How to Write An Effective Press Release

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You wrote the business plan, worked with partners, and built and distributed the product. Now it’s time to get the word out. A traditional PR campaign is a great way to kick off your marketing efforts.

The first step in an effective PR campaign is a well-written press release. A press release is an opportunity to share your story and build your brand in a one-page format. Written in an active, third-person voice, a strong press release has news value that impacts an industry, clearly describes your product or services, and updates readers about company milestones or events. Before you sit down to write your first press release, here are a few things to consider for the framework:

Press Release Framework

Headline (Bold font): Your headline is your core message. To grab the attention of busy journalists and readers, you need to create an engaging, relevant headline that delivers the main idea you want to communicate in five to eight words.

Subhead (Italicize): If you include a subtitle, it should complement your headline without repeating it. Including key benefits, statistics or a brief value statement in one to two lines should entice the reader to want to learn more.

Dateline: Your lead paragraph should start with your location (in parentheses) and the date of your announcement.

Lead: Your opening paragraph should be a summary of your press release. It should be concise, yet include all the relevant who, what, when, where and why within two to four sentences.

Content Body: The body can range anywhere from two to four paragraphs that describe in detail the features, benefits, value proposition, and examples of how your product or service solves a particular industry problem.

Quote(s): Supporting quotes from the most appropriate company employee(s) and a customer, partner or industry analyst complement your message and provide a third-party endorsement for your product or service.

About [Your Company] (aka Boilerplate): This is a corporate- approved paragraph describing your company, services, the industries you serve, company URL, etc. It should always be up-to-date and consistent with all other corporate materials.

Contact Information: Always include contact information (name, phone, email) for business or media inquiries at the top or bottom of your release. Your contact should be a very accessible person who can quickly answer and turn around media inquiries.

How should all of that look? Click here to see a sample news release.

While press releases are designed to promote your business, they need to be newsworthy to successfully generate media interest. They also need to reach the right audience. With that in mind, remember that the key to writing and distributing effective press releases is making sure you always keep your target audience (media, readers and potential customers) in mind every step of the way.

In next week’s post I’ll discuss possible distribution channels for your news about your company.
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