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Writing a Press Release in 2021: A Complete Guide for Beginners

January 15 2021
writing a press release

Are you looking to promote your business in 2021? 2020 was a tough year for most of us, but it also helped birth many new businesses. 2021 looks to be a bright year ahead for getting the word out there on your business.

One of the best ways to promote your brand is by writing a press release. A press release is a short statement that has a lot to say about your brand. 

It’s a published statement that celebrates a milestone from your brand. It can discuss a product launch or a business merger. It can also defend your brand’s reputation during a crisis.

Writing a press release is an invaluable skill you’ll need for your business. This guide will show you how to write a great press release for 2021.

1. The Do’s and Don’ts of a Press Release

Let’s start with looking at what a press release should have and what it shouldn’t have. 

A press release has to be succinct, ranging between 400-500 words. It has to be newsworthy, otherwise, it’s not worth publishing. It has to celebrate a company achievement, summarize an event, or convey an urgent message.

A press release mustn’t be sensationalist. It’s not a sales pitch or a way for the brand to “pat itself on the back.” It cannot have gratuitous hype, but it also cannot be so dry that a journalist would toss it aside.

Sounds like a challenge doesn’t it? Now let’s look at crafting your press release.

2. The Introduction

The first paragraph should range from 25-35 words. This introduction is where you let the reader know what you are announcing. There is no preamble — get to the point right away.

The introduction has to address the who, what, why, when, how, and where of the press release. A publisher/journalist will scan the introduction. They’ll use the introduction to decide whether the press release is worth publishing.

3. The Body

In the next two paragraphs of the press release, you will write the key takeaways of the press release. For example, if your company has launched a new product this is where you will discuss the launch. You want to discuss the name of the product and what it offers.

You can use this section to discuss the benefits of the product. You can discuss why the product matters and why consumers should buy it. Make sure that you refrain from making this section sound like a sales pitch.

Keep your sentences short. Do not embellish details or use excessive verbiage. Avoid repetition and ensure a smooth transition between sentences.

4. Quotations

Every press release should have at least one quotation. This quotation will highlight the achievements discussed in your press release. When you include the quotation, you have to cite the speaker as well as their position within the company.

For example, let’s return to the example of a product launch. If Apple launches an iPhone 13, they can include a quote from the Head of Products from the company.

A sample quote can be, Joe Bloggs, Head of Products stated, “With the iPhone 13, Apple brings filmmakers a viable option to shoot 4K video…” 

Make sure you think carefully about whom you wish to quote in your press release. You have to first confirm with them if they are okay with getting quoted in the press release. You want to have quotations as long as possible, without them being gratuitous. 

5. Key Takeaways

Whenever you write your press release, you want to reflect upon what the key takeaways should be. Think about what you hope to accomplish with the press release.

For example, when will the product get launched? Where can consumers buy the product and how much does it cost?

For an event, when was the event held? What did the event accomplish? How can the reader learn more about what was discussed at the event?

These should be succinct sentences that can immediately draw the reader’s attention. 

6. The Conclusion

The conclusion of the press release has to summarize the body and end with a Call To Action

The goal of your press release is to get the reader to engage with your company. The example we gave of the Apple press release should convince the reader to buy the iPhone 13. 

The conclusion has to also include your website address. It should include contact information from a key person within your company. Make sure to choose someone who will regularly be able to respond to emails and phone calls. 

The conclusion can also end with a closing quote. The closing quote should include an endorsement of the company or the milestone. In our example, the closing quote can praise Apple or the iPhone 13. The speaker can include market data to show how Apple dominates the tech sector. Or it can cite a statistic that shows why the iPhone remains the preferred smartphone for most consumers.

7. Best Practices for Writing A Press Release

Let’s look at some final best practices for writing a great press release.

Your first step after writing your first draft is to cut it down. Try to aim for 400 words as much as possible. Your readers are in a rush and you should deliver your message with brevity.

Avoid jargon, adverbs, and embellished language as much as possible. Make sure you do several proofreads for syntax and grammar. Compare your press release to other press releases that you like to see if they match in quality.

Make sure your press release has hooks. There should be sentences that grab the reader’s attention. You have only a few words to work with, so you cannot waste time with too many ‘dry’ sentences.

Need Your Press Release Written?

It takes time to learn how to craft a great press release. If you follow the tips in this guide, you’ll have no problem telling your brand’s story to the public. Keep practicing and you’ll become a great press release writer in no time!

Has your company reached a milestone recently? If you have limited time for writing a press release and are eager to share your milestone, we are here to help!

We offer services for writing press releases as well as distributing them to major media outlets. Reach out to us today and let’s tell your brand’s story!

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