You figured out that you need to write a press release. What now?
It always helps to have a template on which to base your press release – especially with short notice or a limited turnaround as can happen when responding to current affairs or announcing a time sensitive event. There’s one to download at the bottom of the post!
- Start with a template. I’ve included one as a download at the bottom of this post. Templates are an incredible time saver and a way of developing consistency in how you present your organization or enterprise.
- Headlines matter; You have one line to make a news outlet curious – remember that it is important to be compelling and to the point. Use action words, clear language and keep it short. Use that one link to focus readers on your most important message.
- Who, What, Where, Why, When, How; The basics must be included for a press release to be effective. For reporters, influencers, or other organizations to want to share your announcement, you need to be clear why they should care. Don’t hide the Who and What.
- Include Quotations; The second main paragraph should include quotes that journalists can use for context. It helps to lend color to their story and make sense of how your news impacts a broader audience. Include 1 or 2 key individuals for quotes (as spokesman) and keep the quotes both relevant and from their perspective. Make sure that every name in your release has the associated title within the company listed.
- Be a great source; include sufficient appropriate background information, but don’t waffle. Concision is the name of the game. Make the links between the news release and future announcement, or present a narrative which includes noteworthy or creative ways a program or appointment came about.
- About XXXX; Include a short paragraph (boilerplate) at the bottom giving a little background on your organization, or company. Include a link to your company’s homepage.
Remember, the advice in our Why your nonprofit should be writing press releases article – You have the power to create content to craft your own story and remember that as an inbound marketing technique press releases are another way of building brand awareness.