Want to find out how to create a press release? Where to start and what should you include? Read the article to know how to write professional press releases.
What is a Press Release and Why Do You Need it?
Whether you launch a startup or run a large-scale company, you need people to hear and speak about your brand. And a press release is a must when it comes to public relations. However, many business owners – mainly beginners – might have heard about such a solution but do not understand what it is exactly.
A press release is not an ordinary article as you might think. It is a written announcement that a company issues to the media. It is usually brief – one or two pages long – about a product launch, event, solution update or something else happening. So, the aim of a press release is telling the media that you have something new to offer. But why else do you need to create a press release?
#1. Press Release for Communicating with the Audience. What is the sense of your article if it was seen only by the newspaper’s editor? The goal of a press release is targeting your audience. You write an announcement to tell your customers that you have something to offer and expect them to try. Here it is important to present your offer the best way to attract the audience. Otherwise, your press announcement won’t make sense.
#2. Press Release for Link Building. Conversion rates might really boom if using press releases right. The message of the article won’t really help with your SEO, but editorial coverage you might get from the article will do. Use appropriate keywords in the article that you want to rank for in it. If journalists write something related to your press release, they can include such words or even quotes in their own articles. Moreover, adding links to your website, you increase your chances to widen the audience. Media and customers can click on the links, visit your website and get something needed. But the latest will depend on your website.
#3. Press Release for Journalists. If your company is big and well-known, you need to provide journalists with all the needed information writing a press release. Adding external and research documents as well as presentations, you make it easy for them to find and reference to the information writing articles about your business.
When do you Need Press Release?
Press releases, being a great tool to support your website and drive more traffic, need to contain useful information. We’ve already mentioned that a press release tells about something new. So, let’s see what exactly a press release needs to be about.
New Products or Services
Providing new products or services, you need to tell people about it. No one finds new things just searching on your online catalog. Your aim as a business owner is to promote your things and explain why they’re worth attention. Write a press release telling people how great your new products – a good way to promote not only something new but to remind customers once more that you are on the market.
Guides and Tutorials Release
Various companies – especially ecommerce agencies – always try to support their relationship with the community and customers, as well. Releasing guides on how to use your products, new industry study or search results, your task is to inform people about it – a press release is exactly what you need. For example, our company tries to share its ecommerce development experience with the Magento community. When we’ve released the Magento Certification tutorial, we wrote a press release informing the audience that there is something new and useful for the ecommerce industry and media.
When you organize a conference – write a press release about it. People and media will desire to visit it. Moreover, if you attend an event – like Magento events – and have a stand at the exhibition, promote it to attract those who want to know more about your company and products.
How to prove to the audience that your business is worth attention? Achieving new goals and getting awards, aware journalists and audience that top services prove you to be among the best. For example, BelVG, having reached Top 1000 Clutch Magento Developers, announced the award in a press release.
Rebranding or New Company Website
It is another idea when to write a press release. Rebranding, improved web design of separate pages or entirely new company website – significant things to write a press release about. As it has been already mentioned, let people know about something new – write an article and promote it on social media.
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How to Write a Press Release: Template
Various social media post thousands of press releases every day – a huge amount of content. Taking into account such strong competition, you can’t deny that a bad article might be lost among others. To make sure that your article stands out from the crowd, you need to know how to write an effective press release. Here are some basic tips to consider for you.
How to Write Press Release Headline
How do you think when people decide whether to keep reading the press release or not? Reading a headline. If the headline grabs attention, they will desire to read it to the end.
Creating a press release headline, you need to follow the structure New thing – Hook – Brand name.
- Presenting a New thing, you need to use one word like release, launch, upgrade, improve or others to let the first word or phrase tell the audience that you have something for them. The more simple words you use, the better you deliver your message.
- Create a Hook to catch the eyes. It can be a word or phrase that will literally make readers stop. You can use phrases like Win your competitors’ customers, Five easy steps to decorate Valentine’s Day gift or Buy $100 product with a huge discount. There are a lot of variants. Everything depends on your business and fantasy.
- Add Brand name at the end of the headline.
Finally, we have something like New Magento Extension Release to Empower your Business by BelVG. Engaging, right?
Does Every Press Release Need a Subtitle/Subhead?
Writing press releases or PR, you might notice that the majority of PR distributors offer to add a subhead. Sometimes it is you to decide whether to write it or not. But there are also websites that won’t post your press release without it. If you decide to add a subtitle, you need to follow some simple rules to make it look professional.
- Remember that your subhead can not repeat the information written in the headline.
- Subhead should add more details to the headline such as numerals, locations or names.
What is a Dateline in a Press Release?
When readers or journalists are looking for news, they want to find an up-to-date story instead of something published a week ago. So, they pay attention to a dateline – a section of a press release that specifies location and date when the release is made. But you can’t write the section as you wish. If you want your press release to look professional, you need to follow the Associated Press or AP rules. What are they?
According to AP, the dateline consists of a city name, the name of the state, country or location of the city
- The city name is written entirely in capital letters like CHICAGO.
- The state name is an abbreviation – not the same as postal one. For example, Oregon – Ore, California – Calif.
Moreover, some large cities do not require the state – Chicago, Washington, Boston and more.
Writing a date, you need to use only Arabic numerals – 5, 17 and others – without any suffixes. Months are written in capital letters – March or March 2020. If the month is used with a specific date, some are abbreviated – Jan., Dec., Sept. and others.
When you write a full date – month, date and year, the year will be separated by a comma – Sept. 14, 2020. As a result, our dateline looks like Sept. 14, 2020 – LOS ANGELES, Calif. or March 15, 2020 – CHICAGO. .
Which Part is the Head in a Press Release?
If readers reach the lead or head, your headline and subhead catch the attention and you need not to miss the interest of readers. Head is the beginning of your press release – the first three sentences. It shouldn’t be too long. We recommend writing less than 50 words.
Lead is the section that contains some key facts of the article. It should be one of the most interesting parts but it can’t contain lots of information. The head should contain enough details to raise interest. Reading the lead of your press release, readers need to have a full image of the news but desire to get more detail and information. If so, either journalists or ordinary users will read the article till the end.
When everything is ready, start writing the body of your press release. Remember that it should be creative and add all the relevant facts, details and quotations as well as images, if possible. At the end, you need to write a conclusion or closing – the section with the company’s key data and contact information. That’s it – now you know the press release outline and can create your own!
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Press Release FAQ
Wondering how to write a press release, you might face questions not only about headline, subhead and a press release format in general but also a process of its submission and payments. The answers on these questions you will find below.
How Long Should a Press Release be?
Press releases are relatively short articles – usually 300-400 words. But nowadays the length of a press release mainly depends on a website where you are going to post it. Some websites might require long articles – up to 1,200 words and even more.
How to Submit a Press Release
Writing a press release, you need to follow the requirements of a website where it will be published. The majority of websites contain a special form where you can find the information such as the number of words and how links are indicated. Some platforms require the author to insert the specified number of links in the HTML editor and fill out there. But if the site doesn’t have such a page, you can visit the contact page, find their email and discuss the terms with the website owner. But how to choose a website?
Before submitting a press release, you need to check the target website. Whether the themes of press releases are suitable for your business or not – if you sell ecommerce tools but the website focuses on fashion, your article won’t be published. Moreover, check the latest press release on the website – if it was published several years ago, submission to the website doesn’t make sense.
Want to make sure that the site is popular among users? Use your SEO tools to check the traffic of the website you want to submit to. That will help to decide whether your time and money are worth submitting to the website or not. A good example of a SEO tool is Alexa – Amazon automated website analysis that is free to use.
How to Write a Quote in a Press Release
Why does your press release need quotes? They are used to advance the message. Quotes prove the words and underscore the importance of the new event or product.
Quotes can either break or improve the press release. Using it right, you can turn an ordinary topic into an interesting article. So, it is crucial to make a punchy, substantive and branded quote. Here are some tips on how to empower your press release with quotes.
- Avoid buzzwords. Buzzwords originate in neologisms and jargon what can destroy the quote. For example, think beyond the box. The phrase won’t make your press release look professional. The better is to use something like think differently or form a new perspective.
- Pay attention to the meaning. A quote should say something. Don’t let it be boring. Add several messages into your phrase. Instead of writing “We’re happy to release a new Magento extension. We’ve worked hard and hope you will like it” do something like “The Magento ecosystem always needs top-notch solutions. Being among leading ecommerce development agencies, we offer a new functional extension to empower businesses of our clients.”
- Don’t sound like a robot. Don’t write something like “The new Magento extension changes the ecommerce experience of users”. The better will sound “Our experienced team developed a new Magento extension that could change your ecommerce experience for the best.”
When to Send a Press Release
Sending your press release, you need to pick a perfect day and time to be sure that a reporter will read the email. The worst day to submit your press release is Monday. Why? It is the busiest day of the week for journalists. They receive lots of emails and need to check the mail for the weekend. It is highly possible that your email will be lost among others. As a result, the best days to send press releases in the middle of a week – on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
The time when you send your press release also matters. We recommend sending it out early – at 8 to 10am – since most reporters check their emails in the morning when they come to work. Remember to check your time zone and the location of the reporter. If you live in different time zones, try to automate your emails and set up the right time it should be sent.
How Much Does a Press Release Cost
Publishing a press release on a reliable website, you can increase public awareness of the brand. So, the service costs money. Anyone who writes press releases can’t give the exact answer – it depends on who you ask to publish. The costs may vary from $25 up to $2,000 and even more. Besides, you need to consider how long the press release will be on the website. The longer your press release hangs on the site, the more money you pay.
However, you can also find lots of websites to publish a free press release. It is a good choice for startups when you don’t have enough money to invest in promotion.
When you have a message to share with the world, you write a press release. Knowing how to do it right, you can attract the attention of the media and increase social awareness of your company. In the article, we tried to collect all our experience and share the tips we use writing press releases for our company. Hopefully, you find lots of helpful ideas to use for your press releases.
Have you ever written press releases to promote your business? Share your experience in the comments below.