Press releases are sources of information that command the attention of customers and reporters due to their direct messaging of factual and educational information about a company, organization, or social campaign. They are vital in maintaining and securing the brand loyalty of your existing and prospective audience members, respectively. Attracting reporters’ attention and getting them to write about your products or services are the primary objectives of your press release. As a result, generating a well-written press release is of utmost importance to your business or organization. When writing up a press release, being mindful of some essential elements should help in producing a high-quality product.
How Should a Press Release Be Structured?
Following a prescribed format should help to produce a polished press release that is capable of capturing your audience’s attention and providing them with relevant content. The folks at eReleases explained that utilizing a news-story type of style is an important technique in creating a professional press release. In addition, organizing your information in segments laid out in an inverted pyramid structure is recommended by seasoned writers. Start off by presenting the most significant and interesting information and follow up with supplementary details.
You should realize that despite your best efforts, the majority of your audience will not read through your entire press release. However, by providing your audience members with the most significant and engaging points at the beginning, you should be able to hook their attention and increase the likelihood of having them continue reading on.
In addition, the use of keywords is crucial in enabling customers to find your press release when they perform organic searches or arrive at your website through backlinks. Because of these important functions, adequate time and thought should be given to formulating a precise headline.
To facilitate the readability of your press release, sentences should be constructed concisely and composed in a relatively simple form. The language employed should be written at the lowest level of understanding amongst all audience members. Vocabulary should also correspond to the factual information that is presented. As such, adopting a more professional voice and formal tone without the use of slang or unfamiliar jargon associated with certain industries would be ideal. Also, consider adding a few photographs within your press release to raise readers’ interest levels.
What Information Should Be Announced?
Information in press releases should aim to announce notable and unique features regarding your business or organization and should be of interest to your target audience. Just like you, journalists write about information that appeals to their readers. Therefore, the news you send out should also target their audiences.
Newsworthy topics for press releases include your business’ building projects, future events, news about more well-known employees, or introductions for products or services, particularly for popular and widely-used brands. The details covered in your press release should answer the 5 W’s, expressly, highlight what is happening with your business or organization, who is involved, where it takes place, when it is occurring, and why the product or service is being launched.
A further idea to consider is to create different versions of your release to be published on the appropriate platform corresponding to the segment of the audience you are targeting.
Because different audience members with diverse interests and needs will be reading your press releases, you may want to alter the content of your press release to cater to their preferences.
How Do You Compose a Captivating Headline?
All press releases begin with a one-line introduction, the headline. They should be short and catchy with the aim of captivating your readers, particularly reporters. Because journalists are sent an abundance of press releases, if this criterion is not met and if the information does not appear to be fact-based, there is a higher probability your press release will be ignored by this important segment of your audience. A likely consequence of this circumstance will be a decline in the dissemination of your message to wider audiences.
Headlines should consist of less than 6 words with no more than 110 characters. They should indicate the location of your organization with the name of the city and state, whenever possible. In some cases, you can simply add a dash after this information and start writing the body content of your press release.
In terms of specific formatting, headlines should be bolded and centered. As well, a 20-point font size should be used. Furthermore, subheadings that immediately follow your headline should be italicized and utilize a font size of 16 or 17 points.
What Should a Lead Paragraph Include?
The lead or first paragraph following the headline should summarize the main ideas of the press release, and provide the answers to the W’s questions pertaining to your story. Journalists and your audience members will be scrutinizing the topic and related information and then determining whether they want to continue reading the rest of the press release. Therefore, it is crucial to engage and present them with the content they want to find out more about.
In this initial paragraph, your website’s addresses should be listed clearly, so journalists can access it to get more information. Typing in the entire URL is not necessary, except if you plan on citing your sources at the bottom of your press release. Use anchor texts to improve the presentation in your press release. Of equal importance is the addition of your company’s Twitter handle or Facebook page address, as social media information is often the preferred source of information amongst many audience members.
How Should Body Paragraphs Be Written?
With the goals of being concise, writing 2-5 body paragraphs. Body content should contain further details to support your main points in the lead paragraph and should be written in a manner that facilitates skimming. Following the concept of the inverted pyramid, the order the information is presented should be at a diminishing level of importance.
To reinforce your arguments, supply quotes from reputable and respected experts within your company or organization in your body paragraphs. Quotes also provide a broader perspective in a more reader-friendly style. However, you should ensure that they are not overly long and sound natural.
What Should an Ending Look Like in a Press Release?
Some features have been used in the final parts of press releases. A boilerplate, or a short official paragraph describing your company to the audience and journalists, is sometimes included towards the end of a press release. Its purpose is to vie for reporters’ and customers’ attention.
Usually, before concluding your press release, a section providing contact details encourages journalists to contact you for more information or have their outstanding questions answered. Specifically, you should list the contact name, email, and phone number of the key person involved in your company, organization, or campaign.
To mark the very end of your press release, adding three ###s is seen as a press release tradition. Some people argue that incorporating this symbol into your press release demonstrates your knowledge of etiquette and can garner greater respect for your press release amongst reporters.
Finally, before submitting your press release for publication or distribution, perform a spell check and proofreading pass. Error-filled press releases are more likely to be discarded by your audience members, especially journalists.
In preparing a press release, certain elements must be kept in mind. Proper structuring and writing concisely are the key components in generating a press release that will appeal to your target audience, particularly journalists, who are vital in distributing the information found in your press release.