So you have a great idea for a press release announcement but you’re not sure what press release format to follow? This happens to many people, especially when they’re new to press release writing. In fact, it happens to many writers in general.
Not knowing how to structure your thoughts can be infuriating, especially if you have a deadline to meet. We’ve been there and we know how frustrating it is when you need to put your thoughts on paper but you’re not sure how. To make your life easier, we’ve developed a press release format that you can follow. With this sample, you can easily remember every step required when writing a press release.
Recommended press release format: Best practices for press release writing
1. Develop a newsworthy story angle
If your story is not newsworthy, then creating a release based on this story will be a waste of time. After all, you need to write about something engaging if you hope to capture attention with your press release. Developing a newsworthy story angle also helps you to earn credibility for your brand. Therefore, if you don’t have any newsworthy ideas to work on, do some more brainstorming. It’s important to keep on digging until you find something that your audience will care about.
2. Answer the five basic questions
Who, What, Why, Where, and When are the five basic questions that every press release must answer. You can start by imagining how your audience will respond to your press release. What do you want them to notice about your brand, as well as the event, product, or service you’re talking about? What makes your story exciting to read? How well does your story align with their Google searches?
You should use the first two lines to tell your story briefly. Thereafter, you can expand on that information in the second and third paragraphs of your release. This is where the five Ws come in. They will help you expand on the brief details you provided in the title, subheading, and lead. However, it’s important to keep your press release brief. The readers don’t have all the time in the world to spend on your release. The shorter it is, the easier it will be to maintain their attention.
Your introductory paragraph should give the reader a sense of what your business does. Without using salesy language, use the paragraph to create a profile for your venture. As usual, you may get tempted to write more about your company. You may also find yourself diving into long descriptions of your product or services. After all, the release is all about your brand. In reality, this overly salesy approach never works in a press release
Strive to keep your lines concise and brief. Providing excess information is never a good thing. If anything, the most effective press releases are very short. Try and limit yours to between 350 and 600 words. This should fit easily on one page.
3. Craft an engaging headline and summary
The goal of your press release headline is to capture the readers’ attention. Therefore, you should reveal the unique aspect of your brand that you would love to share. After all, that’s the true purpose of a press release. Writing a good headline is an art, and you need regular practice to get good at it. If your headline is dull, your message will not reach the right people. In fact, people will not even pay attention to it. Remember that the headline is the first section of your press release that your audience will read. As such, it must be catchy.
Once you’ve crafted an engaging headline, work on a summary that you can use as a subtitle. Remember, most readers will skim through your release. They often pay the most attention to the headline and subheading. Therefore, you should make both of them count.
4. Include quotes
Quotes improve the power of a release because they offer support to your claims. You should place your quotes in the second or third paragraph or near the end of the press release. What kind of quotes should you be sharing here? If you have a social media account with positive reviews, you can pick one that’s relevant to your content and share it in form of a quote.
Alternatively, you can use quotes from your stakeholders. You can get valuable quotes from stakeholders, team leaders, and investors. The quotes will improve the authenticity of your release as newsworthy content. Sometimes a good quote can even encourage readers to buy your products or attend your event. A good quote will actually boost the credibility of your press release announcement and give people more reasons to trust you.
5. Optimize your content
Search engine optimization is an important part of a press release. It helps boost its visibility by enabling it to appear at the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). When we’re doing online searches, we often rely on the result that appears on the SERPs. As you can see, increased visibility helps boost your credibility. If you can optimize your press release well enough to feature on the first page of these search results, then you can increase your chances of people clicking on your press release.
Thanks to the increased visibility that comes with press release optimization, you can gain more traffic that brings along quality leads. Use both short and longtail keywords to optimize your content. You should also include the primary keyword in the headline and other parts of the release. Lastly, don’t forget to optimize the URL as well.
6. Provide the launch date, contact info, and company bio
Besides sharing a newsworthy story, contact details can make the difference between a journalist who calls for more details and one who reads your press release and moves on. When you’re writing a press release, it’s important to keep your writing brief and don’t overwhelm the readers with information. Give them just enough to create a thirst for more information. In addition to that, you need to provide sufficient contact details that a journalist can use to reach you for more details. If a journalist can easily reach you for comments or visit your newsroom for more information, they’re more likely to write a story based on your press release announcement.
7. Set aside some time for proofreading
In order to make sure that your press release is effective, you can’t just hit “send” the moment you finish writing it. It’s important to go back and read it with a fresh pair of eyes to make sure there are no grammatical errors, formatting mistakes, and superfluous phrases. Using exaggerations is not good, and the same goes for misleading phrases or facts that you can’t prove. In order to highlight all these mistakes, you might need to get a skilled copy editor to look through your press release before you send it out. A good copy editor will also eliminate or rephrase any sections of your press release that are too promotional. Remember, writing a press release is all about storytelling – reserve any sales tactics for your shop floor.
Your turn: Use this press release format to write a memorable release
Now that we’ve walked you through the recommended press release format, it’s time to take action and use this advice to create the best press release you can write for your brand. If you’re still struggling with some sections or the entire release, contact the team at Pressfarm. Since these PR specialists and expert writers have years of experience writing press releases for brands across different industries, they can help you through the difficult parts. If you need their help creating the release from scratch, they can do that too.
Once your press release is done, the team at Pressfarm can also help you to distribute it widely and get it published in respected media outlets. In this way, they can help you capture attention among your target audience when it matters most. Finally, if you’d prefer to do your own press release distribution, the account executive at Pressfarm can build a custom media list designed to help you connect with reputable journalists in your niche. By reaching out to them with the right pitching strategy, you can get your press release featured on their media outlets.