How to Write a Press Release in 8 Super Simple Steps (2023)
You’re likely here because you’re pondering “how to write a press release,” right?
Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with our step-by-step guide, top-tier examples, and actionable tips that will take your press release writing from ‘meh’ to magnificent.
By following this guide, you’ll be crafting impactful press releases that grab attention and resonate with your audience in no time.
So why wait?
What is a Press Release?
A press release, also known as a news release or media release, is a formal statement issued to journalists and media outlets to disseminate important information.
This could include details about a product launch, a new hire, a significant event, or any other newsworthy story. It’s a powerful public relations tool that can provide immediate release of information to a wide audience.
There are different types of press releases, each serving a unique purpose.
For example, an event press release announces a significant happening, while a new hire press release introduces a new team member to the public.
Why Use a Press Release in 2023?
In the age of social media and digital marketing, some may question the relevance of a press release.
However, a well-crafted press release continues to be a vital tool for securing media coverage and increasing brand awareness.
It’s an effective way to control your message and frame your story in a manner that grabs a journalist’s — and subsequently, the public’s — attention.
From small nonprofit organizations to global businesses, every entity can benefit from a good press release.
8 Essential Steps to Writing the Perfect Press Release
Let’s delve into the process of how to write a press release.
Follow these simple, practical steps, and you’ll soon be creating press releases that capture the media’s interest and reach your target audience effectively.
Step 1: Craft a Compelling Press Release Headline
Just like the title of a book, the headline of your press release can make or break your news story. It’s the hook that will either reel in journalists and readers or push them away.
The challenge is to make it engaging, precise, and informative — all within a handful of words.
For example, if you’re announcing a product launch, a headline like “Brand X Unveils Groundbreaking Tech Gadget” instantly tells the reader what to expect and piques their interest.
A tip to remember: use active voice and powerful words to make your headline dynamic and exciting.
An attention-grabbing headline increases the chances of your press release being picked up by media outlets and read by your target audience.
Step 2: Write a Strong Lead Paragraph
The lead paragraph is your press release in a nutshell.
It should cover the essential details about your news, answering the 5Ws — who, what, when, where, and why.
Consider this example for an event press release:
“Global Charity Organization (who) is hosting their annual fundraising gala (what) on June 15, 2023 (when), at the Grand Convention Center in New York City (where), to support children’s education initiatives worldwide (why).”
A helpful tip here is to keep your lead paragraph concise and engaging. Resist the urge to include technical jargon or fluff.
A strong lead paragraph gives journalists the information they need quickly, and entices readers to continue reading.
Step 3: Provide Detailed Information
Once your lead paragraph has set the stage, it’s time to delve into the specifics of your news story. This section should add depth to your press release, offering a detailed account of your news.
For instance, if you’re writing a new hire press release, you could talk about the new employee’s qualifications, previous work experience, and the role they’ll play in your organization. You could include a quote from the CEO, expressing excitement about the new hire.
The tip to remember: always verify the accuracy of your information before including it in your press release.
Misinformation can harm your credibility and cause confusion.
Providing accurate and detailed information builds trust with journalists and readers, and enhances your reputation for transparency and reliability.
Step 4: Include Contact Information
So, you’ve crafted an engaging story and you’re ready to share it with the world.
But how will the journalists get in touch if they want more details?
That’s where your contact information comes in. It’s a seemingly small but crucial element of your press release.
At the end of your press release, include your name, job title, phone number, and email address.
Make it as easy as possible for the media to reach you. This isn’t the place for your entire life history, just the key details journalists can use to contact you.
John Doe, PR Manager
Now, when a journalist finds your story irresistible and wants to get in touch for an interview or more details, they know exactly how to reach you.
Step 5: Use a Press Release Distribution Service
You’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into crafting the perfect press release. Now, it’s time to get it seen by the right people.
But how do you make sure your story lands on the desks of the right journalists?
That’s where a press release distribution service comes into play.
They can even target specific industries or locations, so your press release gets to the people most interested in your story.
Consider this: you’ve written a press release about a revolutionary new gardening tool.
By using a distribution service, you could specifically target home and garden media outlets and journalists who specialize in home improvement.
Now, your press release is not just getting wide distribution — it’s getting the right distribution.
Step 6: Include Relevant Data and Visuals
You know what they say: a picture is worth a thousand words. And when it comes to a press release, it could also be worth a thousand reads!
Integrating relevant data and visuals into your press release can add a layer of interest and credibility.
If your news involves any impressive statistics, incorporate them. Figures can make your story more concrete and impactful.
For instance, if you’re announcing a significant milestone your company has reached, include numbers to highlight your success.
Visuals, like infographics or high-quality images, can further enrich your story.
If you’re launching a new product, including a visually appealing image can give journalists and readers a clearer understanding of what you’re offering.
Similarly, if your news involves complex data, presenting it in an infographic can make it more digestible and engaging.
Remember, journalists love stories that are ready to publish.
Providing them with accurate data and captivating visuals can make your press release more appealing, increasing your chances of scoring that much-desired media coverage.
Step 7: Keep It Short and Sweet
Now here’s a thing about writing press releases — brevity is a virtue.
A successful press release is like a mini skirt, long enough to cover the essentials but short enough to keep things interesting!
Journalists are busy bees, always swarmed with an avalanche of press releases. So, yours needs to stand out by being succinct and engaging.
Instead of writing lengthy paragraphs, opt for short, punchy sentences that deliver your message concisely — similar to writing a blog post.
A quick tip: Aim for a press release length of around 400 to 500 words.
Remember, your goal is to spark interest, not to provide an exhaustive account of your news story.
Step 8: Make It Newsworthy
This step is the secret sauce of a winning press release.
You might have an exciting update about your brand, but the question you need to answer is…
Why should anyone else care?
To create a newsworthy story, you must understand what matters to your target audience and, crucially, to the journalists you’re trying to engage.
Let’s say you’re launching a new eco-friendly product.
Instead of focusing solely on its features, explain why it’s important in the current climate crisis, and what makes it different from existing solutions.
“Our product isn’t just another ‘green gadget.’ It’s a game-changer in our fight against climate change, using revolutionary technology to cut carbon emissions by 70%.”
This angle makes it relevant and interesting, not just a sales pitch.
The benefit of creating a newsworthy press release is clear: it significantly increases your chances of getting that coveted media coverage.
Journalists are on the lookout for engaging stories, not advertisements.
So, when your press release serves up a hot, fresh story that’s relevant to their readers, they’re much more likely to give you the press coverage you desire.
The Ultimate Press Release Template
Having the right template can be a game-changer when you’re learning how to write a press release.
To make your journey into press release writing a tad easier, here’s a handy template that can act as your roadmap.
It follows the recommended press release format and provides prompts to help you include all the essential elements of an effective press release.
Now, let’s get your news ready to capture those media headlines!
Your Phone Number
Your Email Address
Headline: Captivating and Informative
City, State – Release Date
Add a compelling lead paragraph that answers the 5Ws — who, what, when, where, and why.
Delve into the details of your news — make sure the information is factual and exciting.
“Incorporate a quote here,” said [Spokesperson’s Name], [Spokesperson’s Title].
Wrap up your press release, summarizing the key points.
About Your Company
Feel free to modify this press release template to suit your specific needs.
Remember, a good press release is clear, concise, and compelling, making it easy for journalists to understand and share your news story.
Wrapping Up How to Write a Press Release…
Hey, it wasn’t so bad, was it? Crafting a killer press release might have felt like climbing a mountain at first.
But hey, you’re here at the summit, looking back and seeing how far you’ve come.
Now, with these powerful tools at your disposal, you’re all set to command attention and engage your audience like never before.
Go ahead, give it a shot!