With the constant rise of digital marketing, the importance of modern press releases for businesses keeps changing and evolving.
Most business owners realize the benefits of a well-written press release to build a strong media campaign. But there have been several myths and misconceptions revolving around the effectiveness of press releases.
Some don’t realize that you cannot hastily write a press release, skip editing and use a poor format, and expect to have valuable coverage. It is critical to use a professional standard press release format. You want the press release to appeal to the public, and this guide will help you achieve that.
Why Should Your Standard Press Release Format Be Professional?
A well-written press release demands more than a great story to capture the media’s attention. You must be ready to deliver the press release in a format that fits a range of channels and platforms, from Facebook to the daily paper.
Moreover, writing a good press release requires you to understand how to present your content in a way that will attract the public’s attention.
The standard press release format features your logo, release date, business contact information, headline, and body. You may also include a boilerplate and link to your website.
By following this format, your press release has a higher chance of grabbing the media’s attention. In return, you can quickly land coverage by top journalists.
A well-written and presented press release is the key to building business credibility. By sharing a story about your company with the media, you are telling the public that you are open and transparent.
Press release increases your business reputation. Media coverage increases your credibility and makes you look more legitimate.
Moreover, press release enhances SEO. It is a great way to acquire quality leads and improve your website discoverability. Even if the original copy lacks a backlink, other blogs might share your story and add a do-follow link to your site if they find it worthwhile.
How to Write a Proper Press Release – Step By Step
Press releases are a crucial component of public relations. If you have never written one before, here is a compilation of everything you need to create a professional press release.
Select a Template
A template provides you with a press release example format. It is an easy-to-follow guide meant to make your work easier.
Browse through the internet to select a reasonable template based on your industry and target audience. You can then add relevant information or tailor the template to fit your story.
Check out credible sources to learn more about press release formats, access industry-specific samples and formatting tips to help you make the most out of your story.
Add Your Business Logo
The aim of writing a press release is to increase brand awareness. And there is no better way to maximize the impact of the press release than by adding your company logo at the top.
The logo represents your brand. You want the media and the public to recognize you as soon as they see it. It will help if you upload a quality image of your logo when sending your story to the journalists.
This will save them from the tedious task of extracting a copy of the logo from your site and help maintain the image’s quality.
Include Your Contact Information
Press releases make it easier for journalists to write and produce stories about your company. However, after reading your content, they may have additional questions about your company. It could also be that some parts sound vague and require clarification.
This is where contact information comes in handy to give the journalists access to a person within your firm who can answer their questions.
The contact information should be included on top of each page. Provide the name, phone number, and email address of a reliable executive in your company who can promptly get back to the journalists.
Your press release is not complete without the release date. The dateline indicates when you wish the information to be published. It determines whether you want the press release to be posted immediately or in the future.
Include your preferred publication time and date on the top-left of the press release. The information should be in caps and bolded.
If you want the content to be published and distributed right away, include ‘FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE’ at the top of the press release.
On the other hand, if you are sending the content ahead of time to ensure coverage and want the media to hold the press release for future use, include ‘EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE’ on the top left corner of the press release. Include the date and time you would like the story to go live.
The headline should appear at the top and center of your press release. Make it short, concise, and straight to the point.
The recommended font is 14-point, bold, and centered. It will help if you stay within the 80 character range and use an easy-to-understand language.
Note that the headline should be the most eye-catching component of the press release. It should compel the public to read the content. It helps you to create an excellent first impression and intrigue the readers’ emotions to click. Therefore, ensure that it reflects the angle of your news.
A killer headline also raises the journalist’s interest to publish your content. Research shows that 80% of internet users read headlines to determine if the content is worth reading. And this makes headlines the most critical part of formatting your press release.
Adding a subheader is optional, depending on the sample press release format you choose to follow. It should appear directly below the main headline and should not exceed 120 characters.
Again, the subheader should be good enough to grab the readers’ attention. It should compliment the main heading and help readers to understand better what the press release is about.
The subheader gives you another chance to introduce your story teasingly and encourage your audience to keep reading. The recommended font is the 12-point Times New Roman font in the title case.
The lead paragraph should answer the ‘who, what, why, when, and where questions about your press release. It aims to give the media personalities a snapshot of your story to establish if it suits your audience.
Avoid complicating the paragraph by adding unnecessary information. Stick to simple facts without hyping or selling products. But don’t forget to touch on the aspects that make your announcement worth a read.
Arrange your text in a regular 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font. If you wish to add any links, this is the best to do so. You may include hyperlinks to your site and other supporting resources within the first paragraph, which is a great way to drive quality traffic to your website.
After the introduction paragraph is the body. This section of the press release should complete what you introduced in the headline and lead paragraph.
The body should direct all attention to the newsworthy aspects of the story while detailing all the information journalists can use to develop a cultivating story.
It is advisable that you follow the AP style guidelines and make the paragraphs as short and concise as possible. Two to three sentences per paragraph are enough.
Feel free to add statistics and graphics as a backup where relevant. Include even the tiniest details that can ease the journalists’ work to cover your story.
For instance, if you plan to attend a trade show, include information on how the media personalities can attend the show. You should also explain how the public can attend the event if it is open to the public.
Boilerplate is the last paragraph of your press release. This section focuses on your business background, experience, awards, and other interesting facts about your company.
You may also include a link to your site and business contacts so that people can find you easily if they have more questions regarding the press release. The final paragraph should not exceed 100 words.
Get Valuable Coverage With a Proper Press Release Format
A press release is an easy way to reach the public or make a newsworthy announcement. You can take advantage of this to announce an event, a product launch, or day-to-day activities. If done correctly, the coverage will boost your discoverability and help you gain quality leads.
Note that journalists receive hundreds of pitches every day. You, therefore, should make yours stand out and worth their effort by following the proper standard press release format. Follow the above guideline to simplify the writing and formatting process.
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