As a business owner or marketer it is essential to have a great press release format at hand. Contrary to some of the nay-sayers in the marketing world, press releases are still a viable and potentially powerful tool for getting the word out.
A Press Release Format For The DIY Marketer
But the problem with most press releases is that they are often incomplete, or over-written, and - perhaps the worst problem of all - incredibly boring! You don't need to be that guy. In fact, the art of crafting a winning and effective press release can be distilled down to a simple template and keeping to five mandatory elements.
What Should My Press Release Look Like?
There are dozens of variations on press release format depending on your industry, etc. That being said, there are no hard and fast "rules" regarding the actual look and feel of your press release. However, there are a few key elements that should be evident in every press release regardless of the actual format.
For a great example of a simple, yet effective, press release format, this sample from HubSpot provides a user-friendly guide:
The five key elements that are highlighted in this sterling example are described as follows:
1) Have An Compelling Headline
Your headline needs to grab attention and draw a reader in. Just like articles and blog posts, the headline is absolutely key to getting your press release read.
- Use action verbs
- Language should be clear, easy to read
- Keep it short - one line
- Make it interesting
2) Make It Easy For Your Audience To Care
In other words, your readers - reporters, bloggers, editors - want to know the who, what, where, why and how of your news. They don't have the time nor the inclination to look up any of this pertinent information. And it should all appear in your first paragraph.
3) Include a Great Quote To Be Shared
Help a reporter out by giving them something they can use to provide context and significance to your story. The best quotes come from key people in your organization. Quoting executives and authorities underlines the importance of your story. Your quote should relate to and emphasize the core of the announcement.
4) Give The Essential Background Information
A press release needs to be helpful and concise. So you will want to avoid the temptation to fill the page with superfluous data about your company or organization. Don't do it. If your first two paragraphs are properly written, the reader already has all of the vital details and information they need to file a story or spread the word.
In the last paragraph, provide a few details that support your story, like creative or noteworthy ways your company did whatever your press release is announcing. Or, if it applies to your situation, you can comment on the future implications of your announcement.
5) Who Are You and What Do You Do?
Wrap up your press release with a summary of what your company does. In a way, you are simply reiterating the "Who" and "What" that should have been noted in your first paragraph, but in a much more succinct fashion.
- Describe what your company does in clear, plain English
- Include a link to your company's homepage
- Make this portion a succinct and straightforward template
- If you cite data, include a reference link for the data source
- Make sure every name in the release has an associated title and company
What Do I Do With My Press Release Now?
The purpose of a press release is to get your news in front of as many people as possible. Making that happen can be quite laborious and time-consuming. However, there are options available to the busy owner or marketer who has created a killer press release.
Probably the quickest and surest path to effective distribution is to pay for an online service such as PR Newswire or PR Web. While these are not exactly the least expensive options, companies like these will ensure that your announcement gets the widest exposure possible.
While a press release in itself does not directly impact your SEO results, it can complement and feed those results indirectly. Social media channels offer a wide variety of opportunities for additional distribution of your release. And the good news is that your press release format can be used in all of these channels!
Getting Additional Help
An additional tip for creating and distributing an effective press release is to get outside help. Digital marketing agencies, such as BroadVision Marketing, can offer expertise and resources that the typical business owner or marketing manager may not have.
It often helps to have an professional marketer's perspective to assess your content marketing strategy. Acquiring the insights and assessment of a third-party professional can be an investment that will bring a quantifiable return.
BroadVision Marketing offers all this and more. Get your Free Complimentary Inbound Marketing Session to help you make an informed decision or call BroadVision Marketing at 707-799-1238.
Jaco Grobbelaar is the owner and CMO of BroadVision Marketing. BroadVision Marketing works with business owners to put in place inbound and outbound marketing strategies that consistently secure new clients. The BroadVision Marketing Training Center is located in Petaluma, CA and primarily serves companies in the San Francisco Bay area.