Interesting and professional press release - how to create one?

Interesting and professional press release - how to create one?

Writing a press release can be learned from online tutorials in minutes. However, this is not enough to attract relevant journalists, reach the media and build the reputation of your company, brand or venture. What else should be done? About it in the entry below.

The press release remains the primary source of information for journalists. Nevertheless, sticking to formulas from old textbooks will not always work. Contemporary messages must be fascinating, full of interesting data and directed to the right person. How to go about it? 

What is a press release? 

Students of PR and journalism departments learn to write a press release. It may appear to be a very complex topic that requires expert knowledge. In fact, the basic rules are simple. For someone who already has a background in journalism, individual elements of this type of text will also be obvious. Such material consists of a title, lead and development. Subsequently, the development can be divided according to various criteria, using the AIDA or Call to Action model. 

Example press release

In short: a press release should simply answer basic questions: 

  • What? - what happened? Premiere, new product, change ... 
  • where? - what company, position, person is affected by this situation? Where was the premiere, the conference held? 
  • When? - date of the event. 
  • Why is it important? - Answering this supplementary question may help journalists understand why this information might interest them.  
  • There may be more additional questions: how? With who? What for? E.t.c. 

It is worth prioritizing the information, listing the most important ones at the beginning. The material must always be dated and with the contact details of the person who will provide more information. A press release is a basic PR tool that allows you to communicate information important to the company. In addition to the statement, it is also the primary tool used in crisis management. If, in the face of the difficult situation of the company, you do not issue a press release to the media, the narrative imposed by someone else will apply. 

How to write a press release? 

Once you know these ground rules, you can now write a flawless press release. However, it is no secret that some journalists receive hundreds of such information every day. Basic knowledge of the craft may therefore not be enough! First, the title should be worded flawlessly. This is where the editor's gaze will stop and he will decide in a fraction of a second whether to open the message. Initially, you can write a few, or even a dozen or so, propositions of titles and only after careful consideration choose the best one. Or you can subscribe to press offices and newsletters from top industry companies to see how they do it. Look for rules and recurring elements in the titles of other press releases. 

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Short and mysterious? Concrete and full of details? It is up to you what formula you will adopt for your title. The press release must contain an eye-catching lead. This is a "teaser" of the text below the title and most often in bold. These are 2-3 sentences in which you will include the essence of the information. Finally, it is also necessary to mention the appearance of this form of textual expression. Universal format, small file size and readable fonts are the basis. Also take care of all text formatting so that it is easy to find what is most important. 

New approach or traditional formulas?

In the current flood of information, the traditional press release draws the attention of readers less and less. Some companies use, for example, Twitter as a communication channel, where they describe what is most important in 100-200 characters and make statements on social media.

Press Release

As for the traditional formula press release, it has been undergoing a transformation in recent years. Dry facts provoke few people to the effort to read through to the end and share the information further. Various experiments emerge where the press release tells a story or inspires. The point is to place a corporate event in a broader context. The journalist then has a topic ready to describe. If he receives interesting statistics or quotes from the company, he will be even more likely to use the press release. 

Sometimes a press release is an element employer branding, achieving goals such as an increased number of job candidates or a better image. It is no coincidence that the media keep leaking information about employment conditions in Google offices or other technology companies - this is an element of their employer branding. 

The most common mistakes 

Despite the simple rules on how to write a press release, most of them are not read by journalists today. They are often done correctly and yet are not encouraging. It might be a mistake to send out press releases too often and build them around trivial topics. Sometimes the topic is completely irrelevant from the journalists' point of view. It would help if the author placed the event in a broader context or linked to a trend. Then the content of such a message can be used in a business report or a lifestyle article, and not only in an industry note. Of course, it goes without saying that errors in content, spelling or lack of formatting also discourage the press release. 

Where to send a press release? 

There's more to a great press release! PR beginners sometimes end up writing it and publishing it on the company's website. Indeed, having your own press office is a good idea, as it allows you to provide fresh information and control what gets into the media. But if you stop there, you rely on journalists themselves when it comes to channels to reach your audience.  

Press release

It is better to reach out to interested parties on your own than to count that they will visit the press office on the website. The basis should be an appropriate database of people interested in the topic: 

  • on the website you can create a simple form for subscribing to the newsletter or adding journalists interested in the topic to the database. 
  • Make a list or use the already existing PR lists of industry media and the most important contacts. 
  • Think if, apart from the press, you might also need to contact bloggers, Youtubers do influencers. It is possible that some readers get information from them. Some blogs have already outgrown the professionalism and popularity of the traditional press. 

You can send a press release to each individual person manually or automate the process. Newsletter sending programs allow you to communicate with thousands of people at the same time. As you've probably noticed, we've focused on online press releases in this post. Of course, you can also send a letter to selected editors. However, this requires planning well in advance and is costly. Especially that such a parcel should stand out so that it would be opened at all. 

Press release about the new product

A press release may refer to an important event in the company's life, organizational changes, establishing a large cooperation and… a new product. Exactly, if your company has just released something that you didn't have on offer before, you can inform your customers about it via a press release. This is a great way to reach a very large audience because elements of marketing and promotion do not have to be limited to operating on the website or paid advertising. A press release gets where standard advertising can't. Use this advantage to gain customers interested in your new product.

When creating a press release, you must remember that it should not be advertising, but information. It's a fact that the primary premise of a press release is to present your products or services, but avoid intrusive promotion. It may turn out that instead of information about the date of posting a note, you will receive a price list of sponsored articles.

Try to keep the tone of the article neutral. Avoid first-person singular sentences and phrases such as "we are the best ...", "we offer the best ..." that indicate self-promotion. Focus on the facts that will actually determine what your product is, but without any value. Journalists want factual information, so you can include relevant statistical or numerical data in your content. It is also good if you provide the message with expert statements, it will make it objective and the information will be more credible.

corporate communication is an important element of building the company's image

Of course, you must not forget the most important elements of the press release, which are:

  • eye-catching title,
  • lead, which is the essence of what the reader will find in the content,
  • content that answers the basic questions: what? where? when? why is it important?

Information such as date, company name or contact details must not be missing. When creating a press release about a new product, you must keep in mind that the journalist will have the final decision to publish, and most likely his mailbox receives several hundred such messages every day. A message that does not meet the basic assumptions will be rejected in advance and your work will be wasted.

Is it worth sending a press release?

A press release is one of the oldest tools it uses Public Relations. It might appear to be an archaic creation today that has been successfully replaced by new channels of communication, but in fact it still fulfills its role in the 100%. It is true that the world is constantly changing, this PR is also moving forward. However, this does not change the fact that the press release, as it was, is the case today and with a high degree of probability it can say that it will continue. Why?

Information noise, fake-news, click bait and other similar phenomena are the domain of modern times. In the sheer volume of information, it is increasingly difficult to find credible and reliable information. On the other hand, we have PR - activities that seek objectivity and the transmission of truthful information. It is a kind of opposition to the prevailing trends, which is supposed to offer what the media avoid today - credibility. This is also the press release. It avoids evaluation, presents facts and is not a form of intrusive advertising.

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The press release was and will be needed for several other reasons. In the life of every company there are events and facts that cannot be presented in a content marketing article or blog entry. There are some matters that require seriousness, high precision and quick transmission of specific information. Imagine that your company - known and appreciated on the market - undergoes serious personnel changes. Or you want to inform your audience that a new product will be released soon. Are you changing the logo? Or maybe you have received some prestigious award? Are you organizing a fair or a large event? These examples can go on and on, and in any case, a press release will be the best way to get the message across. A press release is a very effective tool, so there is no reason not to give it up. Each company will find a lot of topics that it could, and even should, inform recipients in this way.

SEO and the press release

Positioning for selected key phrases is most often associated with the construction of websites and content marketing. There is nothing strange about it, because this is where the words that are most often used to help the company achieve high results in the search ranking. SEO, however, can go much further, and in combination with PR activities - maximize the results. A press release is a great way to use techniques known from positioning and keyword application, so whenever there is an opportunity to include related phrases in it, it's worth taking advantage of it.

It may seem problematic that the very structure of the press release is very well defined. You need to include the elements mentioned above, and at the same time keep the appropriate format. Where's the place for SEO here? You must remember that a press release is not the same as a blog entry, so elements that improve positioning should not be woven into it in the same way. It will be important to select phrases that are related to the topic of the information itself. You cannot prepare a message that says about a healthy lifestyle and at the same time try to include the phrase "cordless vacuum cleaner". However, you can create a press release of a guide nature, which will concern cleaning equipment - and then the previously mentioned keyword fits very well. The phrases should be in a few of the most important places:

  • title,
  • lead,
  • it is good if they are also woven into one of the subheadings and the content.

Remember that each phrase should be consistent and logical with the rest of the content. It is best if you manage to weave it unchanged, but from the two bad ones it will be more beneficial to choose naturalness and change the key word than to forcefully stuff the unchanged one - the journalist will reject such information anyway.

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