A press release is a powerful tool in a PR specialist’s arsenal when it comes to the marketing of both small and large businesses. It provides a level ground for all businesses and, when done correctly, the rewards are enormous. It’s not only effective for building brand awareness, but also for short and long-term exposure. Since it takes more than 5 impressions for people to recall your brand, it pays to invest in press releases.

Despite these statistics, only a few companies pay so much attention to their press releases. As a result, they end up getting unsatisfactory results. Oftentimes, some of their releases are tossed out by publications and journalists due to substandard quality. Luckily, you can rely on this press release checklist for maximum results and get your content published.

Press release checklist for 2023

1) Determine the purpose

For starters, spare a moment to determine the purpose of this press release. Don’t rush into reading the rest of the guidelines without fully understanding this point. This is because each press release must address a specific purpose to make sense. Without focusing on the purpose of a particular press release, your audiences might not grasp the message you’re trying to communicate.

Journalists will set aside your release if they can’t identify its purpose. Therefore, to avoid losing the chance to sell your ideas to prospects, determine the main message of your release first.

For instance, your release might be about:

  • A new product or service launch
  • Rebranding
  • An event announcement
  • A new business partnership

There are a plethora of announcements that you could make with your press release. The above are just a few examples. In addition to defining the purpose of your press release, make sure you spare time to determine who your audiences are. What are their interests? Where are they found?

2) Stick to the recommended format

Regardless of the purpose of the press release, the format must remain the same.

  • Striking headline

Over 80% of the audience will read your headline. However, only 25% of them will dive into the rest of the story. Likewise, journalists rarely read all the releases they receive. If anything, they skim through searching for striking and worthwhile releases. As a result, all your emails must have an attention-grabbing pitch, subject line, and headline. Therefore, invest more time in creating a striking headline, perfecting it, and ensuring it has a purpose.

  • A compelling lede

With your headline ready, the next step is crafting a perfect lede. We’re talking about the opening paragraph or sentence. It should be able to summarize the following vital part of your release:

  • Why
  • How
  • Where
  • When
  • What
  • Who

Presenting all this information at the beginning of the release makes it easy for your readers to find it. With the most important details at the top, they’ll be compelled to read the rest of the text for deep insight.

  • Structural formatting

Have you mastered the proper format of writing a press lease? Well, if you haven’t, you should. Without a proper format, reporters or journalists will never bother going through the entire release. Therefore, to ensure you’re on the right course, consider using an online template. Having said that, a press release must include the following:

  • Contact details (top corner)
  • Your brand logo (top corner)
  • Date of the release
  • Major Headline ( Capitalized and bold)
  • Subheading (optional)
  • A dateline (month, state, city)
  • Lede paragraph
  • Body
  • Boilerplate
  • ### (indicates the end)

Most importantly, your release should fit one page. So, if it’s more than a page, make sure you condense it.

3) Include statistics and facts

When you are ready to draft your press release, pay attention to the information you include. To make it more compelling and newsworthy, incorporate statistics and facts that will strengthen your story. Additionally, double-check your references before you include them in the release. Everything must be accurate, reliable, and credible. Finally, don’t forget to include your reference links.

4) Use a persuasive CTA

More than 60% of marketers claim their greatest challenge is enhancing organic traffic and lead generation. Luckily, a persuasive CTA (call-to-action) can help you with this. Using the CTA, you can compel your audience to take specific actions. It could be buying your product or hiring your services, among others. In order to design a persuasive CTA, consider the action you want the audience to take. Your CTA must also align with the purpose of the release.

5) Add a quote from an authority figure

Even with a compelling release, you still need to give it a touch of authority. You can easily do this by adding a trustworthy quote. In this case, you can rely on an authority figure in your company or organization to get this quote. With such a quote, your release will have more authority.

When choosing the quote, make sure it’s relevant to the purpose of the release. You can get it from the stakeholders, project leader, or executive. If it’s a release for partnership or collaboration, you should get quotes from both parties.

6) Contact details

This is a basic and essential piece of information that must be in the release. Including contact details can make the difference between a journalist writing a story based on your press release and forgetting about you entirely. Adding contact details makes it easy for a journalist to contact you for more details without having to do too much digging. Therefore, if you want to get positive media coverage, you need to include this information. Important contact information includes:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Email address

With these contact details, the journalist may contact you. Make sure you only include the contact channels that you frequently use, to avoid having calls or emails going unanswered.

7) Include quality images

Including quality images in your release will help it stand out from the rest. In order for this to work in your favor, the images must be high-resolution, unique, and serve the purpose of the release. With these images, your release will have a professional look. When you’re including the images, attach them to the email to give the reporter an easy time downloading them.

8) Finish off with a boilerplate

Don’t forget to include a boilerplate to wrap up your release. A standard boilerplate comprises key information like your business history, and what it does, among other pieces of information. Additionally, include your company’s official site link. To ensure your boilerplate is in good form, it must be short, precise, and clear.

Adding “###”  marks the end of the release. Thereafter, do some copyediting to ensure the information is accurate and the format and grammar are right before sending it to journalists.

Over to you

With the right pieces of information and the right combination of content, writing a winning press release shouldn’t be too hard. While most companies are completely capable of creating a press release on their own, sometimes hiring a PR agency to write and distribute a professional press release for you can be beneficial.

The PR specialists at Pressfarm can do all of this and more.

Pressfarm is a PR agency that specializes in creating quality content for brands across different industries. With a professional press release, some engaging guest posts, and an eye-catching media kit from Pressfarm, you can capture media attention and inspire your target audience.

By submitting your content to the right media outlets and startup directories, Pressfarm can boost your online presence and ensure that you rank in relevant search results across different search engines. In addition to content creation, Pressfarm’s account executive creates a personalized media list for each client. With these custom media lists, you can connect with the best thought leaders and storytellers in your industry.