As the internet has transformed the way we find and share news and information, one type of content has remained consistent. The press release of yesteryear has fast become a mainstay on the internet news circuit. Companies, publications, government agencies, and individuals who have a product to plug or news to release do so with this type of content. However, with the wrong structure or missing information, a bad press release can send the wrong message. Create an effective press release by including these five essential components.
1. Proper Structure
A press release has a firm structure that sets this piece of news apart from memos, articles and blog posts. The biggest clue that your content is a press release is that it includes “For immediate release” at the top before the headline. The headline should then be followed by a subhead. Format the headline like the title of a book, while the subhead should be in sentence form and present a bit more information about the headline. After the subhead, you need to include the city and state of the company associated with the press release, along with the date of publication.
2. Authoritative Quotes
A customer testimonial, quote from a CEO or statement released by a company all offer one major benefit – these add authority to your press release. According to Inc., you need at least one quote in the body. Just avoid the mistake of using a quote that has been rehashed from previous press releases or the company’s mission statement. The goal is to get a quote that offers insight, benefit or intrigue as these quotes are often pulled for re-use by other publications or for social media.
3. Contact Information
The main goal of a press release is to get the reader’s attention. Whether the reader is a potential client, partner, customer, or journalist hoping to get more information, they need to be able to reach someone if they have questions or are interested in doing business with you. Contact information for the company in focus needs to be included at the very end of the release. Include the formal business name, contact name, address, phone number, fax, and email of whoever is readily available to answer questions and provide further details.
4. Angle for the Audience
Consider who will be receiving and sharing your press release. Are you marketing to potential partners or customers? Before writing out the content of your press release, focus on who the reader will be. Angle the content to provide the audience with the information they need to take the next step. For example, if the audience is consumers, include details about new products or ways the company is benefiting customers.
5. Fact-Based Content
At the same time, Entrepreneur points out your press release should not overhype or embellish the facts. As the author, your mission should be to provide reliable and accurate information without showing bias for the company or product. Stick to the five basic questions in journalism: who, what, when, where, and why.
Publishing a Press Release
Writing a press release is a fantastic way to get the word out about your company, products or services. However, one last word of wisdom is to avoid overusing them. Choose to publish a press release only when you have something significant, inspiring or interesting that is happening with your business.
With these tips, you’ll increase your company’s chances of being picked up by news outlets or syndicated by other online channels!