how to write a press release

Beginners Guide: How To Write A Press Release? [Sample Press Release Format]

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Are you looking to upgrade your professional skills? If yes, then learning press release writing would be an excellent addition! Press releases are a crucial tool of public relations that helps organizations maintain their public reputation. It helps in attracting journalists and media houses to engage with your story, and get it published so that the world can know about your brand. They are a great tool for image building among the masses by spreading the information you want. If you want to know how to write a press release that creates the effect that you desire, then keep reading!

What Is A Press Release?

A press release is a brief written piece of copy prepared by a public relations professional for an official announcement to be sent to the media members. Its purpose is to attract media coverage to gather the information or news related to a business, or organization and disseminate it to a targeted group of audience.

The journalists and media outlets then utilize this sample press release to build a compelling story or a news article. Since journalists greatly depend on press releases, it is essential to ensure that they are written with complete precision and clarity. They are also published on the company websites. The best part about a press release is, it lets the company shape the story as they desire while also gathering the much-needed media attention.

Hence, it is essential to learn the basics of press release writing. Once you understand them, you can then open the doors of creativity to make them interesting. We will be sharing some press release examples to help you understand them better. But, before that let us understand how press releases play a vital role despite several existing media options.

It’s 2021! Do We Still Need Press Releases?

We understand that this is a social media-driven era where reaching out to a targeted business or customer is the easiest! All you need to do is shoot a DM to share the information. But don’t you think that it is quite informal? Also, the results are not guaranteed.

On the other hand, a press release holds the potential to propel the audience’s curiosity. It is powerful enough to garner the attention that a business requires.

Here are some of the top reasons that make press release the most efficient tool in public relations, even in 2021!

  • Gather The Attention: Press releases help you to grasp the attention of media outlets and journalists in the most compelling way! This is the most effective way to increase awareness about your business.
  • Build Strong Relationships: When you circulate your press releases to media professionals, it becomes a mutually beneficial act as they are in search of the right stories. Thus, developing a strong relationship over time.
  • Improved SEO: A webpage with a correctly incorporated appropriate set of keywords is a great element for propelling the SEO, which is also the need of the hour. One should indulge in practicing sample press release format. Doing this ensures your press releases are well-structured. So that, when journalists cite your contributions for a blog or an article, they can use backlinks for your business’s website.
  • Image Management: For any business running in the market, image building and its management play a huge role. An effectively written press release is an excellent way to shape up how the public perceives your business. You can release official statements to break any negative notion that exists and throw light with some facts.

When Does A Business Require A Press Release?

Generally, a press release is practically the best option for any business or organization to share newsworthy information with their audience.

But, the question is how do you know that the content you are planning to share is notable enough? Let us introduce you to some factors that you can consider.

  • What would be the expected impact of the information? How will it affect people?
  • Does the news require immediate attention?
  • Does the news contain something or someone well-recognized?

You have to ensure that your information should meet at least two of these factors. Based on your analysis you can draft some sample press release format.

Important Sample Press Release Format Elements

It is time we start going a bit deeper to learn about the format for press release writing. Now, there are different types of sample press release formats.

In case your style of press release writing format fulfills the requirements of a journalist then there are higher chances of it being published. Always remember that it is highly important to include information that is notable and sparks curiosity. It would help you to utilize a trendy topic that is already a hot selling story in the news.

Let us share with you all a sample press release format that you can follow.

  • Attention Getter Headline: Use a headline that effectively grabs public attention, while also clearly stating the purpose.
  • Location Details: Another crucial point is to add the venue where you are, and the place where the news is happening.
  • Powerful Lead: A one-liner that describes your sensational content.
  • Body: A quick piece of valuable information that explains the news details with the most noteworthy information at the top. You can add pointers, and quotes to back up your arguments.
  • Boilerplate: Describe your company in a standardized form.
  • Press Contact: Add the name and contact information of your communication details or media coordinator. This is for reporters who would like to get in touch with the business for more details.

When it comes to font selection, there are no restrictions. You can go for Arial or Times New Roman which are the most common ones.

Learn To Write An Effective Press Release In Few Simple Steps

Although you can look through different sources to find a perfect press release example, but trust me it won’t provide you the needful results. When you are working as a professional it is imperative to have in-depth knowledge for crafting a powerful press release, right from the scratch.

1. Identify What Makes It Noteworthy

Your press release must be intriguing and newsworthy. One that could attract the attention of the media people. This is what you can do.

  • Extensive Research: Find something exclusive to hook the journalists. You can use some data which is exclusive to create the sensation.
  • Go With The Trend: You can utilize newsjacking, a popular content marketing process. It works by mixing your brand’s news with a trending piece of news to create a sensation and grab the audience’s attention. Viral content spreads like wildfire and acts as the best way to share your information.
  • Build An Emotional Connection: It is a proven fact that stories holding some emotional element are welcomed or recognized by the audience much quickly. This is a fantastic way to spread the word.

2. Write A Catchy Headline

The headline of your press release should be intelligently crafted. Its title gets noticed by the audience first. In the sample press release format described above, we have recommended keeping the headline crisp and catchy, yet informational.

It has to be interesting enough to hook the journalists and compel them to take up your story. You can use these three elements for writing the title of your press release.

  • Get to point, directly.
  • Try using only action verbs to create an impact.
  • Keep it comprehensive.

3. Formulate The Lead

It is time to write the first paragraph of your press release, which should not be too lengthy. A 35 to 35-word paragraph is sufficient. Here you write a powerful summary.

You can write the first paragraph effectively by adding the “5 Ws” and answering each one of them.

  • Who? : Mention the people or business involved in the story.
  • What? : Describe the reason for the press release, and what it is about.
  • When? : The time when the event or incident or story happened. Or, when in the future is it going to happen?
  • Where? : Mention the location or venue where this event or story took place.
  • Why? : Include the information that explains the relevance of the story to the media outlets or journalists.

 4. The Body Of Paragraphs

The primary objective of a press release is to disseminate a piece of information. You need to describe the story and all its details, along with explaining how your company is involved in it. One thing to take care of is the story’s relevance to the brand.

It is best to draft the sample press release using the inverted pyramid formula. It is a method of writing, which acknowledges the most crucial details at the top and then moves ahead to the lesser important information. The placement of the information is based upon its value and relevance to the subject.

Let’s look at the appropriate structuring technique:

  • Lead: This includes the news with paramount value, and answers to the 5Ws- what, who, when, where, why, and the how!
  • The Body:All the add-on facts and information have to be mentioned to explain the story clearly. You can use arguments, evidence, background details, issues, and controversy in this part to elaborate on everything better.
  • Tail:This is the last part of our press release where you can add some extra information, which may not even hold great value for the story. The readers who are curious about getting into the details would enjoy this part.

 5. Use Relevant Quotes

Quotes are a major element capable enough to increase the value, credibility, and persona of any press release. They can captivate the reader’s attention. Thus, you can include them in your press release write-ups to encourage the readers. You can look for a sample press releases format to understand how and where to add a quote.

A quote from a famous personality, such as a spokesperson, public figures, experts, etc. would be ideal. It is a good idea to quote the stakeholders while there is a new collaboration that you wish to promote.

The quote must hold relevance to your article’s context. Otherwise, it will seem like you have unnecessarily stuffed your press release with irrelevant words.

6. The Boilerplate Information

The boilerplate is a concisely written standardized paragraph mentioned at the end of a press release copy. It includes all the necessary information about the company, its business aspiration, and all the goals they want to achieve. Boilerplate is directed towards the media outlets and journalists and provides them the much-needed background about the company.

Some sample press release formats also mention adding the company’s logo in this part.

7. Media Contact Information

Here you need to add media contact details. This will help media persons, and outlets to contact the concerned business if they need more help or details in the future.

This part can include information such as phone number and email address. These are the mediums they can utilize to establish a connection with the company later on. Here are the key points to add to this section.

  • A point of contact: Here, include the name and the position of the person to whom people can contact.
  • Phone number: A phone number to get in touch for a direct conversation.
  • Email address: An email ID, or a mailing address to which people can write for further communication.

It has also been seen that some companies insert links from where media assets can be downloaded.

 What Are The Different Types Of Press Releases?

As we have already discussed, press releases are an excellent way to announce different kinds of news. Most of them follow the standard sample press releases format, some might require a few changes.

So, what are the different categories of press releases?

  • Product launches and updates
  • Events
  • Changes in the branding
  • Leadership changes.
  • Award announcements
  • Breaking news by businesses

A press release can also be used for conveying sad news. The best way to write such copies is by adding some facts and clearly stating the explanation.

Now, let us go into details and explain each one of the types one by one.

1. Product Launches and Updates

When it comes to releasing a new product, a company has to mention all its details and the expected goals. Thus, it is crucial to invite the journalists in a way that appeals to them. Here, you must include something that creates a first and the last impact on the audience. This is done to inform the media about the aim of the announcement.

It is best to quote the company’s founder or the CEO to instantly add value to your press release copy. You can check out some press release examples and formats which make them peculiar to other types of press releases. A great example would be Microsoft launching their Xbox 360.

2. Events

This type of press release writing is written to inform people about an upcoming event a company is planning to host. It could be a public event or a closed one. You have to mention the goals that you plan to accomplish with the event. This could be anything including a political assembly, an exhibition, a grand opening, or a fundraiser event.

This type of press release can also include details about how your company has progressed towards achieving its aims. You can add engaging content such as pictures, and write-ups.

3. Changes In The Branding

Any important change occurring in a company can best be put out in the public through the help of a press release. This includes introducing the latest partnership agreement with the company, or a rebranding campaign.

The most crucial aspect of a rebranding campaign is sharing with the audience about the appearance of the updates done to a brand. Rebranding could involve making edits to the logo, feel, name, and any other core aspects. Hence, adding some images would be helpful to let the audience experience the entire feel of it. Having a good look at any such press release example would help you understand it better.

After you are done with all the necessary evaluations on your part, the press release would serve as a detailed and better way to enhance your story. In the copy, one can mention the reasons that led to changes, and an explanation of each one of the elements.

You can add some call’-to-actions elements within the body of such types of press releases.

  • Preview the company’s new visual identity.
  • Tweet about the changes.
  • Visit “add website URL”.

An RSS feed in the sidebar would be helpful to indicate that the media individuals can utilize it for organizing the sources.

4. Leadership Changes

Now, what is a press release for leadership changes?

When changes happen in the leadership of any company, it could be perceived as quite similar to the branding changes. Leadership changes in companies often lead to some directional and organizational changes. There could be a chunk from the public or the media world interested in knowing about such developments.

Especially when it comes to changes in some of the top positions. In such cases, adding a picture of the concerned person would result in an effective press release copy. An important point to remember is mentioning the previous accomplishments of the new leader. You can also attempt quoting to magnify the news’ relevance.

5. Award and Recognition Announcements

If you look at an award announcement sample press release copy, you will realize that they are meant to provide insight on its impacts on the end-user. The press releases for award announcements communicate the information about a business’ latest award achievements. It opens a new door of communication for that brand.

There is no doubt that awards are an excellent way to prove the credibility of any business in the market. It works as a trust-building element among the audience, leading to attracting potential customers.

The writer needs to ensure enlisting all the positive aspects to shape up a constructive image of the organization. Do not forget that you have to keep it brief, yet effective.

6. Breaking News By A Company

When there is some information concerning a business that needs to be communicated urgently, a press release is the best option. The news that requires immediate attention falls under this category. Once they are distributed to the media houses, the dissemination of the news occurs quickly and reaches the targeted audience.

Sample Press Release Format: Understand Things Better

The primary focus while writing a press release is keeping it direct, and newsworthy to provide media outlets and journalists a rough idea about how the resulting article will come out. Let us share with you a sample press release format that you can follow.

  • Keep the heading and sub-headings italicized.
  • Contact details, and “For immediate release” needs to be kept at the top.
  • The opening line must include a news location and a news peg.
  • Facts and figures should be included in bullet points.
  • Add two to three paragraphs for explaining the information.
  • The bottom should include the company’s details.
  • Add “###” at the end of the write-up to indicate that the press release has ended.

A Few Things To Perfect Your Press Release Formatting

With time, the way press releases are structured and formatted has evolved. These are some elements to take care of while writing a press release.

  • The date: Mention it in the beginning, accompanied by the location details.
  • Spacing: Each paragraph is separated by at least two lines.
  • Grammar and spelling errors: The copy should be free from grammatical and spelling errors.

The Right Time To Send Your Press Release!

The timing of circulating a press release is a vital factor that can lead to success when done correctly. The best time to send a press release is when it is likely to attract quality exposure. It could be the period when journalists or media outlets are already on the lookout for news that is worth it.

Conclusion

A press release is an excellent tool to effectively spread the word across the public. There are many professional Press release writing services that provide perfectly written copies for businesses. The experts specialize in different templates and can write press releases for any category. One can go through various press release examples to gain an in-depth understanding of the subject.