Have you ever wondered what sets a press release apart from an ordinary article? What makes them so special and how do you format a press release to serve its purpose? In order to achieve the goals set forth by a press release, it can be helpful to know what it is supposed to do in the first place. While there are many good press release examples, there are also plenty of poorly written ones.
A Press Release: The Start Of An Amazing Content Strategy
When writing a press release, there are several goals you should keep in your mind in order to stay on course with the word count and purpose.
1) Write the Right Type of Headlines.
Too many times a writer may say something like, “Samsung to Unveil a New Product” and while that title isn’t the worst title ever, it doesn’t draw the reader in. What if the reader doesn’t recognize Samsung as a provider for the electronics they use? You may encounter people who will associate Samsung with TVs but in reality, you are writing a press release for an innovative new phone. The audience will glance over the release and move on if they are looking for a new phone. Try a headline like this instead, “Samsung Launches never before seen Features in a New Phone.” This type of headline gives the reader an exact idea of what to expect when they continue reading.
2) Provide the Necessary Info Quickly and Succinctly.
No guesswork and no digging. You wrote the press release to disseminate information, yet sometimes the press release can leave the reader wondering where to buy the item, when it will be released, what to expect, and even who is responsible for the release. This works for the release of a new item, opening of a new venue, and even the announcement of a new hire. Maintain the fine line between giving away all the information and luring the reader in to read the website, in depth feature list, and obtaining more information. You want the reader to be alerted to the news item but to also desire to find out more.
According to several journalistic sites, the shorter the press release, the better. Keep it under 400 words. In fact, you will probably be forced to narrow it down if it comes in over that word count. Short and sweet will get the point across and not consume the reader who just wanted to know the quick version of the news.
3) Make it Fun!
When constructing a press release, it is vital to keep in mind the purpose is to release news, but the balance between interesting and professional can be met when you learn the correct way. A fun headline, quirky quotes, and even humor about the past can bring the audience into the story in a humorous manner.
Consider writing a headline that twists the words around to create an angle that will be clicked on such as: “Brave Mountain Lion Fends Off Group of Hikers” instead of “Hikers Injured Fleeing from Mountain Lion.” There are other examples where the author has sensationalized the headline a bit but the article itself still has the facts and necessary points to make it a worthwhile piece. Check out some of the controversial and eye-grabbing headlines on the Mirror.
4) Create Headlines, Sub-headlines, and Other Techniques To Help The Reader Skim.
Not only will this help the reader glean the necessary information, but also it can give the reader a quick idea if this is an article they really want to read. With so many authors writing misleading headlines, the sub-headers can assist in the overall goal of the piece for the legitimate press releases. By making the release digestible for the reader in a tablet form or even on a cell phone screen, you are ensuring the maximum amount of exposure. When was the last time you got a link for an interesting article, clicked on it through your phone, and closed out of it based on the fact that your screen was full of text that didn’t let you scroll through it quickly?
5) It Should Be Worthwhile Reading.
The Internet is not called the “Information Superhighway” for nothing! It isn’t called the little dirt road of information but rather denoted as the biggest mode of transportation, and your press release can get lost in the midst of all the options. Not only will there probably be other articles on the same topic but some will have graphics, charts, and crazy pictures to go with it. What will yours have? If a reader can get the main idea through skimming bullets, headers, and quotes, your press release can be the one referenced in their encounters throughout the day. Not only will they use your information and possibly spread your link, but you can have the satisfaction of knowing the public is learning about this news worthy item through your work.
Use quotes—but only the ones that matter. If the company is opening a new store, hiring an exceptional new employee, introducing a new product, it is safe to assume they are happy with it. So by stating the obvious, “the team is happy with the news,” you are wasting good space and the reader’s attention. Would they really be announcing the news if they hated the new hire or were embarrassed by the new release? Probably not, so steer clear of the obvious so as not to offend or annoy the reader base.
You’ve probably read some great press releases examples in your search on the web. One of the best ways to create that catching piece is to go back and read the ones that caught your eye. What was it that made you continue reading? The title, the headers, the pictures, the easy to understand terms, or the way the reader engaged you throughout? By emulating those features, you can write an outstanding piece with the potential to go viral within hours of posting.