What Is a Press Release? Our Definition

What Is a Press Release?

A press release is traditionally defined as a brief written communication sent to the press to provide information, issue an official statement, or make an announcement. Press releases promote a specific newsworthy announcement, story, event, or statement, and are designed to generate or promote news coverage. They are issued by a business or organization and are seen as primary news sources. Press releases are usually sent to the media in a digital format, for immediate release, unless they are embargoed, which specifies a time before which the information should not be published.

Key characteristics of a press release include:

Newsworthiness:

Effective press releases contain information that is deemed newsworthy, meaning it is of interest to the public or a specific audience.

Traditional Structure:

Press releases follow a standard format that typically includes a headline, dateline, introduction (who, what, when, where, why, and how), body of the release (detailed information), and a boilerplate (a brief about the company or organization).

Purpose:

The primary purpose of a press release is to promote something significant and specific, and to do so clearly. They are often used to generate media coverage.

Target Audience:

Although press releases are directed at media, they can be used to target specific segments of the public when they are reported on by the media.

Distribution:

They are distributed to journalists and editors via mail, email, newswires, or newsroom submission portals. Many companies and organizations greatly expand their press release impact by using press release distribution services, publishing them on their websites and distributing them through social media.

Though there are technical differences between these terms, a press release can also be called a news release or a media release – these terms are frequently used interchangeably.

A well-crafted press release can effectively communicate news about your company, products, events, or policies to the media and the wider public.

My Definition of a Press Release

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.

When to Send Out a Press Release

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):

  • Business launch
  • New product announcement
  • Company receiving an award
  • Event
  • New company hire

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.

How to Write a Press Release

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:

Write a Captivating Headline

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.

How to Structure the Body

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.

Conclude Your Release Effectively

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.

Get Ready to Share Your News

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.

Press Release Examples Across Several Industries

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And, just because I know you’ll appreciate them, here are another 15+ great press release examples for situations you may encounter.

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Additional Press Release Examples

Finally, here are some tips and training to help you write an amazing press release:

Additional Press Release Resources

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