A press release is an official statement delivered to members of the news media for the purpose of providing information, an official statement, or making an announcement. A press release is traditionally composed of nine structural elements, including a headline, introduction, body, and other information. Press releases can be delivered to members of the media physically on paper and electronically. – Wikipedia
A press release is a short, compelling news story written by a public relations professional and sent to targeted members of the media. The goal of a press release is to pique the interest of a journalist or publication. The press release should contain all the essential information (who? what? where? when? how? and most importantly why?) for the journalist to easily produce his own story.
When to issue a press release?
A press release can be issued on a number of occasions – not just for new product launches.
It was be used to announce Events, New Hires, Awards, Feature / Product, Rebranding, Partnership or even Charitable Initiatives
An event press release is used to promote a newsworthy event that your company is hosting, attending, or sponsoring.
These press releases aim to raise awareness among the general public and encourage members of the media to attend or cover your event. Because of that, timing is vital.
To increase attendance for an event you’re hosting, you’ll need to distribute the release well before the event itself. This will give reporters plenty of time to get the event on their schedule and begin preparation.
As we mentioned, covering the “five W’s” of journalism (who, what, when, where, and why) is vital when it comes to event marketing press releases. If your purpose is to attract the media, then think of this as your invitation to them.
Now, imagine you receive an invitation for a birthday party, with no details on where you should be or when. That certainly wouldn’t be the most welcoming invitation in the world, would it?
A reporter would feel similarly. If you want them to attend, you have to make it easy on them. Making your when and where obvious in your press release will increase the likelihood of seeing some RSVPs come through.
In addition to your “five W’s,” you’ll need to add the H: how? If you’re writing this for the general public, this means explaining how they can obtain tickets or sign up to attend.
Similarly, if you’re hoping to increase media attendance, you’ll have to tell them who they need to contact to sign up (with up-to-date contact information) or direct them via hyperlink to the sign up form.
And finally, a good event press release should explain why this event is worth attending. What makes your event the best of its kind? How will attendees benefit? By emphasizing the value, you’ll drive intrigue and attendance.
The registration instructions for both the general public as well as the media wrap up the press release and provide the reader an opportunity to interact further.
Companies use a new hire press release to announce important changes in leadership. New hire press releases typically focus on high-level executives (think C-suite and equivalent), and act as the formal announcement to inform customers, investors, and the general public of the hire. In addition to the new hire’s name and position, you’ll want to feature some highlights from their professional background. Not only will this help to objectively describe what they’ll be bringing to the company, but it gives customers and investors a better idea of what to expect from the new executive.
This section can include past roles they’ve held, companies they’ve worked for, and any significant professional achievements. Additionally, you’ll want to cover their key responsibilities and priorities moving forward, which will help to shape the position they’re filling.
A quote from a member of the current executive team can express the company’s excitement, and highlight the new hire’s key responsibilities and priorities. Similarly, a quote from the new hire can help to legitimize your brand by highlighting what drew them to this new role.
If the employee they’re replacing moved internally, you may consider briefly mentioning their new role in the company as well.
When your company receives an exciting accolade, an award press release will help you spread the news.
Although industry awards are common, they’re rarely publicized. For your audience to learn of your achievements, you’ll have to advertise them yourself. Distributing a press release clues them in and positions your company as an industry leader.
It’s important to remember that while your press release should highlight your achievement, it shouldn’t be overly promotional. Be sure to avoid excessive punctuation and emotional language. Your press release should still be objective and discuss your award from a business standpoint.
Consider expressing your excitement by explaining how this recognition sets you apart as an industry leader or how this achievement will allow you to further your company’s mission.
That doesn’t mean you have to take all of the emotion and excitement out of your press release – you did just win a major award! Quotes from executives are an opportunity for your press release to express emotion. Grabbing your CEO or president to make a statement will offer a human element and allow you to explain what this award means for your team. If you can also secure a quote from a member of the organization that sponsors or gives the award, that’s even better.
Whether the award features an entire company or an individual, it’s important to feature the company’s boilerplate at the bottom of the release. Doing this will help connect the dots for the reader and bring the release full circle.
Feature / Product
Even mega corporations like Apple, with legions of fan blogs, forums, and podcasts, continue to use press releases whenever they launch a new product or upgrade.
Press releases offer just enough information to intrigue journalists and encourage them to try the new product or feature themselves. If they’re fans (or sometimes, if they’re not), they’ll often turn their experience into a story.
Even if they don’t try the new product themselves, media coverage turns a product launch into a newsworthy event, while allowing your company to control some of the narrative.
A press release announcing a new product or feature should be sure to highlight the exciting aspects that makes this newsworthy. It’s not enough to just focus on the new functionalities or attributes of the new product or feature. The release has to focus on the benefits behind it and explain how this continues to set your brand apart from competitors.
Because the hype around your new feature or product won’t last forever, the timing of your release is critical. If you don’t plan on giving any outlets an exclusive, then we recommend distributing your press release a few days before the launch date. This will give journalists enough time to put together a story and, hopefully, contribute to a flurry of media coverage once the launch takes place.
Rebranding is often an exciting initiative for a company. Whatever may prompt a rebrand – a merger, acquisition, change in product direction – it’s vital that you comprehensively communicate the message to your customers and stakeholders.
A rebranding press release is often used by companies in this situation because it allows them to compile all of the details into one document and distribute it widely. In a rebranding press release, you’ll need to specify what your customers and investors can expect from the change. This means you’ll want to include details like any new pricing models, audiences served, products or features offered, and, if applicable, an updated logo.
However, a rebranding press release is also an opportunity to excite your audience about the change. You can do this by highlighting how this rebrand will improve customer experience, or by including a quote from an executive that positively looks toward the future.
You’ve been negotiating that new partnership deal for months. Finally, you’ve come to the terms that will best benefit both companies and their customers. The papers are signed, so now what? Releasing a press release is the perfect way to announce the news once it’s finally official.
Similar to a rebranding press release, the main purpose of a partnership press release is to inform your audience of the upcoming changes. What’s tricky about it is that each partner has built relationships with its own customer base, and you’ll need to write a press release that appeals to both.
Luckily, by aligning your values, you’ll be able to communicate to your customer base exactly what they can expect. What’s even better is that both brands can leverage one another’s audience to secure even more exposure. A partnership already benefits both parties – your press release should do the same!
In a partnership press release, be certain to include your why and your what — explain why this decision was made and what is going to change or, hopefully, improve. A partnership can be a great sign for investors, so write a press release to excite them!
You can also use this opportunity to delight your customers about the new features, services, or experiences they’ll get access to.
Including an executive quote from both parties is a great way to provide insight and express excitement.
Charitable initiatives are an excellent way to show your customers that you care about more than just profit. However, it’s likely your audience has no knowledge of the good being done.
A charitable initiative press release is your opportunity to tell your audience that you’re concerned with more than just the bottom line – and give them a glimpse into company culture. An added benefit is that media loves a feel-good story. Featuring the work your team is doing is a likely way to secure some media coverage.
Similar to an award press release, it’s important to not be overly promotional. Charitable initiatives are exciting, and it’s easy to want to brag about your team and the strides they’re making. Our advice is to tread cautiously. The most effective press release will give a high-level description of the work being done, but more importantly, rally others to get behind the cause.
In addition to the necessary details, you’ll want to include those that will truly excite your readers and intrigue the media. This information is often quantitative — people helped, hours worked, or money earned. These are the numbers that will drive a news story and clearly indicate the impact your team is having.
While quotes are important in any press release, they are especially beneficial in a charitable initiative press release. A quote from an executive at your company can provide a human element to your business, while a quote from the organization you’re helping can truly pull at the heart strings and encourage a reporter to turn your release into a story.
If possible, include an image of the organization you supported or the impact you made. For example, if your employees are building houses with Habitat for Humanity, feature an image of the house they built.
Whats the best time to issue a press release?
The best day to send a press release is on Thursday when the average open rate jumps to over 26%!
The worst days are Wednesdays and Fridays when even 85% of your emails get lost in the journos’ inboxes. By the way, do I even have to mention that sending anything over the weekend is pointless?
You’re probably wondering – why is Thursday the best day of the week to send a press release?
One theory is that towards the end of the week journalists have crossed off the most important tasks of their list and are able to finally read all their unopened emails. Friday, on the other hand, seems to have the opposite effect. Everyone’s mind is on the weekend so everything that’s not a top priority gets left over for Monday.
A good press release can be worth millions in coverage. Make sure you do it right!
Get your buzz. Talk to Atharva Marcom Public Relations – secure fantastic media coverage! his can include feature articles, radio or podcast interviews, talk show appearances, red carpet events and all those other blurbs that pop up about you or your project.