Press Release Checklist to Maximize Your Results

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It takes over five impressions before people begin remembering your brand. With regular press release distribution, you can remain top-of-mind. In time, brand awareness could even become recognition.

The next time a consumer needs your product or service, they’ll recall seeing your release.

It’s important to make sure you’re following the proper press release guidelines, though. Otherwise, journalists and publications will toss your release out. You’ll miss the chance to gain the media coverage you need.

Don’t let that happen! Instead, use this press release checklist before submitting your next release.

With this guide, you can learn how to produce a press release publications will want to publish. Set your next release up for success with these 10 simple tips today.

1. A Singular Purpose

Before rushing to follow the rest of these press release guidelines, take a moment to consider why you’re creating one. Each release needs to have a focused purpose. Otherwise, readers might not understand the message you’re trying to convey.

If journalists can’t recognize the purpose, they’ll toss your release out. You’ll miss a chance to appear in front of potential customers.

Instead, take the time to consider the main message you’re trying to convey. For example, you might want to create a release for:

  • Rebranding your business
  • Releasing a new product or service
  • Announcing a merger or acquisition
  • Releasing your new website
  • Opening a new brand
  • Beginning a new business partnership
  • Announcing an event you’re hosting
  • Introducing new employees or executives

The format for your release will remain the same, regardless of the purpose.

You should also take the time to consider your readers. Who are they? What do they care about?

Consider the publications they read, too. You don’t want to waste time sending your release to the wrong publication. Instead, you can choose a publication that wants to provide its readers with the information you can offer.

If you choose the wrong distribution channels, your release won’t get published.

2. The Attention-Grabbing Headline

About 80% of readers will read the headline. Only 20% will read the rest, though.

Most journalists skim through their inbox, looking for worthwhile releases. You’ll need a strong email subject line, pitch email, and headline.

Take the time to perfect your headline. First, make sure it conveys the message you’re trying to communicate. Remember to keep it focused.

Write your headline as if you’re speaking with your target audience. What would they care about?

If they can’t understand the message from the headline, they won’t keep reading.

Try to tease the content a little, too. Communicate the value you’re offering within the release without giving it all away. Try using action-oriented verbs.

Once you create the first draft, read through it and remove fluff. Make sure to focus on valuable, irresistible information.

If you need to add a little more information, use a subheading.

3. A Strong Lede

Once you perfect your headline, you’ll need a strong lede. Your lede is the opening paragraph.

It should include the story’s:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • How
  • Why

Putting this information at the beginning of the release will ensure it’s easy to find. Otherwise, readers could get frustrated digging through the release for information. They might not continue reading.

As you write your press release, make sure you’re following the inverted pyramid writing style. Journalists use this writing style to offer the most important information at the top of a piece.

As you continue writing, you can include less important information.

If a journalist thinks your release is too long, they’ll start trimming it from the bottom of the page.

As you begin writing, make sure to avoid fluff. Otherwise, journalists will cut pieces of your release.

4. A Structured Format

It’s important to structure your release properly. Otherwise, journalists might not bother to continue reading.

First, make sure to look at a release template online. A professional press release includes:

  • Your contact information in the top corner
  • Your logo in the top corner
  • The release date
  • The main headline (bold and in all caps)
  • An option subheading (title case and italicized)
  • The dateline: city, state, and month
  • Your lede paragraph
  • Body paragraphs
  • The boilerplate
  • “###” to indicate readers have reached the end

Don’t forget to include the press contact’s information. If the journalist has any questions, they’ll know who to reach.

Try to condense your release so it fits on a single page. Otherwise, trim out the fluff.

5. Facts and Statistics

As you begin drafting your release, consider the information you want to include. For example, you can add hard facts and statistics. Facts and statistics can back up the story.

Always double-check any sources you include within your press release. Make sure everything is accurate and your sources are credible. Add links to your sources within the release, too.

You won’t have to ruin your reputation due to someone else’s mistakes.

6. A Compelling Call to Action

About 63% of marketers say their biggest content marketing challenge is driving traffic and generating leads. With a strong call to action, you can direct more people to your business. You can compel them to complete a specific action, too.

Think about the action you want readers to complete after they read your release. Make sure it connects to the release’s main purpose. For example, maybe you’re announcing a new product release.

You can encourage people to pre-order the product before it’s officially on the market.

Maybe you’re announcing an event you’re hosting. You can direct readers to a landing page for pre-sale tickets.

Either way, make sure the call to action is clear, concise, and conveys urgency. For pre-sales, you can mention you only have 100 products available.

People will flood to your website to get there before anyone else.

You should also know that about 64% of marketers outsource content marketing. If you’re struggling to follow these press release guidelines, get help. You can work with an experienced PR writing and distribution company.

With their help, you can learn how to produce a press release prepared for publication. Your release will reach the right publications, too. Once it’s published, you can reach more customers and boost sales!

7. Authority Figures

If possible, add a credible quote from an authority figure at your organization. You can create a pull quote to give your release additional authority. Try to speak with an executive, project leader, or stakeholder.

Make sure their quote is relevant to the release. It should provide additional information. If it doesn’t, consider the quote fluff and cut it out.

Journalists use quotes to enrich their own stories. Remain strategic when choosing who to quote. For example, you might want to talk to a key stakeholder.

If you’re writing a release about a collaboration or partnership, make sure to have a quote from both parties. You can save the journalist valuable time and effort. They’ll also see the value you’re providing.

You could increase your chances of getting published as a result.

8. Contact Information

While this tip seems basic, it’s essential and easy to forget. Make sure to include your contact information within the press release. That includes your:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number

If you receive a message from a journalist about your release, make sure to respond immediately. Don’t include an email address you never check. Make sure you choose a number you’ll answer, too.

9. High-Resolution Images

Adding multimedia to your press release can help it stand out.

Make sure you’re choosing crisp, unique, high-resolution images. Adding high-resolution images can help your release look professional.

Don’t make the journalist download the images through Dropbox or another site. Instead, make sure they’re included within the email. Make life easier for the journalists who receive your release.

Instead of images, consider adding videos. Videos are powerful, compelling, and easy to consume. They also stand out on social media.

10. The Boilerplate

Make sure to include a boilerplate at the end of the release as well. The boilerplate includes key information about your business. Outline what your business does and add a little information about your history.

Make sure to add a link to your company’s website.

Review your boilerplate to make sure it’s short, clear, and concise.

Then, add “###” in bold at the end of the release, along with your contact information.

Once you follow these press release guidelines, review the entire release. Read through it forward and backward. Look for any typos or grammatical errors.

Consider having someone else at your organization read it, too. Ask them if the headline is strong and attention-grabbing. If they weren’t compelled to continue reading, edit it.

Journalists read and edit content all day long. They don’t want to see obvious errors in a press release. Do your due diligence before submitting the release along with your pitch.

Your Press Release Checklist: 10 Must-Haves for Success

Learning how to produce a press release doesn’t have to feel stressful. Instead, keep these 10 tips in mind. With these tips, you can create a release worth publishing.

Then, you can start reaching more customers and boosting your business.

Need help writing and sending your first release? We’re happy to lend a hand.

Explore our pricing today to get started.

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