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Beginners Guide to Writing Press Releases

A short yet compelling news story is press releases that are written by public relations professionals. The leading target group of the release is the media persons. Through this release, the company tries to get the attention of the journalists. Therefore, it is obvious that the release must contain the necessary details. Without making it lengthy, try to provide only the main news crisply. As the headline is the part that most journalists read first, try to make it engaging so that the readers are interested in reading the following part.

Though providing contact information is necessary, but there is no point in mentioning it at the beginning of the press release. Much like the headline, the summary should be an engaging one. To make it sound like a real story, do not forget to mention date and location in the release to help the reporters understand the event better. Instead of giving unnecessary details, try to provide only the important ones. Talk about the event or announcement that is the main focus of the press release. This shall help to get the attention of the media professionals faster.

How should a typical press release look like?

When looking through the press release for beginners, it should state that the rest part of the release should provide relevant information regarding the product, event, or announcement. As the release is a public relations tool, it should be structured as promotional. The typical outline of the release includes a short note at the end that must include a call to action. Here, you can ask journalists to take part in the event launch or program mentioned in the first part of the release. With this, the contact information shall be of immense help for the reporters.

With plenty of effective news to spread about your company, if you are unsure about the right way to spread it, the following press release guide shall be of immense help. Follow the steps correctly if you are framing a press release for the first time. By avoiding some mistakes, you can surely write a perfect press release at the first attempt itself.

Things to consider for writing an effective press release

For a public relations strategy, a press release is an important part. These short documents can be about event launch, programs, product release, including the noteworthy announcement of enterprises. Most of the company CEOs prefer offering an effective press release on the client’s behalf to let customers know about the upcoming products or services of the company. This way, more than the social media platforms, the press releases help to let people know about the recent developments of the company. For better visibility and get in new customers, drafting a press release is one of the primary tasks to do. But one has to ensure that the drafting is done in the right way that shall help to get positive returns. Below is a rundown of how to write a press release that shall help.

Incorporating a good headline

The beginning of the press release is important, and it should be able to grab the attention of the target group. With a strong headline, it can pull in journalists to seek great stories. So, try to provide an engaging and accurate headline.

Mentioning the main point in the first paragraph

Most readers and reporters are busy people. So, it is better to mention the primary reason for the press release in the first paragraph, if not in the first line. Providing the message of the press release quickly shall help reporters understand the rest of the part. Put subsequent information in the following paragraph.  

Try to produce grammatically flawless content

It is a must to proofread the press release making it grammatically correct. Also, get the writing checked by others before sending it or publishing it. A single mistake can ruin the image that reporters will have on your brand or company.

Provide suitable contact information

To make the press release look effectual, do not forget to include contact information. This helps reporters to follow up if they are interested in reading its first part. If a valid email address is available, it is better to include it along with the phone number on the release.

Do not make more than two pages

A single page press release is the best option, but you can only extend it up to a maximum of two pages. Try to write short and crisp, providing relevant information on one page. In this, you have to try and provide all the necessary information into one readable page, and this is what most journalists look for.

Offering access to detailed information

Limiting readers to a single-page press release, you should help people get access to complete information about the main purpose of the release. Here, it is recommended to provide a company website link in the release. This will help reporters to visit the link and get the necessary information required. Do not make writers and reporters search for your company information, instead guide them with easily accessible information.

Mentioning five W’s

Mentioning about who’s who and what is happening where and who all are involved in it shall help reporters to know better about details of the press release. Without this relevant information, the reader may hit the delete button. Also, try to incorporate how the press release is happening for better information of the reporters.

End with the right note

Three hashtags indicate the end of a press release, and by this, you are indicating how the release will work. Also, the reporter is expected to take the release seriously.

Therefore, for writing the release, it is important to follow the right style. Keeping short and understandable sentences are advised. Also, it is necessary to focus on vital information and facts. You should not forget to check spellings correctly before publishing it. Do not give any chance to the reporters to ignore the release. Instead, try to retain their attention into the details of the events that you provide.  

Sample of press releases

Instance 1

For instance, let us suppose that an Umbrella company XYZ of Boston has twitted about its tenth follow on Twitter. The company sells umbrellas for cats. So, it will start the press release by mentioning its location. In the first paragraph of the release, it shall mention about the main idea of the release is to celebrate the tenth Twitter follower. Also, it shall add small details about the company. Starting from the second part of the release, it will elaborate on the main incident. In this regard, it stated the twitter account had reached 10 followers. This response on its social media platform is noticed after two years of creating the twitter account. The tenth follower is very active on twitter and mostly tweets about cat couture. Going on to the third part of the article, the release elaborates about the event in which they mention that through the benefits of the digital age, it has been possible to reach out to more followers. With this hope, they are expecting to make it to 30 followers in the upcoming years.  Moving onto the following section of the release, where the company has talked about some of its strategies following which it could increase the number of followers. Here, it said that tweets were better to reach out to a large audience compared to organic content. Also, they have chosen phrases carefully to catch the attention of cat lovers.    Thus, the release ended with a perfect end note mentioning the company in detail and little about its achievements to date.

Instance 2

The press release can start by mentioning the date and contact details. Following this, the main topic of the press release, which is “Screen-free Week” is mentioned along with the date. This line is better to be accompanied by another small description about the school. With city and date, the press release starts where the concept of the screen-free week is little elaborated. In the first paragraph, the location and date of the event have been mentioned. Also, try to mention why it is important to become part of this community event. In this paragraph, try to add quotes from the organizer to make the event more happening for reporters or readers. Therefore, by continuing in this manner, it is possible to provide the important notice to children and parents so that they are present on the mentioned day. Make sure that the release ends on a good note.

Five things to avoid when writing press releases

It is seen that PR professionals use different strategies to write a press release. The beginners should know the mistakes to avoid writing a perfect press release. Below is a list of things to avoid.

Ignoring the target group

When a company is releasing new products of the company or any new launch, employees often want to mention the success in block letters. They may also include long quotes in the release, and this may seem that you are yelling to let people know about the success. Here, keeping in mind the interest of the target group, it is necessary to write in a third-person tone. The reporters should feel that the release is addressed to them. Also, beginners should not make the mistake of detailing the product. Instead, they should focus on making the release reach out to the target group better.

Starting with general information

Starting the release with general information may fail to catch the attention of reporters. Do not let the reporters dig around the important details instead, try to provide it in the first paragraph. The longer it takes for the reporters to understand the details of the event announcement, the less effective it will become.

Also, readers may be aware of some news about the company. So, when they are going through the release, they look for something new. So, there is no need to detail the history of the company at the beginning of the release as the readers may tend to lose interest in going through the following part of the release.

Including too many details

If you provide too many details in the press release, it is obvious that most reporters will not read it in detail. As less is better, try to avoid providing too many details.

In the first part, talk about the announcement or event launch and give solid quotes in the second part along with the success story of the company in the last part. If any other information is left, direct readers, to visit the company’s site. 

Omitting contact information

In case you forget to update contact information, you will not have any chances of media coverage for your product launch. Adding to this, another mistake is to provide the company’s general telephone number as the contact number in the release.

It is better to choose a particular person who will be responsible for attending media inquiries in the news. With the increasing influence of social media channels, you must provide all the relevant sources of communication in the release.

Importance of including links

Including links are important, and therefore, you should choose the links carefully. Make sure that it aligns with the motive of your release. Also, it should be relevant to the target audience whom you are catering to. So, try to provide a suitable link to which the customers can look for to purchase the new item. Without adding too many links, it is better to add only one company link so that it helps drive traffic better. Also, ensure that the release does not look over-promotional. The right link incorporated in the release will help in its better spread among the target group.