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How to Craft Compelling Press Releases

Explore impactful press release strategies, trends, and a ready‑to‑use template for effective communication.

Crafting a compelling press release is a crucial skill in public relations (PR) for businesses of all sizes. While the prospect of writing press releases may seem daunting, with the right approach, a bit of practice, and press release templates, anyone can write a press release that garners attention and yields positive results. 

A well-crafted press release incorporates several key elements, including a captivating headline, opening paragraph or lead, body, and a strong boilerplate. Understanding the different types of press releases and knowing when to deploy them is equally crucial.

Whether you're writing a new product launch press release or event press release, sharing significant company milestones, or responding to a crisis, tailoring the press release to the specific context enhances its effectiveness. 

So what goes into making a good press release? And what are some of the most beneficial types of press releases to write? In this article, we walk you through how to write a press release and even provide a press release template. Read on to learn more about writing a press release or use the links below to navigate the article.

A press release is a written communication distributed to members of the media with the primary purpose of announcing news, events, or information about a business, organization, or individual.

The goal of a press release is to generate media coverage and public interest in the subject matter presented. Press releases are a fundamental tool in public relations (PR) and are utilized by companies, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and individuals to share noteworthy developments, achievements, or updates with the broader community.

These communications are sent to journalists, editors, bloggers, and other media members who may find the information relevant to their audience. They may be distributed through traditional means like mail and fax and online distribution services and email. A well-crafted press release can serve as an effective tool to build brand awareness, shape public perception, and secure media coverage, contributing to an organization's overall communication strategy.

Simply put, press releases exist to share news about your business.

There are several different types of press releases, including:

  • Standard press release
  • Product launch press release
  • Event press release
  • Acquisition press release
  • New hire press release
  • Milestone achievement press release
  • Financial results press release
  • Partnership or collaboration press release
  • Crisis management press release
  • Award or recognition press release
  • Community engagement or CSR press release
  • White paper or research findings press release
  • Rebranding press release
  • Expert opinion or thought leadership press release
  • Seasonal or holiday promotion press release
  • Charitable initiative or donation press release

The good news is that most press releases follow the same format regardless of the type. So whether you're writing an event press release or an acquisition press release, you can use the downloadable template found on this page.

Why write a press release?

There are many different reasons to use certain article formats, but the press release format has its share of advantages for businesses. Below are some of the primary benefits of writing a press release.

Attract media attention

When you write a newsworthy press release, it can get picked up by the media. If your press release is shared by other organizations or picked up by a media outlet, this can bring attention to your company and help you reach new audiences.

Garner publicity and brand awareness

Businesses, especially smaller ones, have a lot of work to do when it comes to brand awareness. A good press release can help garner some publicity and potentially create some buzz around your brand.

Improve SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important thing for many businesses and organizations, as it helps your company website rank in search results. A carefully crafted press release can improve SEO if it contains relevant keywords or gets shared by other websites.

Shape public perception of your business

Getting the word out there is important, but just as important is that you make sure people have a good impression of you. Press releases serve as great opportunities to showcase your brand's voice and personality, and in that way shape how the general public views your organization. Add in strategies such as email marketing, and you can maintain a firm grasp over your brand's image.

When to write a press release

Press releases are most effective when you are trying to share a major addition or change to your company, whether that be for exciting new hires (such as executives or developers), mergers, new products, or some other noteworthy event. You can also use it to advertise awards your company or employees have received, which goes a long way to engender appreciation and respect in your brand.

Press release template

While most press releases aren't too difficult to write, it can be intimidating for business owners who aren't used to writing public statements. That's why some business owners turn to external PR agencies to craft their press releases, send journalists pitches, and manage relationships with the media and public. 

To simplify this process and empower communicators of all levels, we’ve created a press release template. This user-friendly template is designed to guide you through the essential elements of a successful press release, ensuring that your announcements are well-structured and captivating. 

The essential tool to help you get your story out there

Perfect your press release writing skills and get more exposure that helps your business grow.

Two employee talking

Our press release template begins with a captivating headline and seamlessly guides you through the creation of a compelling lead paragraph. As you progress through the template, you’ll find dedicated sections for the body of the press release, allowing you to provide detailed information, quotes, and background that enhance the newsworthiness of your announcement.

The boilerplate wraps up the press release template with a concise summary of your organization, giving journalists the context they need for a well-rounded story. 

Whether you’re announcing a product launch, sharing company milestones, or addressing a crisis, our free press release templates are your go-to resource for creating impactful and professional communications. Empower your PR efforts by downloading the free press release template today. 

Your press release has a better chance of getting a response if you know what should go into it. By following this format, you can write a release that tells your story and helps you get press coverage.

Write a clear, captivating headline

Your headline should convey the point of your story and capture your recipient's attention. Think about the headlines of articles in the publication you're writing to and try to craft something similar.

Include the release date and your location

Let the recipient know the date the press release is being issued (or the date of the event you're notifying them about), as well as where your business is located. This helps establish its relevance. You'll also notice many press release templates include the phrase "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE." This tells journalists that the information contained in the press release can be made public right away.

Quickly tell them what they need to know

The opening paragraph — the lead — should contain the five Ws, telling a journalist all the most important facts:

  • Who is this story about?
  • What is happening?
  • Where is it going?
  • When will it occur?
  • Why is it important?

Then give more context

In the paragraphs that follow your introduction, include all the details of the story in descending order of importance. Keep it simple and straightforward. Write about what you do and why you do it, but don't write an exhaustive history of all that you've ever done.

Be honest and unbiased

Journalists won't be fooled or amused by a press release claiming that your product or service is the “best.” Unless you're notifying them about an award that entitles you to the claim, watch out for hyperbolic language. When in doubt, just state the facts.

Eliminate industry jargon

Make sure your press release isn't laden with industry jargon that doesn't mean anything to the average person. To check, ask a friend who isn't in your field to read your release. If they find it boring or complicated, edit for clarity and conciseness.

Include relevant, colorful quotes

To add color to your press releases, include bold, purposeful quotes. If you are the business owner, it could be something in your own words, or you could include a quote from an employee who's important to this specific news item. It can be personal and opinionated, but make sure you attribute the quote.

Sign off appropriately

This part of the release differs depending on where you are in the world, but you should sign off in a way that indicates the press release is over. Some common options include ###, XXX, or -30-. Do a little research about what's industry standard for the country where you're sending the release.

Tell them who to contact (and how)

At the bottom of the press release, be sure to include contact details for the person you'd like them to follow up with, whether that's you or someone else in your business. Include a name, email address, and phone number. Also include URLs and social media handles for your business.

Summarize your business in a boilerplate

At the bottom of your press releases, include a short business biography, the equivalent of what you'd write on your website's “About” page. This company description is called boilerplate text; it's the information that rarely changes, but you should always make sure it's still true before you send a new release.

A well-written press release is a powerful tool for communicating essential information and generating media coverage. However, several common mistakes can undermine their effectiveness. 

Beware of overly promotional language

Look at press release examples from your industry to determine the type of language they use. While the purpose of a press release is to highlight noteworthy achievements or announcements, it’s essential to balance promoting your message and maintaining an objective, informative tone. Journalists are more likely to engage with press releases that provide valuable information rather than those that read like advertisements. 

Avoid neglecting the target audience

Understanding and catering to your target audience is crucial. Failing to tailor your press release to the interests and preferences of the media outlets or journalists you’re reaching out to can lead to missed opportunities for coverage. 

Recognize the importance of a strong headline

The headline is the first thing journalists see, making it a crucial element of your press release. Craft a headline that’s both attention-grabbing and indicative of the key message you want to convey. 

Pay attention to proper formatting and style

Poor formatting and style can detract from the professionalism of your press release. Ensure that your document adheres to industry standards, with a clear structure — as outlined in our press release template — that includes a headline, dateline, lead paragraph, body paragraphs, and boilerplate. 

Ensure thorough proofreading and editing

Typos, grammatical errors, and inconsistencies can diminish the credibility of your press release. Prioritize thorough proofreading and editing to eliminate any mistakes before distributing your release. 

Measuring the impact of your press release

While crafting and distributing a compelling press release is a crucial step in your public relations strategy, understanding its impact is equally important. Determining the success of your press release involves more than counting the number of outlets that picked up the story. Here are a few ways to track your press release success:

Track media mentions and coverage

The most direct way to gauge the impact of your press release is to monitor media mentions and coverage. Keep a comprehensive record of where your press release has been published or broadcasted to provide insights into the reach of your message and identify which outlets and journalists are most responsive to your announcements.

Monitor website traffic and improvements in SEO

A successful press release should drive traffic to your website. Use website analytics tools to track the influx of visitors following the release. You can also monitor changes in search engine rankings related to the keywords and topics highlighted in your press release. 

Analyze audience engagement and feedback

Beyond quantitative metrics, qualitative data is equally valuable. Pay attention to audience engagement by monitoring social media platforms, comment sections, and other online forums. Analyzing the sentiment and feedback surrounding your company news provides valuable insights into how your target audience perceives it. 

Create visual elements for enhanced visual appeal

Incorporating multimedia elements can significantly enhance its impact. Track the performance of images, infographics, or videos included in your release. 

Press release distribution strategies

Effective press release distribution is essential for maximizing the reach and impact of your announcements. One key strategy is to leverage online distribution services strategically.

A distribution service like PR Newswire, Business Wire, or PRWeb can help you disseminate your press release to a wide audience of journalists, bloggers, and other media outlets. These services often provide targeted distribution options to reach specific industries or regions, ensuring that your messages reach the most relevant audience. 

Additionally, building and maintaining relationships with media contacts is an invaluable approach. Cultivating a network of journalists and editors who find your releases relevant can lead to increased coverage and a higher likelihood of your news being picked up.

Keep in mind that if you plan to cold email journalists, it’s best to do so using your private email address and not a service like Mailchimp. To use Mailchimp, your subscribers must have opted-in to receive communications from your business. 

However, social media can also facilitate distribution. Platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook offer additional channels for sharing your news directly with your audience. 

Complement your press release distribution with Mailchimp. By incorporating our social media posting features and analytics tools, you can seamlessly integrate your press release promotion with your broader marketing efforts. In addition, you can send news directly to your subscribers with our email marketing tools. This holistic approach ensures that your press release reaches journalists and resonates with your subscribers.

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