follow a guideline like the one below.
Luckily for you, there are online systems that can help you organize your release properly. 80/20 Agency uses Prowley, an online PR automation system, but there are hundreds that can help you ensure your Press Release looks as professional as possible.
Conclusion: A Press Release is More Than Just the Press Release
The most important thing to remember is that e-mailing a press release is not the be-all-end-all of your PR campaign—it is simply an initial piece of the puzzle.
Effective press releases can build lasting relationships with crucial media contacts, and a well-rounded ad campaign will make them more likely to work with you again.
Reach out personally to influencers, customers, and local news outlets linking to your press release. Put the press release on your website and social media accounts. In the press release, direct readers to more information, both on your and the client’s website (if applicable).
The press release grabs their attention, which allows you to further promote your brand. Without taking as many steps as you can, you risk getting buried in inboxes.