What is one thing your press release needs to be successful?
To help you craft a successful press release, we asked public relations managers, marketing professionals, and business leaders this question for their best insights. From including relevant quotes to using a compelling headline, there are several things you need to account for in your press release in order to attain the attention you desire.
Here are 13 tips these leaders follow to make their press releases successful:
- Include Relevant Quotes
- Be Sure it Meets the Required Standards for Newsworthiness
- Use a Good Hook
- Tell a Good Story
- Address the Most Crucial Information in the First Paragraph
- Highlight Only One Point With Your Press Release
- Include Contact Information
- Explain Why Your Announcement Matters in the Industry
- Ensure Your Timing is Right
- Embed a Call-to-Action
- Make Use of Intriguing Visuals
- Share Your Main Message With Urgency
- Use a Compelling Headline That Intrigues
Include Relevant Quotes
Without any commentary from real people involved, your press release is just a faceless text. However, it instantly becomes much more interesting when there are quotes from relevant people: for instance, a representative of your business and another key character in the story, possibly a client. Quotes make the press release more real and catchy. They also make it easier for journalists to write their story. Of course, your quotes should be informative, relevant, and interesting. Then, your press release is sure to be a story rather than a set of words and sentences on paper.
Be Sure it Meets the Required Standards for Newsworthiness
A newsworthy topic is more likely to gain journalists’ interest. While something might be big news in your company, it may not be of value to a broader audience. So, it’s essential to consider that each media outlet has differing editorial guidelines for which stories they cover. And these can include timeliness, proximity to their audience, uniqueness, the impact the event will have on society, the environment, or the marketplace, and if a public figure is involved. Journalists and editors use these news values to determine whether a story is worth sharing and how much they want to invest in covering it. While an event doesn’t have to tick every box, understanding these factors can save your press release from being filed away for future reference.
Use a Good Hook
Have a good hook to grab the journalist’s attention. Journalists receive many press releases every single day, so if you want their attention, you need to grab it with compelling words and phrases. Use descriptive and bold adjectives and verbs within subject lines and headlines. Convey a sense of urgency through the words you choose. Journalists are much more likely to pause and take a look at your press release when you take the time to hook them in.
Tell a Good Story
In order for your press release to be successful, it needs to tell a story. I believe that the best press releases are those that provide interesting information and make the reader feel like they’re getting an insider look at what’s happening in your industry. If you’re releasing a new product, for example, you could provide some details about its features but you need to talk about why you decided to create the product, how you did it and why it’s important to you and your customers. If you could make it engaging and interesting, you’ll easily get media coverage because journalists are always looking for good stories to cover so you need to make sure that your press release has all the elements of a good story.
Address the Most Crucial Information in the First Paragraph
Your press release must address the 5Ws in order to be successful. Making sure that the opening paragraph of your press release addresses the “how” as well as the “5 Ws” (who, what, where, when, and why) is your first order of business. Include the name of your company as well. In this manner, the most crucial information is still communicated even if only the first paragraph is read. The information supplied in the first paragraph is expanded upon throughout the remaining body copy. This could incorporate statistics or other information that gives your noteworthy issues deeper context.
Similar to this, any quotes from corporate leadership that you use from interviews should be useful. Spare no time with pointless or excessively promotional speech. A decent rule of thumb is to write your press release in four or five paragraphs, using the “inverted pyramid” form of news writing. In essence, this means that the most crucial information comes first. The content will still remain valuable.
Highlight Only One Point With Your Press Release
If you are sending out a press release it needs to have only one highlighting point. It can be a new launch, invention, or accomplishment. But you shouldn’t combine multiple highlighting points in a single press release. This can overshadow one another and lose its effectiveness. The main focus should be to provide a concise on-point release that covers only one point and is easily digestible. Add some powerful words that will be able to highlight your point and represent them in a strong manner.
Include Contact Information
To make a successful press release you have to add contact information for your potential leads to reach out to you for any further questions. and get in touch with you. You have to add the essentials including your name, email address, and phone number. Likewise, you have to add the website of your company along with its URL link where people can easily get an idea about your products and services. You must be conscious to create all these things as these are the most important things to make your press release effective.
Explain Why Your Announcement Matters in the Industry
The one thing you must do in a press release is tie your announcement to the bigger picture of the industry in which your business operates. In other words, the press release should explain why your announcement matters to other industry professionals. For example, if your company is announcing a new service or product, be sure to spell out how exactly it will change the market landscape. Is the product the first of its kind? Will it change how people behave? Will it make another product or service obsolete? These are the kinds of questions you should be addressing in your press release. Not only will this messaging grab the attention of readers, but it will also signal to the rest of the industry that your company or brand is an innovative leader in the space.
Ensure Your Timing is Right
Do some study on your proposed launch date and find out if there is anything significant occurring in the space at the same time before contacting the media, in my opinion. Reporters are already quite busy, so the chances of you getting through to them if they are focused on other stories or events within their beat are very minimal. However, while thinking about outreach for speedy reaction, the same may be said. Consider joining the conversation right away if your client’s announcement is timely and pertinent to an ongoing discussion; you’ll be most successful there.
Embed a Call-to-Action
Like other important aspects, a call to action also plays an important role in making an efficient press release. This is the best opportunity for you through which you can tell your readers what you actually want them to do. Do you want them to follow and visit your website? Signup for a free trial? Download a white paper? It helps the leads to take action. Along with this, don’t forget about adding the contact number or email address so they can easily contact you if they have any questions.
Make Use of Intriguing Visuals
Your press release needs to have an eye-catching visual. Whether it’s a picture, a video, or a GIF, it should be so intriguing that it makes people want to read more. Remember, images and videos are usually the first things people notice when browsing for information on the internet, before words. So, to get more eyes on your press releases, include stunning visuals and make them count.
Share Your Main Message With Urgency
When people first find your press release, most readers won’t care about the information you’re sharing in it. Not right away, at least. You only have seconds to grab people, so structure your press release accordingly and share your main message with the urgency it deserves. That means writing a compelling headline that is factual and sparks intrigue, then offering supporting details in the subhead.
Within the first paragraph, you need to convey the most important details and connect them to why they matter to your audience. The rest of a press release should elaborate on those details in their order of importance. Finally, end with a call to action (CTA) to encourage readers to take the next desired step or access additional information.
Use a Compelling Headline That Intrigues
The right headline. The right headline can be a beacon of light in the sea of pitches journalists receive every day. The right headline is so powerful it can even influence a reader to not only open it, but to share it with their network. The right headlines are not easy to write. First, you have to think of your audience and who you want to target. Then you need to craft the headline so it is intriguing enough to get journalists’ attention. It must immediately communicate the value of your content, condensing all the important information down to a few words while also leaving the reader on the hook, because you’ll only be given a second or two window where the reader will decide if they will invest their time or not.
Brett Farmiloe is the founder of Terkel, a Q&A platform that connects brands with expert insights. Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published.