Press releases are one of the easiest ways to engage the media and get your story published. If you’re looking to spread information about your brand or company, whether you’re a business owner or a Public Relations representative, press releases are the tried and true way to get your information out to the public.
So what exactly is a press release? A press release (or news release), is a brief document that shares information, or a bit of news, about your company with the press and other media. This is usually sent to journalists and editors who then use the information to write a news article and put it on their editorial calendar.
Before you begin to write a press release, reflect on the media you currently consume: what you read, watch, and listen to. This will help you get into the writing-for-the-media mindset. If you’re looking for media coverage, being able to write an effective press release is an essential skill.
Before you write your press release, ask yourself these questions;
Is there anything “new” in my story?
Is there anything unusual or unexpected about my story?
Would this be of interest to anyone outside my business?
Will anyone care?
If you’re not sure whether your story is newsworthy, you should consider the publications that you would like to get coverage and get a feel for what they normally cover.
What Information Should a Press Release Include?
Headline: Why is your story important?
“For Immediate Release”: Date of Publishing
Contact Info for the Press: Name, Email, Phone Number
Intro Paragraph: Introduce what your press release is about.
Second Paragraph: Go into more detail and include a relevant or inspiring quote.
Third Paragraph: Additional relevant information that the reader needs to know.
Why Someone Should Care: What is your organization, what do you care about, why are you important?
Check out this example of a press release from FitSmallBusiness.
Including quotes from people in your organization is helpful. Credible quotes can provide insight and make your organization personable and relatable. Quotes from “real people” are just as important. People who are impacted by whatever it is that you’re talking about in your release. For example, a family member who is moving into a home that was built by Habitat for Humanity. Emotion is important.
It’s also important to remember, that while background information can be helpful, your press release is not a story. Instead, maximize your time with the media by including a short outline of your press release where you see fit. This normally goes at the top of your email, past your press release underneath, as a busy journalist may not spend the time opening an attachment. Photos can be helpful as they add to the story, but make them minimal so they don’t harbor too much space.
Finally, understand that journalists are busy. Sending your press release via email cannot be the last step. Pick up the phone and call to follow up with the reporter/editor. When and if you get someone on the phone, you need to have the quick details in front of you, know your “pitch.” Why is what you’re calling about “news.” Grab their attention by speaking their language!
It may take a few attempts and chasing to land the press coverage that you desire. Having a public relations representative that already has a relationship with the media can be helpful in taking your story to the next level.
Have questions? We can help! For more information about how D3 can benefit your business, please contact D3 at 410-213-2400, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.