It’s hard to get your name out there. There are more than 30 million small businesses in the United States. Thousands of them release a press release every day, which makes it hard to garner attention.
Yet it is essential that you learn how to write a press release. A release remains one of the best ways to publicize a business because it provides journalists with the resources for a news story. But you can’t just send an email to a reporter you know.
What is a press release? What are some good press release ideas? When is the best time to send one out?
Answer these questions and you can lure the media to your business. Here is your quick guide.
The Basics of a Press Release
A press release is a short document that shares some news with media outlets. It is sent to journalists so they can write their own news articles.
Some outlets may publish the press release unedited. Others will take quotes and details within it and integrate them into a new article.
Many small businesses send out releases to journalists on their own. Others use services to spread the word. Learn more about press release distribution services before you decide which route is best.
The press release emulates the traditional news article. It is based on a reverse pyramid, starting broad with important information. As the release progresses, it provides more detail before concluding with the contact information of the business.
You can write a press release for any purpose. Many new businesses send out one to advertise their opening. Most send one out to promote a new product or service.
Writing a Press Release
Journalists are interested in two different things. They like a juicy piece of information that they don’t know about. They also like theories that challenge popular ideas.
Your press release should offer at least one of these. Grab their attention right off the bat by placing a significant piece of information at the top. Explain a theory you have about how your industry can improve.
Your writing should have an angle to it. You should offer a perspective that is relevant to readers, including the journalist’s own audience.
You can show how your story is impacting those around you. Perhaps you are resolving a problem that affects many people. You could evoke an emotional response, focusing on the human drama you are helping with.
Your writing does not have to be complicated. If anything, the simpler your sentences, the better.
Write using simple sentences and basic diction. Follow the Associated Press Stylebook and check for any grammatical errors, including typos.
Insert bullet points and numbered lists when appropriate. Bullet points work best when you are writing a list of relevant facts. Numbered lists are good for when you are laying out a step-by-step guide to something.
Try putting in a relevant quote. It should help tell the story of your document, and you should attribute it to a particular person.
You can include a photograph. But it should be significant to your story. If you’re writing about someone in particular, share a photo of them.
Picking a Good Time
You should not release a press release just to release one. You also should not put one out for every single product you make.
Write a release for an important moment in your business. The company launch is a good opportunity. Write a story that establishes your brand, talking about your aspirations for your work.
Opening a new branch in a different city is another opportunity. You need to break the ice amongst the residents there, and a release can do that. Write to local journalists about what you do and how you stand out from the competition.
You should write whenever there is a significant staffing change. If you are hiring a new CEO, you should make a statement to the press.
If you get involved in a lawsuit or interpersonal drama, you can consider writing a release. But talk things over with your public relations staff. They should approve everything you write to journalists.
Following a Communication Strategy
Press releases do not exist on their own. To begin with, you need to cultivate good relationships with journalists. Get in touch with them at community events and offer yourself as a source for anything they do.
The journalists should be relevant to your line of work. A politics journalist is not interested in what an engineering company does.
Cultivate a give-and-take relationship with them. If you send them emails over and over again, they will ignore what you write. In exchange for printing a press release, give some quotes for another article they write.
Generate some more writing. Publish blog posts, letters-to-the-editor, and eBooks. The more informative content you put out there, the more of an expert you will seem.
How to Write a Press Release
You can learn how to write a press release in little time. Your writing should emulate the upside-down triangle model of a news article.
Have an angle to your work and keep things simple. Put in bullet points and quotes when they contribute to your story.
Pick a good time to send one out, like when you open a new branch. Follow a good strategy of recruiting journalists and writing other materials.
Your small business can be a smash hit once you have the facts. Follow our blog for more business guides.