The Golden Rules about creating Press Releases

Press Releases are a great way to share your company news and promote your business quickly and cheaply.

But all too often they are written by people who don’t understand the media and don’t understand how to write them well enough for them to generate media coverage.

To create a Press Release with impact, follow these golden rules:

  • The number one thing to know about creating a Press Release is the topic MUST be newsworthy and current.

There is little point creating a Press Release that is focused on an event or announcement that happened months old or is out of date, because the media simply won’t be interested in this.

Likewise there is little point creating a release which is of no interest to anyone other than people working in your company.

But the good news is that a good copywriting professional should be able to find the newsworthy element within any story or piece of information, or at least advise how to create Press Releases that will generate coverage.

  • One size does NOT fit all! Press Releases need to be tailored to their specific intended audience and the specific media channels you are targeting.

A release intended for a specialist or niche publication or website will need to be written in a very different way to a release intended for the local newspaper.

For specialist and niche media, such as trade magazines for example, more industry jargon and acronyms can be used than would be appropriate in a release intended for a mass market.

Likewise a Press Release that you intend to send to a website or online channel needs to be formatted slightly differently to a release intended for a print publication.

  • Press Releases need to be written in a succinct professional way.

Your blog post or that article you wrote for your website aren't Press Releases; they are written in a very different way and style to an effective Press Release. But with some work by a professional writer, they could potentially be turned into one.

  • Not everyone can write an effective Press Release.

Just because someone has worked in the marketing industry for years or done a bit of 'PR', does not mean they can write an effective Press Release.

Generally their Press Releases lack impact and are written too informally to generate any real or meaningful interest.

With Press Releases, it is absolutely worth investing in the quality and experience of the writer, particular one who has experience in the media sector.

  • Simply having a Press Release written does not guarantee coverage!

Regardless of what anyone tells you, there is never any guarantee that your Press Release will lead to any form of coverage. Even small media outlets or low-traffic websites have standards and rules around what they will publicise or report on, so your Press Releases must follow the above guidelines to have any chance of making an impact.

Follow these simple rules, and your Press Releases will generate interest and engagement, and lead to coverage in your target media channels.

For more help or advice, contact me, Arup Biswas of Absolutely Write, the Content and Pre-Marketing (marketing foundations) Specialist.