A good press release can open doors for your business.
Unfortunately, many business owners find it difficult to gain traction through press releases. Why? It's usually because they fail to understand why they are writing a press release in the first place.
A press release is a hook – a succinct invitation for reporters and other media representatives to report on a specific aspect of your business. So right away, you know that your press release has to be newsworthy. But in addition to that, your press release has to be short and factual. You're not writing an article and you're not selling products on a street corner. You're simply giving the media a reason to take a closer look.
Most press releases begin with your contact information followed by a title line, the main body of text, and information about your company. There really isn't any reason for a press release to be more than two or three pages in length. Here's what else you need to know to write a great press release.
- Identify your focus. Generic press releases don't capture much attention in the media marketplace. Instead, you should approach your press release with the intention of communicating a specific aspect or detail of your business. What's most important to your business right now? You answer to that question is the topic of your press release.
- Be straightforward and factual. A press release is not a sales sheet. If your press release comes across as sales-oriented or exaggerated, it will have no chance with today's pitch-weary reporters.
- Create a fantastic title. Your title has to be clear, concise, and fantastic. Combined, your title and opening line present a one-two punch for readers. If you can't grab their attention upfront, they won't stick around to discover what else your press release says.
- Include quotes and statistics. Quotes and statistics can help dress up a blasé press release, especially if they catch the reader off-guard or leverage the reputation of a big name. The caveats are that they need to be used sparingly and in a way that supports the main point(s) found elsewhere in the document.
- Push background information to the end. Most press releases include a paragraph or two of background information at the end. That means you don't have to waste space upfront talking about your company's history and mission or your personal credentials. But even though that information doesn't appear until the end of the press release, make sure to include it because it provides context for media contacts.