Press releases are an important part of your company’s communications toolbox. When structured correctly, a press release can tell a compelling story about your company and gain exposure in the media across your targeted audiences. Writing a successful press release can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these simple tips to get the most out of your press releases and achieve the best possible results:
Don’t bury the lede
Your first paragraph should clearly answer the question, “what is the news?” If the who, what, why and how are two or three paragraphs in, you buried the lede. The average attention span is pretty short (around eight seconds) — if your reader only gets through the first paragraph, they should still come away with the most important information.
Identify a clear angle
Why does your news matter? Why should your reader care? Don’t expect your reader to come to a conclusion on their own — give them the answer, and use it as an opportunity to highlight your priorities. If you’re not sure what the answer is, interview someone close to the news who does. If you’re selling a new product, talk to the engineer, product manager or sales representative.
Consider your audience
You’ll likely use different industry terminology and highlight specific messages based on who it is you’re trying to reach (you wouldn’t use tech jargon to talk to a consumer, for example). Speaking directly to your audience in a targeted way can make all the difference!
Use subheads to emphasize key messages
Good organization is essential in making sure your release is telling the right story. Subheads are a great tool for organizing content, and can act as visual cues to help the reader follow your narrative. They also help distill your key messages into quick takeaways at-a-glance.
Edit your writing
Your first draft is never your final draft. Getting your thoughts on paper is an important part of the writing process, but odds are you’ll need to go through several draft stages before you reach a final, polished piece. The revision process is an important step that helps you catch issues such as run-on sentences, mixed tenses, AP Style editing errors and typos. Check out our editing checklist for more helpful tips to guide your drafting process.
Write a good headline
Don’t spend all your time writing a great release just to flop on the headline. In many ways, it’s harder to write something short, accurate and clear than it is to make your point in a whole paragraph. Good headlines take time (and they should). Also, the headline is often the last piece written in the release process because it requires knowing, at the highest level, what you want your reader to know off-the-bat — so don’t stall the writing process trying to construct a headline!
Hire a professional
Truly successful press releases take time, thought and careful planning. Press releases are just one piece of an overall outreach strategy, and you'll get the best results working with a professional who understands the process in depth. Not sure where to start? Get in touch!