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Six Tips for Writing an Eye-Catching Press Release

March 23, 2018 Bradford Group Administrator

press releaseWhile the world of PR is ever-changing, sharing information through press releases seems to be a standard that never goes out of style. Whether you’re promoting the launch of a new product or spreading the word about a community event, creating an official press release is a great way to share the news with journalists.

In recent years, there has been speculation that press releases are becoming a thing of the past. And it’s true – they aren’t right for every occasion. Many times a well-written pitch to the right targeted journalist will yield the desired result. But if you want to make sure that you’re providing interested parties with the full news story, complete with all relevant details, photos, quotes and anything else a reporter may need to cover the topic, a press release is still a great way to go.

While the purpose of a press release may have changed, the release itself is not dying out. But for it to be effective, PR pros need to work extra hard to catch the media’s eye.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some tips for writing a press release that will leave a lasting impression.

While the purpose of a press release may have changed, the release itself is not dying out. But for it to be effective, PR pros need to work extra hard to catch the media’s eye.

Craft an eye-popping headline

The headline of your press release is arguably the most important part, and thus it can be the hardest to nail down. It needs to be short, but descriptive enough to intrigue. It needs to relay the overall topic of your news, but also separate itself from the hundreds of other releases showing up in a reporter’s inbox.

It may help to think of it like this: What would be the most ideal headline for your news story to have in the publication to which you’re pitching? Start with the most newsworthy part of your story and be sure to mention who’s responsible for the news.

Include a subhead to give the essentials

Not all press releases warrant a subhead, but this simple line can certainly help a journalist see the most pertinent information related to your story. This is your chance to go deeper than your headline without making the reporter dig for information. Subheads can be a great way to share the “why” of your news, while the headline covers the “what.”

Make your lead paragraph to the point

Your lead paragraph needs to be brief, but it should cover everything the reader needs to know about your news: Who is affected? When did it happen? Why does it matter? How did it come about? Chances are, the reporter won’t read past this paragraph unless he’s super interested or just has an unusual amount of time on his hands, so make it count!

Put your story into context

If you’re lucky enough to keep a journalist’s attention past your lead, make sure you give her enough detail to fully understand your news. Whether it’s background information on an individual related to your story or key data on the market your new product is entering, make sure it helps prove the importance of your news and pushes the story along.

Inject emotion through direct quotes

Maybe you’ve received killer quotes that provide depth and emotional support to an already enticing story, or maybe you’ve been charged with creating a quote on someone else’s behalf. Whatever the case, quotes should add another layer to your news that hasn’t already been covered. Thoughtful opinions and well-structured arguments add a human touch to the story that hard facts can’t, and they give your news a chance to stand out in a crowd that may be pursuing the same topic.

Edit – and then edit again

Once you think you have your release nailed down, read over it – not once, but several times. Take breaks in between editing sessions. Have someone else read over it. Make sure it’s polished, succinct, appealing, factual and well-rounded. Chances are, you included some details that could be left out. Take it sentence by sentence to make sure every word is essential. The shorter it is, the more likely it is to be read in its entirety.

Writing press releases may seem like a tedious and daunting task, but if it’s done well, it can generate some pretty spectacular results for your clients that make it all worthwhile. Check out some examples of press releases we’ve written for clients to help get you started.

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