Basic Press Release Writing Guide for Marketers & PR Professionals

There are certain rules in writing a press release. Marketers and PR professionals should be aware of these rules in order to have a successful campaign.

It Must Be Newsworthy

The first thing to think about is whether the story is newsworthy or not. Evaluate yours. Is it timely, interesting and relevant?

If not, reporters will not pick up your story. It should also have a human element in order for the audience to connect with your story. Without it, it has no impact.

Do this before writing. Once you’re sure that you have a newsworthy news, you can start writing by remembering all the rules. It is important that you abide by these directions to have a greater chance of media coverage.

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Important Elements Included in a Release

Answer the 5Ws (what, where, when, why, who) and 1H (how).

What: What is new with the story?

Where: Location of the story.

When: When it will take place?

Who: Who are the important players? Who will benefit?

How: How it will happen?

Write the answers to these questions in the introduction. It shouldn’t sound robotic. Write it as natural as you can.

You have to ensure that you are able to bring the key points and benefits. Don’t scatter the details within the body of the release. It should be found straight in the first paragraph.

How to write for the audience?

You have to know how to write for your target audience. For instance, the audience of trade magazines is different from the audience of a local radio program. You have to personalize your release, depending on your target.

When you craft your release, write it with your target audience in mind. You should know their needs and how you can fill them using your offer.

Write it using the language they use. Avoid industry jargons and buzzwords.

Ideal Length of a Release

A well written release shouldn’t be too short or too long. It must not exceed 500 words. Do not write lengthy paragraphs.

Get straight to the point all the time. Keep in mind that the first paragraph should contain all the essential information, without the need to read the entire release.

The following paragraphs only back up the claims found in the first paragraph. The second paragraph provides more details about the information.

The quote is written in the third paragraph. The fourth paragraph contains added information about the announcement.

Who to Send the release?

Identify the reporters and publications that you are targeting. You need a little time for research. You can pitch to:

  • A local media
  • National media

When doing your assignment, find out their deadlines and working schedules. It ensures that you send your copy before their deadlines.

Find out their interests and beat. Read their most recent articles. Do you think they can provide you media coverage with the type of stories they cover?

Email is the ideal method to pitch reporters. Craft the subject line as creative as possible. The subject line and the headline predict if your story will be covered or not.

Do not send an attachment. Copy paste your release in the email. If you need to show images, video or any file, send a link where they can access them, rather than including an attachment.

Building relationships with Reporters

If you are pitching to reporters, it is a must that you have relationships with them. It’s about building connections before sending your copy and asking for a big favor.

Not all marketers and PR professionals follow this rule. They pitch to reporters, without even knowing if they are a good fit for each other.

One way you can build this connection is by following them on social media. Use social platforms, such as Twitter and LinkedIn that are often used by the media for their work.

Every time they post something that you find valuable, offer interactions. Like, share, retweet or provide comments to get into their radar.

Doing this ensures that they remember you the time that you pitch. Of course, you have to display that you did your research.

Admire them for their most recent article, or tell them how your story can help with their beat. This provides instant traction with them.

Hiring a Press Release Service

If you are hiring a press release writing service distribution company, make sure that you do your research or ask recommendations first. You need to read online service review and feedback provided by their previous clients.

Consider the features, packages and analytics report. You have to go back to your goals and weigh if the newswire company can help you achieve it.

Another factor that is important is pricing. Does the cost of the package fit your budget? How long do you plan to conduct your campaign?

You should be able to measure your return-on-investment (ROI) with the help of tracking reports they provide. Without measuring the performance of your campaign, you are just wasting your time, effort and money. Knowing how well your story picked up will help you plan for your future campaigns.

Remember these pointers in writing a press release in order to land publicity. It takes practice to master all the rules, but with a little patience and hard work, you can achieve your goals.