A ‘Press Release’ Defined
You’ve heard the term and you’ve probably read one or two. If you’ve come to this article, you’re seeking the first step to writing one. You’ve come to the right place. The first step to understanding how to write one, is knowing what a press release is. A press release is a brief, new/factual-centered, captivating article delivered to media outlets. The goal is to launch these pieces to media organizations and capture their attention. When the media craves to learn more, it means they’re probably going to produce a television or news story. Put simply, effective press releases create free marketing and advertising for your business, event, or organization. But, in order to write a press release, make sure you’ve got the news worthy of being told.
You have exciting news: Share it.
The ultimate goal of a press release is to gain media exposure. The media does not want to cover boring news and they definitely don’t want to be sold something. The most effective way you can write and capture their attention is:
- Be interesting;
- Answer a question people in your community are asking;
- Leave out the sales pitch;
- Elevate yourself as a resource and as an expert;
- Give them a juicy story.
If you’re reading this and saying, “Okay, great, my news isn’t boring and I’m not selling anything,” continue reading, my friend. There are tons of topics that could be covered in a press release. Maybe you’re launching a new company, or you’re about to drop a new product into the market or maybe you’re throwing a huge event. Whatever it is, don’t be shy. Your organization is far from boring and your story deserves to be told.
Tell your story and gain exposure.
Your press release could turn into a news story which could turn into a giant pat on the back from your entire community. But only if you tell it. The “why” behind getting these written are highlighted in many ways:
- Press releases that turn into stories turn into news that spreads. On top of that, it’s free! While any exposure is great, free exposure is king.
- They let someone else do the bragging for you. If a news organization picks up your story, that means that you have someone else boasting on your behalf, which is always going to be better than you talking yourself up. Decide which sounds better: A friend telling you about a new restaurant in town, saying “you need to check it out, you’ll absolutely love it!” or having the owner tell you “my new restaurant is the best in town, you just have to eat here!” The Nielsen Group, an organization who studies behaviors of consumers from over 100 different countries, conducted a study that showed 92% of people trust word-of-mouth recommendations, while only 24% trust paid advertisements (Nielsen, 2012).
- They create an additional way to tell your brand’s story or message. Writing press releases regularly is a great way to archive all the big moments in your company’s history and journey.
- They’re a great starting (or ending) point to create other content such as blogs, articles or newsletters. There is no shame in “double dipping.” If your news is worth sending to the media, chances are it can be the basis for other types of content.
Now that you know the “why” behind press releases, it’s time for the what and how. You need to write a press release. We’ve made it easy. Click here for our step-by-step guide.
Nielsen group. Global consumer’ trust in ‘earned’ advertising grows in importance. April 2012. Retrieved from: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-room/2012/nielsenGlobal-consumers-trust-in-earned-advertising-grows.html
Pinkston group. A well-developed earned-media campaign builds trust with your customers in a way that paid media cannot. Retrieved from: http://pinkstongroup.com/about/earned-media