We all have or had to write press releases at some point throughout our careers. If you currently operate a small business or a not-for-profit organization, chances are that you still need to master this type of writing.
A press release can take numerous different formats, but its purpose always remains the same. It is a written statement destined to local media to announce a range of news, including events, new products and services, awards, accomplishments, etc.
Readable, relevant and relatable press releases will create more opportunities to connect with the audiences you want to reach out to, and it will also make reporters happy. Your press releases have more chances to become feature stories if they are well-written and contain background information as well as facts.
Most press releases are distributed and shared online. You are thinking that you already know this. Do you know that when you write a press release, you should ensure that it has keywords for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Do you also know that you can be creative by including graphics, shareable SlideShare or new data?
We will get to that. Let’s look at 4 easy steps to write efficient and great press releases. I have included a press release sample that you can download for your own use.
Write a Great Headline
An interesting, clear and brief headline is the way to go. It is a very short summary of your press release’s key point. Sometimes, it is better to write the headline at the end, especially if you aren’t sure about what your headline should be. Use action verbs and accessible language.
Who, What, Where, Why and How
Time is of the essence. Your first paragraph should outline the necessary facts and cover the who, what, why, where and how of your announcement. It tells reporters and everyone else why they should care.
It is recommended to include quotes from key stakeholders or appropriate individuals in your business or organization. Quotes help to shape your announcement and underline the importance of it. One or two quotes is sufficient as your press release should be short and sweet (no more than one page).
More Background Information
If you consider to have more relevant details that will strengthen your press release, you should add them. If you want to get creative, this is where you can use graphics, shareable SlideShare or new data to support facts. You also can simply just add more information.
Make it SEO Friendly
Not only you want your announcement to get out there through the media, but you also want it to be found online in search results. In order for this to happen, include a keyword in the title, first paragraph and throughout the release. You also should consider including links to your website by using your business or organization name, and to other published content (blog, article, Google+ profile, etc.).
These tips will help you draft strong press releases from the start that will give your business or organization local and online visibility.
Download this sample press release.