In 1906, Ivy Lee, an expert in public relations for Pennsylvania Railroad, invented the first press release. After a deadly train wreck, Ivy decided to get ahead of reporters and deliver the news from the company’s perspective. Within a couple of days, The New York Times published his statement without changing it, and the company received praise for its honest approach when dealing with the public.
Does your business or organization have news to share? No matter what ideas you want to transmit, writing a press release is ideal for getting the word out to the public and journalists. It can also attract attention to your company and help you establish a good reputation.
Of course, if you’ve never developed a press release, you likely need a little help getting started. But don’t worry because this post will share five tips for writing a press release like an expert!
1. Start with an Eye-Catching Title
Even though headlines are important for informing readers of the contents of your press release, they are also the first thing the audience sees. Thus, they act as a first impression for the press release. If your title is bland, readers may get bored or change their minds about whether your news is really important or relevant.
Thus, one of the most important things you should do when writing a press release is to draft a catchy title that gives your audience a reason to keep reading.
Of course, your title should be short, around 70 characters or less, including spaces. And it should include your primary keyword for SEO purposes.
Word choice is important for titles since they can add a sense of urgency and make your press release seem more meaningful and interesting. So, sprinkle in some adjectives and utilize action words. Moreover, headlines with numbers are more likely to attract readers, so include one in your title if it’s fitting.
Above all, your press release must be accurate. So, if you are going to include numbers and interesting language in the headline, make sure it describes the theme of your press release. Misleading the audience will prevent them from reading future statements from your company and may even damage your reputation.
2. Hook the Reader from the Start
Press releases start with the location of your organization, such as the city and state. So, be sure to include this information and add a dash before going right into your introduction.
Like the headline, your first line should be catchy and express the main idea of your press release in less than 50 words. But, after grabbing the reader’s attention, you’ll need to be concise and avoid repeating yourself since this will inevitably cause your readers to lose interest. So, be brief and straightforward!
If you want to give your readers the option to learn more, include a couple of links in the press release. Not only will it provide the audience with more information, but it will increase your website’s search page rankings.
Of course, coming up with interesting titles and introductions is an art, and not everyone has writing experience and talent. So, you can look here if you’d like to learn more about hiring an expert to help you with your first press release.
3. Include the Right Elements
Your press release is all about the facts, and you’ll want your readers to believe them. Thankfully, you can increase your credibility by incorporating different elements into the body of your press release.
Let’s look at a few components that will make your information stand out!
Statistics make statements sound more credible and convincing. So, do some research that can help you back up your information.
Of course, your statistics should always come from reliable sources and be recent. If not, they’ll do more harm than good by making your press release seem untrustworthy.
Instead of simply stating recent news, you can quote a trusted individual. To do so, you’ll need to reach out to someone for a statement. Some people you may wish to ask for a quote include:
- Experts in your industry
- Senior executives
Backing the press release up with their expertise will show readers that your sources are credible and current, increasing your authority on the subject.
Call to Action
All press releases have an objective or purpose, so have yours in mind while writing. Then, include a call to action that lets your readers know what to do next.
Since most readers won’t finish your press release, you can include it within the first three paragraphs. But, be sure it stands out and contains a link that directs readers somewhere relevant.
4. Drive the Point Home with Multimedia
Using multimedia is another way to enhance your press release, ensure that readers understand the main points, and provide visual reference.
Of course, for best results, you should include a couple of different media types. Here are some ideas:
In recent years, video has become one of the most successful ways to share data and information. And most social media platforms allow users to share short videos nowadays, so including them in your press release will help you get more shares. But, of course, you should keep them under a minute for the best engagement results!
Images are a great way to break up blocks of text. Moreover, they are perfect for announcing new products or store openings. Just be sure to choose your photos carefully and ensure they are relevant to the information in your press release.
Press releases that detail complex information may be wordy and difficult for readers to understand. Thankfully, infographics can simplify data and display it clearly. Plus, infographics are among the most popular media types on educational learning platforms and often get reshared.
Sometimes, press releases summarize detailed information so they can keep them brief. But, if you want to include the full report, you can attach it in PDF form. The best way to do so is by having a link to it somewhere in the press report.
No matter what kind you use, your media should be of high quality because if your images or videos are blurry, journalists and social media users won’t share them. So take the time to develop high-quality media or reach out to a professional who knows more about the topic.
5. Don’t Forget to Edit
After completing all the steps for writing a press release, it’s time to edit!
Yet, editing is more than simply checking for grammatical errors, although that’s an important step. You should also ensure that your press release is easy to understand and optimized for search engines.
Let’s look at each of these aspects in more detail.
If your press release is a wall of text, it will seem boring to your readers. So, you will want to break your paragraphs up so that each is about two or three sentences. Of course, each sentence should be short too so that readers can easily get the gist of the main points.
Moreover, it would help to avoid passive tense when possible since this can make sentences harder to understand.
After formatting your press release and doing some simple editing, you can check your readability score using an online program. Doing so will help you see whether it is good to go or needs a few more changes.
Search Engine Optimization
Nowadays, SEO is an important aspect of creating any type of online content, from press releases to social media posts. Learning the basics of SEO will help you attract more attention to your press release and boost your ranking on Google.
Algorithms favor content that is natural and formatted appropriately. So, here are some factors to keep in mind:
- Use keywords in your introduction, body, and conclusion
- Include a couple of relevant internal links
- Link to credible external sources
- Use subheadings
Implementing these SEO tricks into your press release while editing instead of writing will keep it from sounding spammy. So, keep the tone natural while including the needed SEO elements to attract more readers and journalists to your news!
Start Writing a Press Release Today!
After reading this post, you know how to write a press release that will attract your audience’s attention and spread the word about your important news. Of course, writing a press release can take some time, so be patient and don’t give up. With some practice and the press release tips in this post, you’ll have sure success!
And, don’t forget to browse more business advice on our website that can help you manage and grow your company!