As great as press releases are, they’re not precisely the most riveting things to turn into content. In fact, most press releases are published in the same way, with not much character or excitement throughout.
With a press release, various other businesses will have the same information as you—and they also tend to write their press release in a journalistic style. For this reason, you have to try to stand out from the crowd—so that people come to you for information.
We’re here to help. Here are eight tips on how to turn your standard, boring press release into the type of content that is worth sharing.
1. Find the selling points
The “selling points” are for your business—what sells this press release to your audience, and why should they read it?
To find this, take a trip to your market research. What type of interests does your target audience have? What do they like to read? Also, ask yourself what you want to watch, read, and listen to. Would you click on this press release if you saw it?
Is there anything new in your story, anything unusual or unexpected, and would anybody really care? Sometimes you have to be super harsh, and if you find it’s just too boring – you might want to hold off on writing the press release.
Image by Shahid Abdullah from Pixabay
2. The headline is key
Now that you have your selling point, you have your headline. Your press release will more than likely be sent to journalists, who will only spend a few seconds to consider it. If your headline isn’t catchy, your email will get deleted. Think of the headline as the subjectof an email.
It’s a cruel industry. Pick your most exciting part of the press release, and make it your headline. You’re doing the journalist’s job for them.
3. Next step: the top line
Just because you’ve managed to get the journalist to click on your press release, doesn’t mean they’ll carry on reading. The top line has to hook them, making them want to learn more.
Make this read like a news story, so that those reading can imagine it in their newspaper or magazine.
This top line shouldn’t really exceed 20 words. Thus, it needs to be short, snappy, and appealing.
A tip to writing the first line is using the “5 Ws” – who, what, where, when, and why. Take a look at your local newspaper for an example.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
4. Make it fun to read
With the introduction of the internet, boring press releases don’t suffice anymore. Press releases need a bit more character and pizazz. Obviously, keep it professional at the same time.
Insert little one-liners, jokes, and pop culture references. Many best paper writersagree that as long as you don’t sacrifice an air of professionalism, this will go down a treat. Notably, traditional ideas of professionalism are disappearing – people want to connect with a relatable, laid-back company.
Adding witty one-liners doesn’t make your press release newsworthy, though. So, make sure that you have an equal balance.
5. Take tips from journalists
We know, journalists have studied and practiced for years—and they have a skill which can’t really be learned overnight. However, to write a successful press release, you do have to tune into your inner journalist.
Journalists simultaneously produce laidback and professional content. They make it easy to read while still providing a mass of information.
We recommend reading a few press releases in a newspaper – preferably one with a similar focus and target audience to your business.
Instead of publishing or sending a press release which says “this is who we are and what we do,” make it more along the lines of ” Why you need this product in your life.”
Here is a press release example from Abodo.com, analyzing the apartment rental market in Milwaukee. Pay attention to their attention-drawing data, call-to-actions and apparent benefits. The formatting of the text makes it easy to scan and read. The boilerplate includes detailed information about the location and specific features of the market. It is also completed by a short and descriptive statistics.
6. Know the basics
Your press release should only be about 400 words, as it is considered a short news item. Anything longer risks being ignored, by both media outlets and readers.
If your press release exceeds 400 words, you probably have unnecessary information throughout. Don’t worry, you can save this information for feature articles.
We’d say, cut any information you’ve provided about the background and history of your company. If you’re struggling to cut pieces out, you should consider turning them into bullet points. Plus, it’s important to get to the pointas early in the press release as possible.
7. Use quotes
Always try to include useful quotes throughout your press release. Obviously, these quotes should be relevant and valuable and actually add context to your press release.
Take it way back to school – when you were told to “PEA” on your paper. Make your point, add evidence, and then analyze.
Basically, any major point you make should be followed up with a quote which supports the detail.
Make sure your quotes are easy to understand – they shouldn’t be full of technical jargon or unknown information.
8. Include a call to action
A call to action, at the end of your press release, attracts potential customers and gives them the data that they need. Whether it’s a link to your shop, a date for the event, or a phone number.
The reader can make the next steps, and it also makes the entire task of writing a press release worthwhile.
Using these 8 helpful tips for writing a press release, you’ll assuredly be on the right track to creating a killer one. When used correctly, press releases can generate leads, and may even increase your following.
Remember, practice makes perfect.