Guide to a Great
By definition, a press release is an official statement delivered to members of the news media for the purpose of providing information, creating an official statement, or making an announcement directed for public release. One of the most beneficial and least expensive ways to reach your audience is through a press release. (Wikipedia)
The two most important steps in creating a great press release are being very knowledgeable about the topic and knowing who your target market is. Be sure the information you are sharing is newsworthy, not just an attempt to get your organization’s name out there.
A press release gives the reader quick specifics about the topic, written in a straightforward, concise reporting style. Newspapers and news outlets usually follow a pattern when writing an article -- tell the reader what you are going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.
The headline and first paragraph are the most important elements of the release. The headline is where you capture the attention of your target market, and the lead paragraph is where you briefly share the information to keep the reader’s attention. If the headline doesn’t grab the reader’s interest, they won’t read the first paragraph.
It is within that first paragraph that you introduce the essential information, including who, what, when, where, why, and how. It gives more information than the headline, but is meant to lead the reader to the expanded information.
Introduce supporting information, including quotes and statistics, within the paragraphs following the lead.
Use the final paragraphs to wrap up the content and to provide the standard client branding information.
Whenever appropriate and feasible, it is always good to have at least one photo or image with the article.
Press releases not only establish a relationship with your target market, but also with the media you are using to reach that market. Press releases establish credibility and allow control of the narrative, help build SEO traffic, and can increase customer engagement.
Remember, a press release gives the reader quick specifics about the topic, written in a straightforward, concise reporting style. Use standard reporting formats to increase the likelihood that the media outlet will use your press release.