Whether it's for a product launch, business expansion or a new hire, press releases are as overused as they are misunderstood.
The qualities of a great press release are simple: a compelling topic and straightforward copy. But, the beauty of a well-written and well-executed press release is that you can get coverage even for the most mundane of topics.
And, if you get the press release formula right, you'll get fantastic promotional-worthy coverage for free.
So, to help you write a good press release, we've compiled every little thing that you need, right down to the anatomy of the press release.
Below, you'll find what makes up a typical press release: think of it as an industry standard that you then can customize for your needs.
Just like a newspaper article, your press release can have several titles. Shoot for two, minimally: one "main" title and another "secondary." The main title serves as an attention grabber where you explain the point of your press release. A secondary title is a place where you can get into a little more detail.
Titles are never complete sentences. Aim for 6-14 words per title.
As a standard practice, the main title is in bold and capitalized, and the secondary title is in bold, Title Case and italicized.
APPLE HALTS ALL iPHONE PRODUCTIONS
95% of Couples Divorce, Blaming iPhone as "Other Woman," Apple Responds with Massive Layoffs
Underneath the title, include a media contact person. This person doesn't always mean the author of the press release, but the person who'll speak on behalf of the company.
Include their professional title, phone number, and email address.
Paragraph 1: "30 Second Elevator Speech"
What is your press release about?
Consider paragraph 1 as the summation of everything that you're going to be discussing later on. This is, without a doubt, the most important paragraph in your entire press release because this is where you hook the media.
Paragraph 2: More Explanation
Delve a little deeper into your topic.
Paragraph 3: Quote Someone Important
Write a quote that's attributed to some muckity-muck in your business that knows a thing or two about what's going on. The higher the rank, the better.
Paragraph 4: Bring in Facts
If you have data to back up your topic, then use it here. If you don't, do some research.
Paragraph 5: Results
What's the end result of your press release? Are you solving a problem? Whatever it is, sum it up. Then, wrap up your entire press release by quickly and concisely going over all of the facts.
Boilerplate: Biography / About Us
This is the public mission of your business. Keep it short. And, don't forget to include links to your website, Facebook and Twitter.
Typically, the length of a standard press release is one page. However, if your press release is more on the technical side, then it can be longer, but never, ever go over 2 pages.
- Always include your company logo at the very top of the press release, even before your titles and contact information.
- Get your press releases out by 2:00 PM, at the latest, if you want coverage that day.
- Quotes don't need to be written by the person who's being quoted. As the writer, you can craft whatever you want and then seek the person for approval. Asking some top-level person to write a quote will waste precious time.
- At the end of your press release, hit the "Return" key twice, center your cursor and add 4 "#" signs (####), signaling the "official" end of your copy.
- Don't double-space your press release. Keep your text single space with an extra break between paragraphs.
- Don't "drop-in" photos into your press release, include them as an attachment. At the bottom, before your boilerplate, include photographer credit or source, the date the photo was taken, parties involved and a short, 1-2 sentence description.
Once you have your masterpiece ready, user SimplyCast's press release submission tool to get your news listed in a number of online directories (for free).