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How to write a press release

It seems that ‘how to write a press release’ is one of the most searched terms on google when it comes to PR.  And who said the press release was dead!

A well written, thoughtfully researched press release will always have its place helping you to communicate your brand news, story and values.  Used best as a back up to your personal pitches to press rather than sent as a blanket email, the press release brings your brand increased visibility and trust with the opportunity to reach millions of people.

As a PR Agency our team has written thousands of press releases over the years and seen them transform into news, features and devourable content to the benefits of our clients’ businesses.  Here are our top tips for writing yours:

  1. Find your news angle

Another name for press release is news release which sort of gives you a clue that this isn’t purely an opportunity to talk about how great your brand is.  First you need to find a newsworthy angle.  This could be a new product development or innovation, significant anniversary, personal results from a survey, donation to charity, a thought leadership piece etc.

 

  1. Consider your target media

When you start writing a press release you need to know who you are writing for.  If it’s about beauty and you’re trying to get your brand featured by the top beauty editors, then make it relevant to their columns.

 

  1. Write a good heading and first paragraph

Journalists receive hundreds of emails every day so there are two ways to gain their attention.  First is to use a creative subject heading which makes them stop and read on.  The other is becoming a known source of reliable and interesting information ie a valued contact!

 

  1. Answer the Five Ws:

Once you’ve gained the journalist’s attention, you’ll need to succinctly answer the five Ws.  By doing this you make it easier for the journalist to know why your story is relevant and important to them.

 

Who – is this from?

What – is the news?

Where – is this happening ie country/town, online/offline etc?

When – will this be ie launched/available?

Why – is this happening ie consumer demand, seasonal date, topical?

 

  1. Add in image or two

Images and videos drive attention way more than text and research shows that press releases with images improves visibility by up to 5,000 per cent!  If you use stock images, make sure you are allowed to use them for free.  There are lots of free image websites like Pexels and Unsplash which have a wide range of images to choose from.

 

  1. Include a comment

An expert quote or comment can humanise a press release particularly if it is quite specific and from someone of standing within the company. Also, don’t forget to include a head shot of the person making the quote.

 

  1. Hyperlink

By embedding a link into your press release, you can drive traffic back to your website which helps increase your search rankings. This is particularly important for coverage you might obtain on high quality, high ranking websites.

 

  1. Add your contact details

Make it clear how the journalist can contact you if they need further information, images, videos, interviews or expert comment.

To download our cheat sheet on How to write a press release please click here.