How to Format Press Releases

How do you format a press release, you ask? Learn how to write an effective press release that paints your business in a positive light to help you achieve your goals.

Press releases are a critical component of public relations. A press release is essentially a news story that is written by a PR team and is sent out to the news media to provide information about a brand. If you're a business owner, you can’t just expect people to find out about your brand. You have to generate attention yourself, and a great way to do that is with a press release.

Press releases are imperative for any business to share important information to the public. Writing press releases also helps to build credibility with both journalists and customers. You can share the vision of your company with a press release and inform existing and potential customers about your business’s goals.

To learn more about how to write a press release for your business, continue reading the entire blog post.

What is a press release?

A press release is an official statement that a business sends out to the news media to provide information, to create a statement, or to make an announcement. A press release is typically written by the public relations (PR) team of an organization. It’s usually a short document of only one to two pages in length and clearly explains the purpose in a succinct way that is easy to understand.

There are many reasons why businesses should include press releases in their marketing/PR strategies. First and foremost, press releases are a great way to build a relationship with the media– which is important for any business.

The media is how news about your business gets from you to the customer, so it’s imperative to have a solid relationship with news media outlets. If you have a good relationship with journalists, getting press coverage for your business will also be much easier. The more press coverage you get, the more successful your business will be.

A press release is also a way for you to control the narrative. You choose what you want to release about your brand and what you want to keep private. A good press release will also utilize SEO best practices, so it can help generate traffic to your business’s website. Lastly, businesses should include press releases in their PR strategies simply because it’s a good way to increase your customer engagement and interact with existing and potential customers in a new way.

Press release formatting tips

When it comes to writing a press release, it’s crucial to know the proper press release format. If you have a press release format that you can follow, then actually writing the press release will be a whole lot easier. It may also be helpful to look at a sample press release so you can get a better idea of how to craft yours in a compelling way.

But in the meanwhile, here are some helpful press release formatting tips that you should follow:

Pick a newsworthy and relevant topic

This is arguably one of the most important tips to follow. If you’re going to be sending out a press release, you want it to be newsworthy. Newsworthy and relevant topics are what people find interesting and they’re what will get people talking about your business. You want to pick a topic that is relevant to your target audience and includes pertinent information that you know they care about. This will help to generate interest about your brand.

Have an engaging headline

The headline of your press release is what is initially going to draw people in and entice them to read it, so it needs to be good. Your headline is essentially the first impression of your press release. It should be short and straight to the point, but still interesting and appealing.

Keep it concise

As tempting as it may be to include a ton of information about your business, you want to keep your press release as concise as possible. The longer it is, the less likely people are to actually read the entire thing. Don’t include any fluff– just stick to the important information that you want to share. News is constantly being circulated across various platforms, so you want your press release to be easily digestible on whichever platform someone finds it on.

Include a call to action

When your readers finish reading your press release, they need to know the next steps. This is called your call to action, and it basically will tell your readers what they should do next. Your call to action should be located at the end of your press release and it should be written separately from the closing paragraph. It should be a simple sentence that clearly tells the reader what to do next.

Utilize SEO practices

It’s crucial to utilize SEO practices when writing a press release to help you rank higher in search results and gain more visibility for your brand. You should incorporate keywords and URLS in a way that flows naturally with the copy. You want to keep your sentences short, simple, and easy to understand. It’s also a good idea to use bullet points and images to break up the information so that it’s less overwhelming to look at.

Types of press releases

There are several types of press releases that you should know before writing one. Writing a press release is not a one size fits all situation- each type has its own format that you should follow to ensure you get your message out in the correct way. Here are some of the most common types of press releases:

General news

This is the most common type of press release and it’s typically just used to provide information and generate news about a business. A general press release will contain relevant information for your target audience, but it can also just be used to share news about your business, like if you won an award.

Product launches

If your company is launching a new product or service, you will send out a product launch press release. Product launches are pretty self explanatory– they’re basically just a way to get the word out about your business’s new product. A product launch press release should clearly explain the new product, including its availability, pricing, and any more important information you want to share.

Product updates

Product updates are similar to product launches, except instead of a business announcing a new product, they announce recent updates in product. Product updates are important to inform customers about any changes in a product, how those changes may affect them, and why the changes were made.

Events

An events press release is sent to generate attention about an upcoming event your business is hosting. This should include what the event is, who should attend, when and where it is, and any other important information about the event.

Grand Openings

If your business recently opened a new office in a different location, or if you’re switching locations, you may want to send out a grand opening press release to generate buzz about the new location. In this case, the press release should include when and where the office is opening and any celebrations that are occurring.

How to distribute your press releases

Once you actually write your press, you have a couple of different options for how to distribute it. You can use a press release distribution service, which is a very easy and convenient way to distribute your press release to multiple different news outlets at once. This is a great option if you’re working on a tight schedule. Rather than sending them out manually, a press release distribution service does the hard work for you.

Another option is to send your press release to influencers and bloggers. Influencers have become a major part of online marketing, so if you want to get the word out about your business, using influencers is the way to go. However, if you’re going to take this route, you won’t want to send your entire press release to the influencer. Instead, send a more concise version that summarizes your news.

You can also distribute your press release by sending it to journalists. This is a good way to build a relationship with journalists in your area, which is important for any business. When you have a good relationship with a journalist, they’re more likely to share only good news about your business. Just make sure you find a journalist who you think will actually be interested in your press release.

It’s also important to send your press releases at the right time. Sending them at the right time increases the chances that they’ll do well and will generate the attention that you’re looking for. So make sure you take into consideration the different time zones before clicking send on that email.

Send press releases but don’t overdo it

Sending press releases is an important component of the PR strategy for any business. But, sending too many press releases can sometimes do more harm than good. Sending out repeated press releases to the same audience can actually damage your credibility as a brand because it shows you’re sending them out just for the sake of sending them out, and not actually to provide useful information. You should only send out press releases when you actually have something relevant and newsworthy to share, and not because you want to remind your customers that your business still exists.

If you want to see an example of a press release and learn more press release format tips, check out Mailchimp. Mailchimp is an all-in-one marketing automation platform that can help to streamline your business processes in a myriad of ways. With Mailchimp, you’ll get access to various tools that you can use to help your business reach new heights. Be sure to check out Mailchimp’s press releases to stay up to date with company news and media coverage, so you can see for yourself how Mailchimp can benefit your business.

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