Write press releases

1. Structure your press release to prioritize clarity and grab readers' attention. Include contact information for the company, the intended release date for the information, context, further information for those interested, and a brief overview of your company's mission.

Make your information easy to digest and share. Include:  Contact information for the company, enabling follow-up questions and offering accountability.  The intended release date for the information, allowing readers to assess its relevance and quickly informing outside news agencies of any urgency.  Location and lede, which succinctly define the story’s setting and overall theme by addressing questions like who?, what?, and why?.  Body paragraphs to provide further details and incorporate quotes from relevant sources.  A boilerplate that provides a brief overview of your company’s mission.

2. Identify your target audience and the goal of your outward communications.

Crafting an outreach strategy that includes measurable goals and target audiences will help inform the content and structure of your release. Key publics could include:  Stakeholders in your organization. News organizations that reach your target demographic. Aware and passive publics that have yet to connect with your mission.

3. Justify the newsworthiness of your release through your writing and headline.

A key function of press releases is newsjacking, in which organizations receive free advertising through traditional media sources reporting on their communications. In order to increase your odds of receiving airtime on these alternative channels, your release’s headline and copy needs to justify its status as news. What’s newsworthy to your company may not come across the same way to readers and traditional news media. Though you want to avoid misleading readers, your headline should attract attention and prompt viewers to continue down the page to learn more information. Your introductory paragraph should provide a brief and accurate summary of your announcement, while the body serves to give the details that flush your lede into a full story.

4. Test whether or not your press release passes the newsworthy test, make sure that your write-up would answer the question, So what?

Asking this question internally will help to identify if your company’s news has wider implications and thus, newsworthiness for outside organizations.  For example, simply sharing that your company is focusing on more charitable causes may not be newsworthy in and of itself. However, a press release that highlights charitable impacts with relevant quotes and statistics could garner widespread interest among community members and local news organizations.

5. Share your press release via email, using an interest-grabbing and personalized subject line.

As opposed to simple subjects like Press release, begin pitching your story as a news feature in which all the research has already been completed for the reporter. Include: Personalization, calling your reporter or contact by name.  5-7 words summarizing the news within your press release.  Professional and succinct writing that will not be flagged as spam or quickly deleted to prevent cluttered inboxes.

6. Embed quotes that can easily be incorporated into outside reports and re-sharing efforts of your release.

Incorporating quotes into your press release copy will increase its readability by breaking up larger blocks of text. If utilized effectively, these inclusions can also add intrigue to a news story adaptation and serve as statements from key figures in your company.  To ensure that these quotes are relevant and usable, make sure that all the necessary context is included within the statement, as opposed to outside copy. When soliciting quotes, explain to your sources what the quote will be used for and encourage them to restate the question in their answer.

7. Ensure absolute accuracy within bylines and contact information to make the most of each new connection.

As with all outward-facing communications, it’s essential to provide accurate contact information and internal links to company websites. This lends credibility to your organization and allows new connections to easily convert into customers or contacts.

8. Prepare your social media and other communication channels to welcome visitors attracted by your press release.

An effective press release will include a call to action that drives readers to your company’s communication channels. By prepping these platforms with further information about the release’s topic, you can seamlessly integrate new visitors into your platform and brand. This can be done through methods like: Incorporating similar language throughout your press release and website copy. Including brand logos and imaging on press releases. Hosting an archive of press releases on your company website.