What is a press release?
Press releases exist to share news about your business. Therefore, what you’re sharing should be newsworthy—meaning that there’s a reason you’re sending it at the moment you send it.
First, draft a short piece—just a few concise paragraphs will work—that provides essential background information about your business. You’ll build on this information as your business has news like a new hire, product, service, or merger. Be mindful of where you hope to find media coverage as you write these releases. A small local newspaper may be interested in your new teammate, but bigger publications will require bigger news.
Your press release should be written for a specific journalist or outlet. Let them know if you’re interested in being featured in coverage about a wider industry trend, a feature article, or as an expert with a timely opinion. Be sure to indicate that you know who you’re writing to and why it’s a fit for their particular publication.
Lessons from the first-ever press release
A former journalist named Ivy Lee wrote the first-ever press release on behalf of his client, the Pennsylvania Railroad, in response to a 1906 train wreck. To ensure that the media had accurate information about the accident, he wrote a statement, and the New York Times ran his release verbatim.