How to Write a Press Release: A Complete Guide

press release writing tips
August 28, 2019 9:13 pm Published by

Making an announcement, big or small, takes genuine effort. Press release writing and distribution isn’t so much about letting people know your news. It’s about getting them to sit up and take notice. Knowing how to write a press release in this day and age is a genuine skill. After all, the world is growing ever-more competitive, and you’re going to need to stand out. But how do you write the perfect press release? It can be tempting to go it alone. After all, you’re in the driving seat. However, there is a craft and skill to writing press statements which could mean the difference between making a splash and making a major belly flop.

How to write a press release

That’s why we recommend that you find a professional writer to help. In this guide, we will take you through the basics of press release writing. We’ll examine the essentials, and why it’s so important to get them correct. A great press release should always be inspiring to read. Are you doing enough to encourage people to take your news far and wide?

why write a press release?

Why Write a Press Release?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the writing, let’s try and understand why people use press releases. Traditionally, they are used to announce big news for companies and industry experts. However, they may be used to deliver urgent news. They may also be written to help businesses assure shareholders that they are handling industry events to their satisfaction.

You may even want to write a press release to show off some of your latest work. For example, there’s probably no better way to announce research findings. You’ll also be able to drum up interest in corporate events and occasions, too.

Press releases are fantastic for building relationships, as well as getting coverage in the media. They can help you build a solid reputation in your industry. It’s a sure-fire way of becoming an authority in your field.

Now we’ve looked into the whys of press releases; it’s time to explore the hows. As always, do make sure you have a professional writer to hand who can help. For now, however, it’s worth exploring the basics.

Getting Started

Before you start learning how to write a press release, you should, first of all, think about your story. Is it newsworthy? Will it likely make a difference to people in your industry? What about your story, or announcement, will inspire journalists to spread the word far and wide?

We’re not suggesting that there are stories which aren’t worth talking about. However, some press announcements are more buzzworthy than others. In fact, with the right technique, you can make even the most mundane event sound ground-breaking.

Press releases should be engaging and should encourage people to explore your brand and business. Once you’ve picked out a story you feel will help you do this, it’s time to start crafting it for the newswire.

Answer Questions

From your headline onwards, you should be answering questions. Why should someone read your press release? Moreover, why should a journalist share the news? What’s in it for them?

Your headline should be factual. There is no room for hyperbole or clickbait, here. While press release writing is all about making a splash, you can go too far. Journalists know how sensationalising works, and they are unlikely to buy into your story if it’s too over-the-top.

Tell the world what you’re doing online. Then, in the first few sentences, explain what’s happening. You should be ready to answer what specialists call the ‘five Ws.’ That’s Who, Where, Why, Where and When, as well as How.

We’ll explore these a little further in a blog post. However, the concept is easy to understand. Tell your readers who you are. Explain to them what your product is, where you’re launching it, and why it will help them. No one wants to have to dig through a press release to get to the juicy parts.

Answer questions early, then focus on fleshing out the story. Readers will be intrigued by your answers and will want to know more about how the situation came about. That is, of course, providing you use the correct writing techniques. Experienced press release writers will be able to help turn this around for you with every announcement.

Leave No Stone Unturned

When learning how to write a press release, you should be ready and willing to be thorough. Once again, think about your audience. Journalists who want to invest in spreading the word about what you do want plenty to take away. That means no fluff, no filler, and plenty of juicy details.

  • Get as much data as you can. Spread it evenly throughout your message.
  • Don’t play all your cards in the first paragraph.
  • Offer the simple facts initially, then fill out the details as you continue.
  • Use soundbites to add humanity to the piece.
  • Take time to mention what you’ve achieved already, as well as your future goals.

By being thorough, and by covering as much ground as possible, your readers will have plenty to take away. Reading poorly-written press releases can be a chore. The best announcements are those which are genuinely exciting and have lots to say. That brings us neatly onto our next point.

Don’t Be Shy About Press Release Writing

If you’re ever so humble about your business, there’s no point in writing a press release. A great PR is all about showing off to the world what you can do. For that reason, it’s time to leave reservations at the door.

Readers should be able to feel your enthusiasm in each word you’ve written. Don’t worry about being boastful. Providing your data is accurate; you have nothing to worry about. A press release is no forum for spreading embellishments. It’s a place to shout about your genuine achievements, and why they matter.

Form and Length

When writing a press release, you need to keep things concise. Waffle has no place here. Readers want you to get to the point and fast. The more facts you have, the better your PR will read. Ideally, PR shouldn’t go over 500 words in length. Never fill out the word count.

You should be brief and to the point throughout. The only place you can really go off-road a little is with your soundbites, which we’ll discuss below.

Short, snappy press releases work well because readers won’t have time to pore through for details themselves. They want you to tell them why your news should be shared. The less work you give to your readers, the more effective your release will be.

Above all, deliver value in formatting. Start with an announcement, flesh out the details, and tie everything off with a summary of goals. You should also insert a boilerplate here, too.

Soundbites are Useful

Soundbites are extremely useful for readers, writers, and journalists. They help to give an announcement context. What’s more, they humanise the content, too. However, the most significant benefits can be felt from the journalistic side of things.

Great soundbites, even just a line or two from your team, travel far. Quick, snappy quotes will be lapped up by journalists. That is because they are easy to read and simple to distribute. The news world is fast-moving. If your quotes meander and go on for longer than they should, it’s time to cut back.

Boiler Plates

All press releases should have boilerplates. Your boilerplate is a final paragraph which lets readers know who you are, what you’ve done, and where you’re going. The body, or meat of your PR, should be about your announcement. In your boilerplate, you should be factual about your business as it stands.

This helps to tie things off neatly. However, again, you should be ready to leave shyness behind. Consider the following points which go into the perfect boilerplate:

  • Who are you? How long have you been trading?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What are some of your recent achievements?
  • What are your goals for the future?

Above all, stick to the point and don’t go overboard. The boilerplate is an excellent opportunity for journalists to get straight facts about your firm. Don’t bury these details in the text.

I Know How to Write a Press Release – Why Should I Hire a Writer?

Knowing the basics of release writing is just the start. By hiring press release writing services, professionals manage your whole campaign for you. With a simple consultation, a writer will assess your needs and produce an engaging press release for immediate distribution.

Professional writers with years of PR experience know how to approach various audiences, and how to sell an announcement. You may have the passion, but do you have the time or the know-how?

You may know how to write a press release. However, PremierProse will help you to perfect your statement in just a few simple steps. Contact our team today to learn more, or read further into our guides for more details!

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