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Six Tips for Writing a Press Release
How can you draw more attention to your business with a good, catchy press release?
Along with replying to comment requests from journalists, writing press releases forms an important part of your PR function
However, many small businesses find it time consuming, and often lack consistency with their press releases.
With our experience of PR, and having spoken to dozens of businesses, one of the most important things we can recommend for a small business is to set a goal of sending press releases regularly.
By doing this will you truly maximise the opportunities that good PR opens up to you.
So if you’re like the millions of other small businesses, who are time poor and just need a couple of quick tricks for writing your release, here are JournoLink’s six top tips for writing a press release.
Work Out Your Story:
Journalists are looking for news, so your story needs to be of interest to them and their readers.
Every business has a story to tell, so think about what’s happening in your business and how it might be interesting to someone who hasn’t necessarily come across your brand before.
There are a number of things you can choose to write about in your press release, including a new product launch, a new partnership or contract you have secured, an event you are running or taking part in, or even an award you have been shortlisted for, nominated or won.
To ensure the best results with your PR, and to maintain consistency, make a PR plan and release your press releases in accordance with that.
Plan Your Release:
Keep up-to-date with what’s going on in your sector. If you know what’s going on, you can plan your release to ensure it’s relevant.
For example, if childhood obesity data is due to be released, and your business is in the healthy living and fitness industry, why not plan a release giving your tips for keeping the nations kids healthy.
Struggling for ideas? Services like JournoLink provide a helpful PR calendar that you can use to plan your releases.
Use Quotes and Statistics Where Possible:
Most journalists look for the human interest in your story, so a good quote from the business owner or a member of the team will help sell your story.
Along with a quote from a member of the team or the owner, if you can include a quote from a high profile person or person of authority it can lend extra weight to your story.
Using statistics is another great way to bring your story to life, but make sure the statistics you quote can be backed up and are relevant.
Journalists tend to work to tight deadlines, so you won’t have much time to grab their interest.
You should aim to ensure the reader can understand your story by the end of the second line, so make the introduction interesting and concise.
Use An Image:
There’s an old saying that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. In PR that’s definitely true.
Most journalists, especially those that work for online publications, will need images to go alongside their articles, so providing at least one with your press release will make the life of the journalist significantly easier.
This does come with one important caveat though- any image you provide must be high resolution (usually specified as 300 dpi).
For many businesses, in particular those centred around a person or group of people, it may be a good idea to invest in a professional photographer.
Write A Catchy Headline:
Your press release headline will, in all likelihood, be the first thing that a journalist sees.
They are generally used to sum up the story in just a few words (we recommend limiting it to between 8 and 12 words), so if your headline doesn’t capture the interest of the journalist here it’s likely your email will end up being deleted.
If you make it catchy and give it some edge, you will increase the chances of it being opened, and of you being covered.
Writing a press release can be a lengthy process, but as with any other part of your marketing mix, it can pay dividends in the long run.