9 Press Release Tips to Effectively Get Your Message Out

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press release tips

When looking for website content from a brand, about 71% of journalists look for press releases as their primary source. It’s not enough to write down everything you need to say before emailing it out to media outlets, though. Instead, it’s important to know how to write a press release properly.

Journalists receive hundreds of press releases every day. Not every release becomes a story. If you want your press release to stand out, you’ll need to format it correctly.

Otherwise, you’ll end up in the trash bin.

Here are nine press release tips that can help you get your message out there! With these press release best practices, you can stand out from the stack.

Start marketing with these nine tips for writing a press release today.

1. Know Your Purpose

Before you start typing, take a minute to think about your story.

Why are you sending this press release out? What message are you trying to convey? Will readers care about what you have to say?

You’ll want to choose a topic that impacts your target audience. Otherwise, consumers won’t bother to read your release. 

Remember, your target audience includes potential customers and journalists. If your press release doesn’t seem newsworthy, the media might not use it for a piece.

Since journalists look through numerous press releases each day, you’ll want to get your point across quickly. Try to summarize the purpose of your piece for yourself in a single sentence. 

Before writing a press release, it’s important to consider the type of release you’re writing, too. These press release tips will apply to any type of press release. Choosing the topic before you start writing, however, will help you stack on track.

Once you know why you’re writing your press release, you can format it correctly.

First, gather all the information you need. Draft an outline for yourself that includes all the pertinent talking points. Your outline will help you stay organized. 

Keep the purpose of your press release in mind as you start writing. 

2. Grab Their Attention 

Remember, journalists skim through dozens of press releases before choosing one. If you want to stand out, you need to immediately grab their attention. An eye-catching, compelling headline will help you hook your readers.

Many people read headlines before deciding to read the entire piece. If you can’t hook them with your headline, you’ve lost your readers.

Try to keep your headline short and concise. Make sure it’s accurate and relevant to the purpose of your press release. You can also use action words and adjectives to add urgency and attract readers. 

If your headline is misleading, you might lose the reader’s trust. Journalists might toss out your future press releases as a result.

Once you have their attention, you can use the rest of these press release best practices to keep their attention. 

3. Introduce Your Information

Once you have your headline, you need a strong lede paragraph. Your opening paragraph should summarize the who, what, when, where, how, and why of your piece.

Keep your opening paragraph focused and concise. Think of the lede as an explanation of the headline. Including essential, key facts without giving everything away.

Then, you can go into more depth with your remaining paragraphs.  

Try to avoid fluff, too. Remember, you want to keep readers focused on the purpose of your piece. If it doesn’t add relevant information, remove it. 

4. Know the Format

As you write your press release, you’ll want to format it correctly. You can use this outline as you begin drafting your release:

  • Open with the words “For Immediate Release” along with the date
  • Include your contact information in the top right-hand corner
  • Place your headline in caps and bold
  • Add an italicized sub-header underneath it
  • Write your city, state, and month before the opening paragraph
  • Place your body paragraphs in the body
  • Add your boilerplate at the end (information about your business)
  • Place an end notation at the end of the post (such as “###”)
  • Include a final note if you want people to contact you for more information

You can find an example of the press release format online. 

5. Add Imagery 

You can also add images to your press release to help get your message across. Consider adding different types of multimedia, including videos, photos, infographics, or PDFs. 

About 50% of internet users look for videos related to products and services. Adding videos to your press release will help you keep the reader’s attention. 

6. Use a Strong CTA

After reading your press release, what action do you want people to take? Do you want readers to fill out a form, subscribe to your emails, or sign up for an upcoming event?

A call-to-action directs people to take a specific action.

Make sure your CTA stands out. It should stand on its own at the end of the post. Add a link to direct readers to the right place.

7. Feature Quotes

Add an interesting quote from an important member of your team, such as a project leader or stakeholder. Make sure they’re relevant to the purpose of the release. Adding a quote can give your press release value and a sense of authority.  

8. Optimize for SEO

Optimizing your press release for search engines can help you read a broader target audience. With search engine optimization (SEO), you can make sure your content ranks on the first page. The higher you rank, the more people will see your press release.

A higher ranking can also boost brand awareness, website traffic, and your online authority. 

9. Send It Out

Read through your press release and make any necessary edits. Then, email your press release to a local publication or trade magazine. You can also use a media distribution list.

Write the subject line to ensure it stands out. Then paste the press release into the email’s body. Add the attachment too.

Both options will give the journalist the convenience of choice. 

Don’t forget to add your contact information to the email in case the reporter needs to reach you. 

If you don’t hear from them, follow up with an email or phone call to see if they’re interested. 

Write It Right: 9 Press Release Tips That Can Help You Stand Out

Don’t let your press release fall to the bottom of the stack. Instead, use these nine press release tips to create an effective marketing tool for your business. With these tips, you can stand out from the crowd and generate more brand awareness!

Need help distributing your press release? Discover our distribution services today!

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