8 Tips for Writing a Great Press Release

Posted on: May 25th, 2016 by Wendy Alpine

Tablet computer on a desk - Press ReleaseSomething exciting is happening at your company and you want everyone to know about it. Sure, you can post it on social media, but that may not reach everyone in your industry. There’s an alternative that has a far-reaching scope – a well-written press release.

While the press release may be seem old school to some, it’s still an important PR tool. The press release (also known as a press statement, news release, or media release) is an opportunity to connect to the audiences you care about, including reporters, investors and customers.

The press release should only be used to announce news about your company. Some instances include new product launches, opening a new office, introducing a new partnership,  promoting or hiring a new executive, or perhaps receiving an award. A press release is the perfect way to get the word out.

But, you don’t just want to use a template to write a press release. You want to write a press release that completely grabs your audience’s attention and keeps it to the end; you also want it to be a press release that gets picked up by the media. To that end, you need to create a professional press release by doing the following:

1. Have a good headline. You have only a few words with which to get your reader’s attention, so make them count. Your headline should be engaging, so that people want to know what you have to say.

2. Put the most important information in the first few sentences. Many times people will not read beyond the first paragraph so be sure to answer the Who, What, Where, When, Why questions first.

3. Grammar and punctuation count. A journalist will throw away a press release if they cannot read it without a plethora of typos and errors.

4. Whenever possible, add a quote. A quote adds the human element, but keep in mind that the quote should not contain facts. Rather, it should be conversational and add insight.

5. Avoid jargon and superlatives. Avoid jargon, as it only confuses the reader and makes reporters suspicious that you’re trying to hide something. Avoid superlatives like “revolutionary,” “groundbreaking,” “first,” and “only.” Like cliches, they are used a lot and reporters dismiss them. Use statistics or facts, but don’t use filler text or unnecessary information.

6. Keep your press release short. Ideally, the press release should not be more than one page long or two pages if it is double-spaced.

7. Be sure to include contact information. This includes a way for the journalist to reach you and your website.

8. Include an About Us paragraph at the end that gives basic info about your company. The About Us paragraph is also called your boilerplate. This is a few sentences about when the company was founded, where it’s located, what it does and any awards received.

A well-written press release can be the difference between being noticed by the media or being relegated to the trash bin.. When you implement these tips, you are increasing your likelihood of being in front of more people. Should you not feel that you can put together an effective press release, or perhaps you just don’t want to do the writing, talk to one of the pros at Alpine Communication today. We will be happy to create a press release that will get you noticed.

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