Drafting an effective press release
It’s about your audience, not you.
1. Define your audience
Before you draft anything, decide whether you want the press release to generate media attention or announce important news to your customers and prospective customers. Or perhaps it is a combination of the two.
If it’s media you’re seeking, find a timely, interesting angle that would draw the attention of a reporter. Journalists are always looking for new stories and sources, but they need to tie back to their assignments, which often are seasonal or linked to current events.
2. Be clear and concise
Your press release needs to include a catchy headline, and the key information should be packed into the first paragraph. Reporters, consumers and vendors need to be able to understand the announcement easily just by reading the headline. Think of it as a tweet – the more clever, simple and clear, the better.
Try to stay away from jargon and write it like it was coming from a real reporter not a marketing department.
3. Keep the attention on your audience
It may make sense to focus your release on announcing a new product or service, or perhaps even an accolade or prestigious award you’ve won. But make sure the announcement bears in mind the perspective of your audience and how it helps them. Even when a press release announces a company or individual award, remember to tie it back to why that helps your customers.
Example: “As the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Environmental Innovation, we are delighted that our research has helped thousands of customers solve their air conditioning needs and has been recognized by industry experts as best-in-class.”
4. Optimize your distribution
With today’s emphasis on online marketing, it’s critical to choose your words wisely: strong keywords will help drive your SEO value. Not only can strong keywords help people find your press release if they’re searching the topic, they can help your website’s overall search placement.
Make sure you’re distributing the press release across all communication channels for maximum reach. Consider using a wire service, posting to your website, including in your company newsletters and publications, and spreading the word via social media. Don’t be shy: The goal of a press release is to share the message, so share it widely.
5. Be easily reachable
Placing your contact information prominently can ensure that readers know who you are and how to reach you, even if they only get a few lines in.
Be sure to list all the ways to connect with you within your PR release, including your social media channels. And if someone reaches out, follow up with them. It’s easy to lose track of people on social media, but if they’re spending their time sharing your release, it’s important to thank them and find ways to keep the conversation going.
Ultimately, a press release must contain information that is newsworthy and relevant to your audience. Choose your topics wisely, and follow these simple steps to give your press release the best chance for success.