Updated: Nov 26, 2022
Unlike traditional media outlets inclusive of newspapers, billboards, and TV commercials, modern digital media comprise a myriad of different communication outlets inclusive of email, social media, websites and blogs, and digital advertisements, among others.
While once upon a time consumers would have patience enough to sit and catch up on the latest news via a long-winded newspaper, this type of patience is dead and gone.
Now, with attention spans at an all-time low, businesses, marketing professionals, and public relations experts alike are tasked with garnering such attention on their own, whether via newsworthy buzz, entertainment, virality, or otherwise.
How do public relations professionals do it? By earning a mention in a popular publication. How is this achieved? Through a well-written, hard-hitting, captivating, buzz-worthy press release!
What is a Press Release?
Similar to that of a content marketing professional primarily relying on blogs, social media posts, and website content, public relations professionals often rely upon press releases as their main source of communication.
Put simply, a press release, otherwise known as a news release, is a concise yet compelling news break often written by public relations professionals that hold the primary aim of garnering interest from a media publication or independent journalist.
By including the most pertinent information that a publication and journalist would be interested in, a press release acts as an effective “pitch”, if you will, for marketing a newsworthy subject.
In the best of cases, a press release will act as the entry point to getting your news in front of the widest and most relevant audience, ultimately gaining brand awareness and improving your business reputation.
Some of the most common examples of newsworthy announcements that would require a press release include but are certainly not limited to:
• A new product/service launch
• A new business launch
• The earning of an honorable achievement or award
• A charitable accomplishment
• A newsworthy partnership (i.e. with a celebrity)
• The hiring of an important role (i.e. directory/executive/CEO)
• Business acquisition announcement
If the news you’re hoping to publicize has the capacity of affecting a sizeable audience, whether it hits on emotion or informs the general public, a press release is likely to be successful in its aim of piquing the interest of reputable media outlets.
In short, the bigger the story, the greater the chance of getting covered by those you wish to be covered by. But first, you must write the press release!
Writing an Effective Press Release
As noted, the primary intention of a press release is to break important news surrounding the business, brand, or organization. To do so, however, you must ensure that the release being written is written properly and effectively so as to garner the attention of those who matter.
The first step? Withstanding the evident importance of having a newsworthy angle that holds enough merit to deserve a press release, it all begins with writing a captivating headline, of course!
With that said, in what follows, we’ll be sharing a general step-by-step guide on how you can write an effective press release so that the next time you’re hoping to break big news, you can do so without any doubts.
1. Write a Captivating Headline
The first thing that a media outlet, publication, or journalist is going to see isn’t the press release itself but the initial headline.
Because the headline is simply a summarized one-liner, it’s imperative to ensure it’s both concise and captivating, as its primary intention is to capture enough attention to encourage further reading of the news release.
Don’t skimp on the headline, for its arguably just as, if not more important than the contents within the press release itself!
2. Include the Most Pertinent Information Upfront
By beginning with the most important information first, you give the press release the best chance at succeeding in its primary goal. Similar to the headline, you need to give the reader something to read that’s both engaging and captivating.
With that said, disregarding the standard company name, location, and date, begin your press release by describing the who, what, when, where, and why of the story and make sure it’s attention-grabbing in the way with which it’s written.
Then and only then should you move on to add the context.
3. Support Information with Background Context
Once you’ve shared the most pertinent information upfront, it’s now time to back up your claims and clarify your positions with background context. This can be achieved through testimonials, key statistics, quotes, or further detail/research surrounding the subject.
While this is considered additional information, and though it’s intended to strengthen your stance, it’s still to remain short and concise. Too long and those that matter will not continue to read it.
4. Give a General Summary
To make the press release more “skimmable”, be sure to include a general summary of the key points made. This may be a general recount of the who, what, when, where, and why of the story, or it might be a mere call to action that will lead readers to the next steps.
Do not, however, include further information that the reader has yet to read. Again, it’s simply a summary. If you deem a summary unnecessary, that’s totally acceptable. Simply proceed and conclude with a call to action and boilerplate.
5. End with a Boilerplate
If you’ve never heard of the term “boilerplate”, it’s simply a word used in PR to refer to an “about us” section. It’s the boilerplate that includes who your company is, what it does, and how to contact it.
The boilerplate is a simple but key component of a press release. While you can include the most important information possible in the body of the release, it’ll go nowhere if the reader has no way of contacting you to further the story.
Once everything is complete, be sure to finalize the press release by double-checking its contents for grammatical mistakes and/or spelling errors.
All that’s left to do now is send it off to those of relevance (the media, business associates, news wires, etc.) and allow it to run its course. If you’re lucky, it’ll be a hit and your news will be released to the public.
Below is an example of a press release we recently wrote for one of our clients:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Dirk Foster Phone Number Email Address https://www.foster-pr.com PIVO’S MOTION TRACKING TECHNOLGY THE FUTURE FOR SMARTPHONE CONTENT CREATORS Advanced AI-Technology Gives Creators the Power to Capture Stunning Hands-Free Video Footage Using Only An iOS or Android Smartphone Los Angeles, CA (September 8, 2022) – Pivo, Inc., a leading developer of AI technology solutions for content creators, has unveiled a full line of motion tracking mounts and peripherals that will change the way videos are made with a smartphone. Incorporating advanced AI technology solutions, Pivo’s family of Pivo Pods offer an affordable and easy way to create stunning videos. The Pivo Pod is a smartphone mount that allows influencers, YouTubers, vloggers, photographers, educators, athletes, real estate agents, equestrians, and casual creatives to capture high-quality video and images with minimal effort. The Pivo Pod converts a smartphone into a hands-free tool that can capture the creator's every move. “Imagine having the power to create stunning, motion tracking videos using only a smartphone,” states Pivo CEO, Ken Kim. “Content creators no longer need to hold their smartphones or rely on another person to film them. The Pivo Pod can capture their every move quickly and easily without causing the camera to rattle, shake or miss the best shot.” One of the difficult challenges facing content creators is the ability to film themselves in motion without holding the smartphone or relying on another person. Pivo Pods give the user the power to capture stunning video footage and high-quality images using an Android or iOS device without relying on anyone else. To further enhance the user’s experience, Pivo has also launched a complete line of peripherals including tripods, cases, a lightbox, and remote controls. Notable Product Features: -Motion Tracking Mount for iOS or Android -360 Degree AI Motion Tracking -Face and Body Tracking -Hands-Free Operation and Video Calls -Auto Zoom Feature -Variety of Color Options (Pivo Influencer) -Horse Tracking Feature (Pivo Active) -3D Virtual Tour Feature (Pivo Black) -Multiple Tracking Speed Options -Pose, Connect, and Create Modes -7 Apps Available Including Video Calls, and Live Streaming -Full Range of Peripherals -Portable and Compact Design -Affordable and Easy to Operate With its innovative approach to content creation Pivo is poised to become the leading provider of motion-tracking smartphone mounts in the United States and the world. About Pivo Pivo, Inc. is a developer of AI-technology solutions for content creators. The recipient of the 2019 iF Design Award, Pivo specializes in helping creative people capture stunning footage using their smartphones. Pivo distributes its Pivo Pods to more than 138 countries. For media inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org. For sales and distribution inquiries, email email@example.com or visit https://www.pivo.ai/. ###