What is a Press Release? [Guide to Writing a Press Release]

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One of the primary reasons why digital marketing is so important is that it gives you control over the narrative surrounding your brand. While blogs, social media posts, and newsletters provide a fantastic medium for demonstrating your knowledge and value, understanding how to write a press release is another important tool to have in your toolkit.

 

Press Release Definition

A press release is a written or recorded communication that is directed at the news media for the purpose of announcing something newsworthy. Press releases are typically issued by companies, organizations, and government agencies, but can also be issued by individuals. They are intended to provide information that can be used by the media to create a news story or report. You may sometimes hear a press release referred to as a “press statement” or a “news release,” and such a release can be written or recorded, but they’re all the same thing. Ultimately, you want to develop a short, sweet statement that conveys news about your brand that you want to share with the world.

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Types of Press Releases

When it comes to sharing news and information about your business, press releases can be a valuable tool. But did you know that there are different types of press releases, each with their own unique purpose and format? Understanding the different types of press releases can help you craft more effective and targeted communications for your audience.

  1. News Release: The most common type of press release, a news release is used to announce a newsworthy event or piece of information. This could be the launch of a new product or service, the opening of a new location, or the appointment of a new executive. News releases should be written in a clear and concise style, and include all the relevant information a journalist would need to write a story about the event.
  2. Event Release: If you have an upcoming event, such as a conference, concert, or trade show, an event release can be used to generate buzz and attract attendees. An event release should include the date, time, location, and a brief description of the event, as well as any registration information or ticket details.
  3. Multimedia Release: With the rise of digital media, press releases are no longer limited to just text. A multimedia release can include additional elements such as images, videos, or audio to supplement the text of the release. This can help to make your release more engaging and shareable.
  4. Expert Quote Release: Adding a quote from an industry expert or spokesperson can lend credibility to the information in your release. This can be particularly effective when announcing a new product or service or sharing research or data.
  5. Embargoed Release: Sometimes you may want to share information with journalists before it is made public. An embargoed release is distributed to journalists under the condition that the information it contains will not be published until a specified date and time. This can help ensure that your story is covered by multiple publications on the same day and can also help to generate buzz.
  6. Backgrounder: A detailed information provided on a particular topic or company, backgrounder is not specific to an event, but they offer a deeper insight on a topic. They are a great way to provide more information to journalists and help establish your business as a thought leader in your industry.
  7. Boilerplate: A boilerplate is a brief summary of a company’s background, mission statement and key products or services. It is usually inserted at the end of a press release. This will help give the press context of the company they are reporting on.

When it comes to SEO, you should keep in mind that press releases can help to boost the visibility of your website in search engine results. This is because press releases often get picked up by other websites, including news sites and industry publications, which can lead to valuable backlinks. Make sure to include relevant keywords in the headline and body of your release and include a link back to your website.

 

Crafting a Press Release for your Brand

There are many instances in which your brand can benefit from issuing a press release. A few press release examples include:

Product Launches

If you have a new product that you’d like to show off, a press release is the best way to introduce the public to product specifications, pricing, and availability.

Mergers/Acquisitions

Use a press release to inform your stakeholders and customers about any important organizational changes within your company.

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Events

Whenever your brand holds an event, you should consider writing a press release that informs the public about the event’s cause, who it’s for, the date and time, and tickets/pricing.

Grand Openings

If your brand is opening its doors for the first time, or if you’re setting up shop in a new location, you can use a press release to get the word out.

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Awards/Accomplishments

Toot your own horn and celebrate your accomplishments with a press release that will let the world know what great things your brand is up to.

Rebranding

The rebranding process can be awkward and confusing for you and your customers. Smooth things out and make an easier transition with a press release that explains the changes and when they go into effect.

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How to Write a Press Release

Once you’ve decided to write a press release, you need to know how to format it. First, you must remember that a press release is not the same as a blog. It should be newsy, informative, and factual. The goal is to give the media something to work with when writing an article for their own paper or news site. Here are a few things all press releases should include:

  • Your contact info (top left corner)
  • The phrase “For immediate release” (top right)
  • A compelling headline
  • Your business location (first sentence)
  • Your announcement details (first paragraph)
  • Valuable quotes or insights (second and third paragraph)
  • A short company bio (final paragraph)
  • ### to indicate the end of the release.

Press Release Template

 

When to Release a Press Release

Press releases can be a valuable tool for sharing news and information about your business, but knowing when to release a press release is just as important as understanding the different types of releases. The timing of your press release can greatly impact its effectiveness and reach. Here are some key factors to consider when deciding when to release a press release:

  1. Timing: Timing is crucial when it comes to press releases. If your release contains breaking news, it should be distributed as soon as possible. On the other hand, if your release is announcing an event or product launch, you’ll want to distribute it far enough in advance to give journalists and media outlets time to prepare coverage.
  2. Seasonality: Certain events and topics are more relevant at specific times of the year. For example, a press release announcing a new line of summer clothing would be more appropriate in the spring, while a release about a winter holiday sale would be better timed for the fall. Consider the seasonality of your news and tailor your release accordingly.
  3. Holidays: Be aware of holidays and other important dates. It’s often best to avoid releasing a press release on a holiday, as many journalists and news outlets will be closed or have reduced staff. On the other hand, if your release is relevant to a holiday or other important date, it can be an opportune time to generate extra media coverage.
  4. Competition: It’s important to keep an eye on your competition. If you know that one of your rivals is planning to release news or launch a product, you may want to consider the timing of your own release to maximize coverage and minimize the impact of their release.
  5. Media Cycles: Some topics are more newsworthy at certain times of the day or days of the week. For example, many news outlets have a regular “business” or “technology” section that runs on certain days of the week. Knowing when these sections are published and targeting your press release accordingly can increase the chances of your story being covered.

Timing is crucial when it comes to press releases. By considering factors such as timing, seasonality, holidays, competition, and media cycles, you can increase the chances of your release being picked up by journalists and reaching the right audience. With the right timing and an SEO-friendly approach, press releases can be a powerful way to share news and information about your business and boost visibility in search engine results.

 

Standing Out with a Press Release

If you want your press release to make a splash and stand out, be sure to reach out to specific journalists with experience covering your industry. Give them ample lead time to craft an engaging story around your press release. This can be done by sending them the release the day before it goes live.

Learn more on where to submit your press release.

 

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