Content marketing is three times more efficient in generating leads than outbound marketing. In fact, 92% of businesses report content as a valuable asset. Businesses that post on blogs generate 126% more web traffic than others, too.
It’s not enough to create blog content, though. Instead, consider creating press releases as well. Press releases can help you generate media coverage and brand awareness.
Don’t rush to learn how to write a press release just yet. You’ll need to keep the proper press release format in mind first.
Otherwise, journalists might ignore your press release. If a publication doesn’t pick up your release, you won’t get published.
Give yourself the advantage! Learn how to format your press release properly with these tips today.
1. Have a Purpose
Before you learn how to write a press release, consider why you’re writing one. It’s important to give your press release a singular purpose. Otherwise, the focus might seem scattered and unclear.
If journalists can’t determine the value you’re offering readers, they won’t publish your press release. Instead, they’ll toss your release to the bottom of the stack. You’ll miss a chance to reach customers as a result.
Instead, determine why you’re writing your press release.
For example, you might need to announce:
- A merger or acquisition
- A new product or service
- An event you’re hosting or participating in
- New employees or executives
- A new website
- Opening a new brand
- A new business partnership
Make sure your press release is clear, concise, and focused. Cut out the fluff when editing your press release, too.
Otherwise, you could risk losing the reader’s attention.
Who are your readers, anyway? Take the time to learn about your target audience. Understanding your target audience will help you write with them in mind.
You’ll have an easier time focusing on providing readers with valuable information they want.
Understanding your target audience will help you find the right distribution channels, too. Otherwise, you might choose the wrong publications. If your content isn’t relevant to the publication’s audience, they won’t publish it.
2. Grab the Reader’s Attention
Once you determine who your readers are, you’ll have an easier time grabbing their attention.
Focus on what your readers want. How can you help them? What information might pique their interest?
About 80% of readers will glance at your headline. Unfortunately, only 20% will check out the rest of your press release. If you want to keep people reading, you need to grab and engage them.
Write your headline with the value you’re offering readers in mind. You’ll have an easier time keeping them focused on the press release’s purpose.
If they can’t determine what the press release is about from the beginning, they might not keep reading.
3. Start Formatting
Remember, using the proper press release format isn’t essential. If you make formatting errors, journalists will take notice. They read hundreds of press releases every day.
If your press release isn’t formatted properly, they could toss it aside.
Journalists will only give your press release a precursory glance. Grabbing their attention with a strong headline is only the first step. Then, you’ll need to maintain their attention.
Here are a few press release format tips that can help.
The first step when learning how to write a press release is to perfect your headline. You can add a short subheading to your press release, too.
The headline should sound both compelling and irresistible to readers. However, it needs to convey the press release’s focus, too.
Use compelling, action-oriented verbs. Make sure the language is clear and concise, though. The flowery language might confuse readers.
Creating the perfect headline can take time and practice. Consider working with a press release writing company. They can save you valuable time and effort with this process.
You can check out these case studies to learn more.
The Five Ws
Once you’ve grabbed the reader’s attention, give them the information they’re looking for. Your opening lede paragraph should include the five Ws:
Your readers shouldn’t have to dig through the press release to find essential information. Instead, include everything they need in the opening.
As you follow this press release format, keep the inverted pyramid in mind. The most important information appears at the top. Additional information appears at the bottom.
If journalists need to trim your press release down, they’ll start at the bottom of the page.
Make sure your press release fits on a single page. Trim down fluff as needed.
You can pull up a press release template online to follow. Make sure your city and state appear in bold before the lede paragraph.
After the lede paragraph, you can include supporting facts. Consider formatting these facts in a bullet point list. Bullets are easy to skim-read.
A Credible Quote
Don’t forget to add a credible quote from an authority figure. A pull quote can give your peace more authority. You can quote a stakeholder, executive, or project leader.
Make sure the quote adds more information to the press release. Otherwise, it’s fluff.
Add a little background information before ending your press release. Your readers will feel more informed about your business.
As you use these tips, consider formatting your press release for search engine optimization (SEO), too. SEO will help you rank higher on search engines. You can appear in front of more readers and boost your brand.
Your boilerplate should include information about what your business does. Keep this paragraph short, clear, and concise. Don’t forget to add a link to your company’s website, too.
End your press release with “###” below the last paragraph. Then, add your contact information.
If the journalist has any questions, they can contact you immediately.
The Proper Press Release Format: Your Guide to Effect PR Writing
Don’t create a messy, unfocused press release. Instead, use these tips to use the proper press release format. Formatting your release properly will increase the chances journalists will pick it up.
Once they distribute your press release, you can reach more customers and boost your business.
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