A press release is a business message to the media in order to distribute information about an organization and important events directly related to it. The media can publish a full press release or use it as the primary source of information for writing an article. This document must meet the following criteria:
– News. The message should contain something new for the audience, something they didn’t know before. At the same time, one press release corresponds to one news.
– Relevance. The message should cover something important and meaningful for the present moment.
– Attractiveness. The message should be of interest to the audience.
– Specificity. The message should be clear and understandable, do not overload it with an unnecessary description.
– Reliability. The message should be credible, you can add comments from the CEO or experts on this topic, as well as use statistics and confirmed facts.
The reason for writing a press release may be the following topics:
– New product (book, music album, software, etc., depending on the type of your activity);
– Product update (expansion or improvement of any features – explain exactly what has changed and how it will be useful to your audience);
– Opening of a new location (office, branch, factory, etc., specify the exact address, you can add a map showing the route and photos directly from the event site);
– Conducting or participating in various events (conferences, seminars, webinars, exhibitions, etc. Specify the name of the event, the place and date, the organizer, and/or the main participants).
– Records, achievements (both company and personal), significant dates (award winner, number of products, sales volume, anniversary of the company’s foundation, etc., those events that you are proud of);
– New hire/resignation announcement (new CEO, outstanding specialist or reverse side, retirement of a respected and well-known employee);
– Reaction to events (your statement on any issue).
There are a large number of other significant events for the company that will be of interest to your audience, write about them and try to get the media to accept and publish your press release. To do this, you need to identify a target audience, take into account the specifics of the selected distribution channel, and pay attention to the design and drafting of the document.
Elements of a Press Release
A standard press release consists of the following elements:
A press release should be written on the principle of an inverted pyramid, that is, the most important thing you report first since your goal is to make your message interesting to the media and the audience, therefore, it is necessary to attract their attention from the first sentence.
- Headline. The headline is the first thing we see, it is on it that the goal lies – to hook the reader, so it should be short, informative, fresh, bright, impressive, and intriguing, that is, to arouse the desire to read your article.
- Dateline. Indicate the date, as well as, if desired or necessary, the place where the document was drawn up.
- Lead. This is brief but important information about the event, since no one guarantees that your message will be read to the end, here you should describe the main points. To do this, you need to answer the Five Ws: What, Who, When, Where, and Why. One more element can be added to this formula: 1H – How. The headline and lead should not be repeated.
- Body. This is the main part of the press release, in which you disclose the content of the headline and lead and provide additional data. Here you can include statistics, charts, videos/photos, quotes, sources, and others. Develop the topic, but do not overload it with the unnecessary and meaningless information.
- Company information (or boilerplate). This is the place where you provide summary information about your company. The business reference may include full name, CEO, brief history, type of activity, mission, etc.
- Contact information. In this section, you need to leave contacts by which you or your colleagues can be contacted if feedback is needed: name, phone (work /mobile), fax, email.
The press release must be issued on a letterhead or on a form specially designed for this purpose. The most common formats are PDF or MS Word. The average length of a press release should not exceed two pages.
If your press release attracts media attention, then you will get a great opportunity to raise awareness about your brand, as well as support your image and even increase your sales.