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What Are the Basics of a Press Release?

A press release is the ultimate way to let the public know about a new product, service, milestone, or event that your company is hosting. If you are doing something especially interesting, a blogger or a newspaper reporter will possibly write a story about it, which could potentially reach a huge audience. So what are the basics of a press release and how do you write a good one that could generate some press? Here are some tips for writing an effective press release for your business.

Have an Attention Grabbing Headline

Just like a newspaper article title, you want to make sure that your title grabs in someone and makes them want to know more. This is why it’s crucial to only send out press releases when your company is actually doing something pretty interesting. For example, it might not be interesting outside your organization that Helen won the bake off in your office’s yearly contest. However, if Helen baked the prize-winning pie at a bake off for a cancer charity that your company sponsored—that might make for a great human-interest piece. Make your title short and concise and say the most interesting thing about the event, milestone, etc.

Include Quotes from Relevant Players

Press releases are essentially structured like newspaper articles, and like newspaper articles they contain quotes from relevant people. If your company is releasing a new product that will be revolutionary, you will want the person who was in charge of the project to quote for the press release because they will have the most pertinent information. Don’t have too many quotes—maybe four at the max—and make sure that they add something interesting to the press release. You don’t want someone who just says, “This product is great and I think everyone will like it.”

Make Sure Grammar and Spelling is Perfect

Reporters and editors are bombarded with PR emails every single day. Bad grammar and spelling will guarantee that the press release will be tossed in the trash (or digital trashcan). Be sure that you have carefully looked over your press release for spelling and grammar errors, or have a professional look over it to ensure that it’s perfect.

Include Your Contact Information

The whole point of writing a press release is to get press coverage. This isn’t possible to do if you don’t include an easy way to reach you or the press representative at the company. Include a phone number and e-mail address at the end of the press release to make it easy for someone to contact you for any questions.

Press releases can be a tricky thing to write. If you don’t know how or you need assistance, call on the services of a virtual assistant at Contemporary Virtual Assistance. Visit our website to learn more about what kind of editing and writing services that we offer, and how we else we can best assist your company.

photo credit: dunlan

Posted on July 5th, 2017 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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