Press releases are one of the most traditional forms of promotion. The name itself comes from the newspaper industry which is slowly being overtaken by digital periodicals and news magazines. However, the notion of a press release is still quite popular for announcements of new products and events. Press releases are used as early promotional tools to build excitement through mainstream news media.
Writing Press Releases
Writing press releases is not rocket science. However, to write one properly you need to follow a tone and format that many writers may not be comfortable with. The tone of a press release is professional, factual and written in third person. A press release cannot be written in a familiar tone such as a commercial or blog post.
Press Release Format
A press release is written in a specific format. You cannot deviate from the format too much or you no longer have a press release. There are several sites that have templates to follow when writing your press release. This template by Hubspot is one that I like to use as a reference.
Title and Subtitle
The first section of a press release is the title and subtitle. The title is the attention getter. It should be about five to ten words that would fit in a newspaper article title space. The subtitle should give further details explaining the title.
The first paragraph of the press release gives the basic news announcement. Company X is announcing that Event W will be held at Location Y on Date Z. The rest of the first paragraph will illustrate the facts in the announcement.
The second paragraph (which can be expanded to two paragraphs) gives the background leading up to the announcement in the first paragraph. Use this paragraph to discuss the people and history that has led to the announcement and the meaning behind the announcement. Talk about how it affects the reader.
The last paragraph of a press release gives the general company information. Discuss who the company is that is making the announcement and their significance in the business or industry that they are in. Include the company address and contact information.
Journalistic Tone and Language
When writing the press release, stick to a journalistic tone and wording. Even if the press release is a marketing document, the tone should sound like a newspaper article. If you stick to this tone and format, you will be writing press releases like a pro.
Paula A spends too much time online, drinks too many cups of coffee and enjoys her vices thoroughly. You can find her in front of a computer or on her smartphone with a cup of coffee nearby almost any day of the week.