By Jon Clark, managing partner at Moving Traffic Media, a digital agency in Westchester, NY offering PPC, display and SEO services.
A well-written press release is an introduction to your company and increases your visibility as an industry expert within your community and beyond. You can create a brilliant press release even if you didn’t do great in your composition class.
These are the six facets of a well-written press release. Falling short on just one could have a negative effect on your success. Luckily, there are simple steps to follow.
The Most Important Question
Does this really deserve a press release? A press release highlights the story. It’s newsworthy and contains information with wide audience appeal. It probably isn’t about your brand, and it isn’t geared toward a niche market segment. It also has facts, figures, findings and a hook
Press release-worthy events include breaking industry news, an industry or community event, or the launch of a new product or service. They can also the publication of original research, winning a prestigious award, partnering with another company on a project, a change in your executive staff or even sometimes company rebranding.
If you don’t have these things, then you probably don’t have a press release.
The Big Three
A great press release starts with a strong, attention-grabbing subject line, an opening paragraph that summarizes the subject and language that cuts to the chase (this isn’t creative writing).
Many press releases are skipped after a simple glance at the subject line. To write a subject line that will get your email opened, you should personalize when possible. Be casual but professional, and avoid tired attention-grabbing tactics like all caps, exaggerated claims and emoticons.
The Power Of Paragraph One
The first paragraph needs to contain the most important information because chances are your audience is only going to skim the rest. If there are current statistics or recent findings that support the subject of your press release, get them in the first paragraph. It’s easier to skim, so use bullet points of key takeaways to make the press release easier to read and to hold your audience’s interest.
The Background Work
You’re more likely to create a mutually beneficial, ongoing relationship with the press if you’re viewed as a credible source. Always source your facts and statistics using credible citations because it makes it easy to check the validity of your claims. It also saves journalists and your general audience time and builds a reputation of credibility.
If you’re the source of the data, make that clear, and briefly define how your facts and numbers came about.
The Funnel Of Information
If you’re struggling to come up with a press release template, don’t worry. You can find plenty of them online. Some are even tailored to specific industries. But if you keep the “funnel of information” in mind, you have everything you need to format your press release.
The funnel, or inverted pyramid, is the outline of your press