A press release, as defined by Entrepreneur, is “a public relations announcement issued to the news media and other targeted publications for the purpose of letting the public know of company developments.” And with that — a press release can be key in securing coverage.
There are many different reasons for publishing a press release; it could be that your client is releasing a new product, has won an award, raised a new round of funding, the list goes on…
In the initial stages of securing press interest, oftentimes the reporter will ask for more information ahead of the embargo date to provide some clarity on whether this is a story they’re interested in pursuing.
Given this chance to grab their attention, how can you best leverage the opportunity? Consider these five components when drafting your release and you’ll set yourself up for success.
1. Relevant timing
Before reaching out to reporters, do some research around your proposed launch date and figure out if there is anything big happening in the space around the same time. Reporters are busy enough as it is — if they are preoccupied covering other events or news within their beat, chances you’ll get through to them are slim.
Although, the same could be said when considering rapid response outreach. If your client’s announcement is timely and relevant to an ongoing conversation, consider jumping in quickly, that’s where you’ll have the most success.
2. Compelling headline
Just like any other title, the headline is going to be the reporter’s first impression of the announcement. Keep it short, but make it compelling. This is where the reporter will think, “does this sound interesting? Should I keep reading?”
Headlines should be reflective of reporter headlines. Think about the articles you click on when you’re scrolling through recent news. Is your headline one that you’d want to click on?
3. Informative lead paragraph
Remember, reporters are reading countless pitches and press releases a day. Keeping the lead paragraph informative and concise is key to getting details across. Beyond this, chances are they gave the rest of the press release a quick skim.
That said, be sure to answer the who, what, when, where, and why are in this paragraph. All of the announcement’s core details should be addressed here, and the rest of the press release should be viewed as supporting information.
4. Supporting quotes
Since most of your press release will be comprised of facts, supporting quotes are an opportunity for you to present a more human element. Include a quote from your main spokesperson about their vision, and why the news is so groundbreaking.
If relevant, quotes from your client’s customers, partners, etc. can add validation and credibility to your product and the announcement as a whole. Always check with your client if this is a possibility.
5. Clear call to action
Whether this is access to your website, a sign-up sheet, or contact information, always end your press release with a call to action. Never leave your readers digging to find more information. In a time where attention spans are shorter than ever, have it readily available for them at the click of a button.
No two press releases are alike, but there are common threads among the successful ones. Follow these tips to make your next one a hit!
What type of things do you like to include in your press releases? Let us know in the comments!