How to Write a Press Release
A Press Release, also known as a news release, media release or a press statement is a pseudo-news story, written in third person, that seeks to demonstrate to an editor or reporter the newsworthiness of a particular person, event, service or product. It is an effective promotion tool in the hands of businesses – small and big, which plays a big part in the success of any business.
Why a Company Might Publish a Press Release?
Most companies take out a press release when they want to announce the launch of new products or services, scheduled events, personnel promotions, awards, sales accomplishments, etc.
Keep in mind that your goal is to attract favorable media attention while following these steps:
Step 1: Layout of the Press Release
- Title: Print the words “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” in the top left-hand margin in all caps. This lets the reporter know the news is authorized for publication on the date they receive it.
- Headline: The headline needs to be catchy yet informative. It is the headline that helps readers to decide whether they want to read further or not.
- Dateline: The dateline is usually placed either under the header and before the headline or at the beginning of the press release body, along with the city and state/country.
- The Press Release body: A first paragraph (2-3 sentences) must actually sum up the press release. The lead of the press release should answer the questions of who, what, when, where and why. The second paragraph should expand on the details. Remember the journalist will want to know what is unique or new about your story and why it will appeal to their readers. The following paragraphs should contain more detailed important information, and make up the body of the release.
- Boilerplate: The boilerplate gives short description about the company and should remain the same on every news release you send.
- Add contact Information: Reporters are on deadline. They do not have time to search for your contact information if they need clarification or a quote from you. They should be ordered like this, each on its separate line: Contact Info, Contact Name, Company Name, Mailing Address, Phone/Fax, URL and Email address.
- Signal the end of the press release with ### symbols, centered directly underneath the last line of the release. This is a journalistic standard. If you like you could include the total number of words contained in the press release.
Step 2: How to Promote Press Releases:
The best way to promote your press release online is to use an online press release service. There are various PR distribution websites that accept Press Release submissions from companies. Most popular Press Release websites include:
Paid Press Release Services:
- PRWeb: PRWeb, a leader in online news and press release distribution. Pricing for their optimized releases is currently $80 per release for the Standard Visiblity (Basic Submission), $140 for Social Media distribution (Basic plus social bookmarking links), $200 for SEO Visibility (Allows for controlling anchor text of links in the release, next day distribution, and advanced SEO statistics) and $360 for Media Visibility (Guaranteed distribution through AP and top U.S newspapers, addition of embedded video)
- Business Wire: Business Wire is the leading source for press releases, photos, multimedia and regulatory filings from companies and groups throughout the world. Pricing for their optimized releases is currently $225 per release with a Business Wire circuit, and $295 if ordered standalone (a free membership to Business Wire is required).
Free Press Release Services:
- I-Newswire: i-newswire.com is a free press release distribution center.
- Express Press Release: EPR Network is amongst the oldest and most trusted PR sites on the web.
- Standard Press Release (Free): Normally it is only published on express-press-release, in certain cases on more PR sites depending on the quality of the press release.
- Featured Press Release (Paid): Expressly published within few hours on all 12 State-based PR sites across USA, on their EPR Blog Network and PR forum part of EPR Nationwide Network as well as on 3rd party social media sites.
Check this page for a comprehensive list of free & paid Press Release websites.
Step 3: Publish Press Release on Your Own Web site:
Do publish your Press Releases on your own website too. This will make it easy for media members to access the information, and will also be picked up by search engines, giving you more visibility and site traffic.