According to our friends at Merriam Webster, a press release, also known by the same name as a media or news release, is: an official statement that gives information to newspapers, magazines, television news programs, and radio stations. While correct, that meaning fails to take into account social media, online influencers, and trade publications. Check out my definition below.
My definition of a press release is a short and concise news story that is used to communicate new information about your company to the media, all types of media. It needs to be written in a way that is interesting and captivating to them. The goal is to have journalists write about the news you shared in the release, reaching their audience and bringing in new customers.
One of the struggles of being a small business owner is knowing the best way to get your news out in front of people. Whether you’re just launching your business or debuting a new product, a news release is a good way to let media and journalists know important information about your company.
As a small company, you may not have an in-house public relations team, so knowing how to write and structure a media release will help save you time and money. Press release writing can be mastered by following a few easy steps.
If you’re looking to learn more about what press releases can do for your business and how you can write them yourself, please continue reading.
To build your target list of media, search the web for journalists that cover topics that are relevant to your business. Additionally, you can have a distribution service, like eReleases, issue your news release. They have access to thousands of media contacts across various regions and can target media specifically for the needs of your business.
Ensuring your topic is newsworthy will help secure more media sharing the news. Several topics could warrant a media release (Click here for 74 ideas for your next press release):
There are other reasons you may want to send out a news release, but making sure your topic is relevant will help secure more media sharing the news. When drafting your business press release, bring attention to the reason why your news is important and why the media should write about it. Journalists’ inboxes get flooded with countless media releases each day, so make sure yours stands out.
Understanding how to structure your news release is the next step after selecting your topic. You need to get your reader’s attention straight from the beginning to make sure they keep reading. Press release writing may seem intimidating at first, but following a template will ensure you hit all the information you need to.
Below is a brief press release template that will help you with formatting your press release:
Your press release headline is your first impression on your reader. This can decide whether they delete your email or keep reading. Creating a unique and informative headline will tantalize your reader with whatever news you are sharing with them.
Brainstorm a handful of headlines, picking what appeals to you most out of each one. Use that to create a powerful, but short intro into the body of your news release. Think of what would make you want to continue reading an article and use that as a guide in drafting your headline.
After you hook them in with your killer headline, you’re going to want them to keep reading through the body of your media release. In the introduction of your release, you’ll need to tell your reader the who, what, where, when, and why of your news. This should be short and concise as well.
Your second, and sometimes third, paragraphs will give more detail. Tell the reader why what they’re reading is important. Include a quote from a senior person at your business to provide more context for what you’re announcing. These quotes shouldn’t be all fluff – they should provide more insight into the announcement.
If you have any videos or product images, include those in the body as well. Link your images to relevant company or social media links. Most email clients these days support gifs and embedding those within the body of your release will break up blocks of text and add visual interest.
After the body of your media release, you will include a brief paragraph that summarizes the news you announced. In this paragraph, you will also include any relevant social media links or website information.
Figure out what your call to action is. Do you want people to buy your product? Let them know where they can find it. Are you looking for consumers to sign up for a service? Give them the link or contact information where they can do that. Be clear with what you want and the media will know what to include in their writeup.
Finally, you will end your news release with your company boilerplate and any press contact information. Your boilerplate is the background information about your organization and will remain the same throughout all materials you send out.
Whether you’re announcing the launch of your business or sharing a cool product that is coming out soon, a press release is an excellent way to get your news in front of media and consumers. Learning effective press release writing will engage the media and get them to post articles about it.
Promoting your own business while you’re busy working on your day-to-day tasks can be overwhelming for small business owners. eReleases can help you with that. We draft and issue news releases to targeted media, getting your news in front of the most eyes. Trust eReleases to help you grow your business with our team of professionals.
Contact us today to speak to a PR expert about creating a tailored business strategy.
And, just because I know you’ll appreciate them, here are another 15+ great press release examples for situations you may encounter.
Finally, here are some tips and training to help you write an amazing press release: