What Is the Purpose of a Press Release? What Exactly Is It?

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purpose of a press release

Do you want to improve the public relations of your company while also drumming up excitement and interest? Although social media and online ad targeting have taken up most marketing budgets, press releases still play an important role in a company’s image.

According to The Museum of Public Relations, press releases have been officially in existence since 1906, when Ivy Lee issued a “Declaration of Principles” to the press and public for his client. But are press releases a relic of the past now? 

Read on to learn all about the purpose of a press release and how you can use them to improve your company’s image today! 

What is a Press Release? 

A press release consists of newsworthy information to the press or journalists. More than a piece of marketing material, press releases need to have some kind of timely, entertaining, or interesting information that would suit the demographics of the journalist’s audience.

They’re written in an objective way and often contain quotes, statistics, infographics, and eye-catching headlines. A press release will tell you the who, what, why, when, and where of any newsworthy information–just like an article you would read in a paper. 

What is the Purpose of a Press Release? 

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Now that you know what a press release is, you may be asking yourself what its purpose is and how it differentiates itself from regular marketing material. Here are a few reasons why companies are still crafting well-written press releases and sending them out to journalists. 

1. They Build Credibility

Since press releases are going out to journalists, they build a large amount of credibility for your brand. People trust journalists because they have a strict code of ethics. They can be fairly confident that the articles they read have been fact-checked and aren’t biased.

By including press releases in a portfolio of content on your website, you’ll be building trust with current and potential customers. You’ll also be building credibility with journalists.

If you began crafting well-written press releases often, you’ll develop strong relationships with journalists. This will increase the likelihood that they’ll accept your pitches and publish your press releases. 

2. They Build SEO

Press releases are also another kind of unique and valuable content for your website. By posting them consistently with relevant keywords and links, you’ll be naturally building SEO. Much like your blog articles, if your press releases give your readers consistently valuable content, the Google algorithm will recognize this and raise your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).

3. They Announce Newsworthy Content

Press releases are the perfect medium to generate excitement and interest within your industry or niche. They’re often used as announcements for: 

  • Upcoming events
  • New product or service releases
  • Changes in management
  • Study results
  • Financial news
  • Branding launches
  • New business models

The difference between a press release and a regular piece of marketing content is that press releases focus solely on newsworthy topics. Consider the topic you want to write about and ask yourself whether this would be something you would read in your daily paper.

Is the topic relevant to the journalist’s regular readers? Why would they be interested in your press release? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself before you begin drafting it. 

4. They Are Easy Content

Press releases also serve a valuable purpose when it comes to adding valuable content to your website and social media channels. Since press releases often come with quotes, statistics, and interesting infographics, they can be broken off into a separate piece of content. For instance, one infographic can be taken from your press release and used for: 

  • Blog posts diving deeper into the topic
  • Social media posts
  • Slideshows for presentations

You also have the option of creating a separate portfolio page for your press releases on your website. Not only will they be generating SEO, curious customers and journalists can view previous press releases so they can get a better feel for your company.

5. They Create Momentum

Lastly, one of the intangible benefits of press releases is that they create a story for your company. When they’re presented in a portfolio on a web page, they create a timeline of your company and represent upward momentum if they’re written consistently and for newsworthy events.

Press releases become a part of your brand story and help inform potential customers, investors, and journalists of the trajectory your company is taking. They’ll also give you a bird’s eye view into how your company has grown over time and whether you have been growing or stagnating.

For instance, if your last major press release was a number of years ago, this will tell you that you may need to do more in order to push for another major landmark for your company. 

Crafting the Perfect Press Release

By knowing the purpose of a press release, you’re already one step ahead of the majority of companies in your industry. This is because journalists receive pitches that often aren’t newsworthy or wouldn’t interest their regular readers.

Time your press releases in advance so that if you have a major event or announcement coming up, you can drum up relevant interest and excitement by this tried and true method.

Ready to begin crafting a press release for your company? eReleases gives smaller companies easy access to the newswire with a personal touch. Contact us today to learn more about our PR writing and distribution services!

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