How to write a press release
Press releases are a vital element in any business’ marketing communications. Since they represent the firm’s brand, it is clearly essential that messaging and brand positioning are correct. In addition, there are a number of commonly accepted (and expected) elements to a press release, the inclusion of which is essential in ensuring acceptance by leading online press release resources.
Purpose and Message
Any press release must be justified. From the launch of a new website through to opening offices in new locations or the announcement of new products or services, the press release must have a clear purpose and message. Whilst there is considerable search engine optimisation (SEO) value in the judicious use of press releases, poorly conceived releases and those lacking any demonstrable purpose are unlikely to be accepted by leading press release publishing or distribution sites. Moreover, they are unlikely to garner acceptance in the reader.
The press release title must clearly reflect its location, source and purpose. “London, England, July 2017 – ZZZ.com announces the opening of a new office in Manchester in response to market demand” would be a good example.
This must convey the key messages in no more than a couple of sentences and grab the reader’s attention. What, when, why, who?
The main body of the press release will expand upon the introductory paragraph, explaining the rationale behind the action being announced, citing key players and, where appropriate, third parties and clearly indicating the benefits of the action to its target audience in a factual rather than sales focused style.
Attribution, Quotation and Citation
As you formulate the body of the press release, ensure that you provide suitable attribution for any statistics. The major press release distribution sites will require a domain, if not a fully-formed URL. Other attribution may simply be the name of a third party organisation. For example, “according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) . . .”
Quotations should, similarly, be correctly attributed. Many firms choose to include quotations from senior management in the firm: “we believe that our new Manchester office will allow us to deliver our current and planned solutions to clients in the region hitherto unreachable from our London headquarters” commented John Smith, Chief Operating Officer at ZZZ.com.”
Contact Details and Call to Action
The final major element of the press release, these provide an opportunity to introduce a perfectly legitimate call to action, allowing the reader to find or request additional information. For example “For further information on XYZ.com’s new service offering, please contact:-”
This should be followed by a contact name, role, telephone number, email, website address and, ideally, the requisite social media contact details such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other relevant resources.