Learn How to Write a Captivating Press Release

press release

A press release is a tool used to communicate with the media. It is an official statement that is used to generate publicity for an event or product.

Students may be asked to write a press release for a school event, such as a play or concert. They may also be asked to write a press release to promote a product they have created.

Whatever the reason, it is important to follow some basic steps to ensure your press release is effective.

This guide covers all the steps you need to follow to write a catchy press release. Also, find below some press release examples and tips for getting your press release published.

What is a Press Release?

A press release is an official statement that an organization issues to the news media. This statement can be in written or recorded form. Press releases are typically distributed when an organization wants to share new information with the public.

A press release is often also called a press statement, news release, or media release. All these terms can be used interchangeably.

Most press releases are short, only one or two pages long. Companies want to provide enough information so that news outlets can write their own stories about the announcement in the release.

Remember that press releases are public, which means that your stakeholders and customers can see them. Press releases should be considered a valuable piece of marketing content, not just a way to get news coverage.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to what a press release should include or how it is written. However, some common steps can help you write an excellent press release. Also, you need to keep the types of press releases in mind to know which one fits your purpose the best.

(back to top)

Types of Press Releases

Here are a few occasions to help you focus your press release and choose the best way to share your news:

  1. 1. New Product Launch

    If you have a new product that you want to announce to the public, a press release is the best way to do it. This type of press release should focus on the product's features and how it can benefit consumers. It's also important to mention the product's price and when it will be available.

  2. 2. Mergers and Acquisitions

    When a company makes a big change, like an acquisition or merger, it is important to let everyone know. This includes current and future stakeholders. You can do this by issuing a press release.

    In the press release, include information about all of the organizations involved, the details of the merger or acquisition, and quotes from the leadership teams.

  3. 3. Product Updates

    When you make changes to your product, it's important to let people know what those changes are and why they were made. This can help people understand how the change benefits them and why they should continue using your product.

  4. 4. Events

    Press releases are an important part of marketing your event. They can help attract promotion from news outlets and other media sources. In order to make sure your press release is effective, be sure to include:

    • Purpose of the Event
    • Proposed Audience for the Event
    • Date, Time, and Location for the Event
    • Pricing Involved
  5. 5. Grand Openings

    When you open a new office, relocate, or open for the first time, make an announcement with a grand opening press release. In your release, include the date and location of the grand opening, who is involved, how the grand opening is being celebrated, and the reason for the move (if applicable).

  6. 6. New Partnerships

    A press release announcing new partnerships is a mutually beneficial marketing tactic. To execute this type of release effectively, you should write a summary about each company involved, why the partnership was created, who benefits, and any additional important details for current and future stakeholders.

  7. 7. Rebranding

    Rebranding a business can be difficult. It can sometimes lead to confusion and awkwardness. However, there are ways to make the transition smoother.

    One way is to announce the rebrand through a press release. This will include details on what is changing, the reason for making the change, the dates the changes go into effect, and quotes from the leadership team.

  8. 8. Executive Team Changes

    An executive's role within a company can be announced to the public with a press release. This document may include biographical information to help establish the executive's credibility, as well as a photo and other important details.

  9. 9. Awards

    When your company achieves excellence in business, it is important to brag about it. Press releases that announce awards and accomplishments help to establish your organization as an authority in your field.

    Such a press release should include information about the company and why they were given the award, information about the award itself, and details about the ceremony (if applicable).

(back to top)

Press Release Format

Here is a standard press release format that you can follow:

  • Include your contact information and "For Immediate Release" at the top.
  • After that add the title of the press release and summarize the news in a subheading italicized.
  • Then add the News location and news peg in the opening line.
  • Add the contact and additional details in the next two to three paragraphs.
  • Now you can add facts in bullets or other figures.
  • Add the company’s description.
  • End the press release with three pounds symbols (###).

(back to top)

How to Write a Press Release?

Here are a few steps that you can follow to write a captivating press release:

  1. 1. Analyze the Target Audience

    Before you start writing your press release, you need to choose the angle that matters to your target audience. Remember that the perspective of a story will be different for readers of a specialist magazine and for people in your local community.

    In fact, you should write different versions of your release for each audience.

    Remember that you are not only targeting people who might be interested in your product or service, but also journalists. If you do not target the right journalists, writing good press releases will not help you.

  2. 2. Write a Catchy Headline

    The headline of your press release is the most important part. It is the first thing people will read and it will determine whether they want to read the whole thing or not.

    Make your headline short and to the point. This will make it easier for people to read, and it will look more appealing. The best part - if it is no more than 110 characters, people might even tweet about it. Make sure that it is fresh, newsworthy, and interesting.

  3. 3. Mention the Lead

    The most important part of writing a press release is crafting the lead. That's where people will find the answers to the most important questions, including the five W's: what the news is about, who is involved, when and where it happened, and why it is important.

    Keep your lead interesting, but don't give away all the details at once. When writing this part, make sure you follow the "miniskirt rule." This means your lead should be long enough to cover the essentials, but short enough to keep it interesting.

  4. 4. Write the Source: Prove your Credibility

    Make sure to cite any sources you're basing your press release on and display the URL of where it came from so people know its credibility.

    Don't link directly in the text as this can look spammy. Instead, use anchor words like "source" or refer back using HTML code at bottom of the page if necessary.

  5. 5. Add the Essentials of the Press Release

    The more you can involve your readers with the details of what is happening in this press release, then it will be easier for them to understand why it's newsworthy. Give just enough information so they know how important it really could potentially seem!

  6. 6. Include Quotations

    Quotes are always welcome because they add another perspective to the text and make it more diverse. Quotes can easily help you create an interesting piece that many people will want to read. This should be a good enough reason for including them in your press releases!

  7. 7. Add the Required Additional Data

    If you feel like adding any more information, this is your chance to add that. Make sure not to overdo it though — remember the importance of being concise.

  8. 8. Mention the Contact Details

    Make sure to include your contact information in your press release. This will make it easier for journalists to get in touch with you if they have any additional questions about the story. If you forget to include this information, the chances of getting your release published are very slim.

  9. 9. The Perfect End for Your Press Release - Boilerplate

    If you want to know how to end a press release, you should put a boilerplate at the end. A boilerplate is where journalists can find any additional information about your company or yourself. Make it fun and interesting, as it works as your business card, so that they can learn more about you.

  10. 10. Proofread the Press Release

    Double-check everything and check for all the requirements. Make sure you verify against the following points:

    • Does it have all of the mentioned elements?
    • Is it worth reporting?
    • Is the draft 200-400 words long?
    • Is the heading captivating enough?
    • Is it objective and not promotional?

    If your release is well written, answers YES to all the above-mentioned questions, and is sent to the right journalists at the right time, it has a great chance of going viral.

(back to top)

Press Release Examples

Looking for a sample press release? Here are some popular press release samples that can help you out.

Here is a Vermont State Police press release example:

VSP Press Release (PDF)

VSP Press Release

Here are some other press release samples;

Press Release Template (PDF)

Press Release Template

White House Press Release (PDF)

White House Press Release

Trump Press Release (PDF)

Trump Press Release

Lilly Press Release (PDF)

Lilly Press Release

Pfizer Press Release (PDF)

Pfizer Press Release

Restaurants Press Release (PDF)

Restaurants Press Release

(back to top)

Tips for Publishing Press Releases

Although writing a press release is only half the battle, distribution is the other half. You'll want to make sure to publish your press release on your website/blog as well as share it with your followers/subscribers through social media and email.

However, to get the most distribution possible, you should follow these tips:

  • Instead of sending a press release to every journalist you can find, focus on a few journalists who have experience writing about your industry. Send them personalized messages.
  • Send journalists your press release the day before it is officially released. "Under embargo" means they cannot share the information until the time you specify.
  • If you're publishing your press release on a distribution service, avoid publishing it at the same time as other companies. Most companies schedule their releases to go out at the hour, which means if your release goes out at the same time, it's more likely to get lost in the shuffle. Instead, try going with a more distinct time.
  • You can keep the buzz going by sharing the news of your press release with other news outlets and getting media coverage. You can also share the news on your digital channels, like social media and email, to bring awareness to your announcement.

Press releases can be a great way to get the word out about your business, product, or service. They can also help you build relationships with journalists and other members of the media.

By following these steps to write a press release and using the tips for publishing press releases, you'll increase your chances of getting your story covered by the media and reaching your target audience.