A press release is one of the most traditional ways to communicate to media in the public relations industry. Even today in the digital age, publicists still send out press releases and consider it an essential and fundamental tool in PR. A few reasons press releases are still relevant are: they tell the entire story in a single message, they are perceived as credible to media and public and they are accessible and can be easily shared. A press release should be factual and answer the basic questions of: who, why, where, what and when.
It’s crucial to learn how to write a press release for those who work in public relations. A press release has a basic format and must have some specific information included. We are sharing HSC’s tips to writing the perfect press release!
Identify your objective and target audience:
Before putting a pen to paper or putting your fingers of the keyboard, you need to figure out what it is that you are wanting to communicate. Is the company that you’re representing launching a product, having a grand opening, hosting an event, or announcing a collaboration? You need a clear understanding and direction of what the message is. You then will also need to consider who your target audience is and write in a way that speaks to them.
Write the press release using the traditional format and include the “must-have” elements. A few of the must-have elements are listed below:
-Your headline should be brief, clear and catchy while summarizing the news. You only have a few seconds to catch the reader’s attention, so the headline is very important. The font should be larger and bold and the first letter of each word should be capitalized.
-Your lead/introduction paragraph should summarize your story and answer who, what, when, where and why.
-The body of the release should be around three to six paragraphs providing more details and supporting data. Longer does not necessarily mean better when it comes to a press release, include only valuable facts.
-Include strong quotes from people in the company which the press release is about. Make sure to use the full names and titles.
-Always include a media contact person in the release including their email, phone number, title and what company they work for so that media can reach out to someone specific if they need to.
-End the release with three centered # symbols
-Include a boiler plate about the company which highlights who they are, what they do and links to website and social media information.
Build your media list and distribute the release:
When creating the media list, it’s important to make sure that you’re including writers, editors and reporters whose beats cover the topic of the press release.