When it comes to content, typically old-fashioned will be a good factor (specifically, when it comes to old-school rap or Throwback Thursday on Instagram). But when it comes to your organization’s public relations strategy, being old-fashioned is not advantageous for your corporation or your model.
Ten years in the past, individuals nonetheless relied on morning papers for information. Today, the overwhelming majority of your organization’s clients and prospects scan headlines on Twitter or see what’s trending of their Facebook feed.
People now have management over the place, when, and the way they devour data. As a consequence, public relations is not about feeding into a conventional information cycle; it is about offering related content when, the place, and the way your prospects, influencers, and clients will devour it.
Sounds fairly hopeless, proper? Wrong. While relationship-building nonetheless helps you get into fashionable publications, we now have the alternative to stop enjoying the ready sport and generate our personal buzz. By turning your PR strategy into an inbound one, you create alternatives that weren’t there earlier than and carve out a place on your firm, constructing significant mindshare together with your goal audiences within the course of.
One of essentially the most essential updates to make to your PR technique is to consider alternatives to join to the audiences you care about — together with, however not restricted to, reporters. And that begins with press releases. In this publish, we’ll talk about:
What Is a Press Release / News Release?
An everyday cadence of significant information might help a firm stand out and construct mindshare with journalists over time. That’s the place the press launch (or information announcement) is available in.
A press launch is an official announcement (written or recorded) that a corporation points to the information media and past. Whether we name it a “press release,” a “press statement,” a “news release,” or a “media release,” we’re at all times speaking about the identical primary factor.
While the heading ought to comprise motion verbs, the primary paragraph ought to reply the “who,” “what,” “why,” and “where.” The press launch must also comprise comprehensible language and a quote.
Most press releases are succinct at simply a web page lengthy — two pages, tops. Ultimately, firms need to present sufficient data in order that information shops have ample materials for publishing their very own tales about regardless of the firm is asserting within the launch.
And whereas it might be tempting to craft a press launch that adorns your organization’s accomplishments or twists the info to make a story sound extra intriguing to the media, keep in mind: Press releases stay within the public area, which implies your clients and potential clients can see them. So as an alternative of pondering of a press launch solely as a ticket to incomes information protection, you must also consider it as a beneficial piece of promoting content.
While there is not any cut-and-dried components for what a press launch ought to embrace, listed below are a few kinds of events to assist you carve out a focus on your press launch and decide what content would assist you broadcast your information in one of the best ways:
Types of Press Releases
- New Product Launches
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Product Updates
- Grand Openings
- New Partnerships
- Executive Promotions/Hiring
New Product Launches
The product launch kind of press launch is effective to get the phrase out in regards to the new options your group is providing to customers. This launch will emphasize the product’s specs, pricing, availability, and every other particulars that could be beneficial to customers.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Organizational change is noteworthy sufficient to warrant a press launch, particularly for informing present and future stakeholders in regards to the development and trajectory of a firm. To announce an acquisition or merger, embrace particulars about all organizations concerned, details about the merger or acquisition, and quotes from the management groups.
Similar to a new product launch, product updates and expansions are additionally ripe for promotion. Explain what the change is, why it was made, and the way it advantages the person.
Press releases are an essential element of occasion advertising and marketing to appeal to promotion from information shops and different media sources. You’ll need to embrace what the occasion is about, who ought to contemplate attending, when and the place it will likely be held, pricing, and every other obligatory particulars.
Whether you opened up a new workplace, relocated, or are opening for the primary time, announce the small print with a grand opening press launch. Announce the date and placement the grand opening might be held, who’s concerned, how the grand opening is being celebrated, and the rationale for the transfer (if relevant).
Similar to mergers and acquisitions, a press launch asserting new partnerships is a mutually helpful advertising and marketing tactic. To successfully execute one of these launch, be certain to write a abstract about every firm, why the partnership was created, who advantages, and any extra essential particulars for present and future stakeholders.
Rebranding is a troublesome factor for any enterprise to do, and it might sometimes lead to confusion and awkwardness. One manner to make the transition smoother is by asserting the rebrand with a press launch, together with particulars on what’s altering, the rationale for making the change, dates the adjustments go into impact, and quotes from the management staff.
Executives typically function faces of the corporate, and a press launch capabilities to kick off this position. It might embrace biographical data to set up their credibility together with a photograph and different pertinent particulars.
When it comes to enterprise excellence, it is okay to brag. Press releases about awards and accomplishments serve to cement your group as an authority in your house. Such a press launch consists of details about the corporate and why they got the award, details about the award itself, and particulars in regards to the ceremony (if relevant).
Sample Press Release Format
When formatting a press-release, you need to write it in a newsy, easy manner so a journalist who would possibly write about it might think about it as an article on their information web site.
Press Release Format
- Title and Italicized Subheading to Summarize the News
- News Location and newspeg in opening line
- Two to Three Paragraphs to Add Information
- Bulleted Facts or Figures
- Company Description at Bottom
- Contact Information and “For Immediate Release” on the Top
- A “###” on the End
As famous above, you will need your format to embrace conventional press-release objects like your contact data, the phrases “For immediate release,” a notice about your location, and a fast bio about your organization. Having particular spots for these components will forestall you from needing to point out it in your physique copy so you’ll be able to give attention to discussing the information at hand.
You additionally would possibly need to embrace “###” or one other signifier to present the journalist that the discharge has ended. In the previous, this prevented busy journalists from ready or flipping the web page for extra data when there was no extra information. However, this custom is still adopted and highly-respected today.
When it comes to formatting the physique copy and headline, click on right here or scroll down for writing ideas.
In this instance, Catbrella Inc., a fictitious advert company which simply gained its 10th Twitter follower after two years of paid social media efforts, pronounces its achievement in a press launch.
*Disclaimer: HubSpot is totally liable for the silliness of this fake announcement.
How to Write a Press Release
Writing a press launch to break essential firm information might help companies develop higher, however doing it proper is simply as essential. Here’s how to write a press launch, just like the one above, step-by-step.
Rule 1: Make your headline irresistible.
You’ve obtained your announcement in thoughts, and now it is time to get it down in phrases to share together with your neighborhood, business, and followers. Just like writing the perfect blog post title, setting up your press release for success starts with your headline. You only have one line to work with, which can seem scary, but consider diction carefully to make your headline captivating.
Use action verbs, clear, understandable language, and keep your headline simple and short — fortune (and search engines) reward the brief, so keep your title to one line to clearly focus people’s attention on your topline message.
Most importantly, make it interesting: Keep in mind that reporters get dozens, if not hundreds, of releases each day, so invest the time to write a compelling headline. It’s worth the time and effort on your part.
Rule 2: Convey the news value to the press.
For reporters, analysts, influencers, or followers to be inclined to share your announcement, you have to tell them upfront why they should care.
The first paragraph of your release should cover the who, what, why, where, and how of your new launch, update, or development. Reporters don’t have a ton of time to sift through details and fluffy background information — they just need the facts that’ll help them tell your story to someone else from a position of authority.
There shouldn’t be any new, crucial information covered after this section that the reader could potentially miss. A good way to ensure this is by using the reverse pyramid formula when writing your press launch.
Rule 3: Offer a tempting quote.
Once you have set the scene, it is time to carry your particulars to life with a quote that reporters can use for context round your announcement and assist paint a image of how your information impacts the given business, buyer base, and panorama.
Ideally, quotes might be from key stakeholders in your organization together with your government staff, undertaking leads, or these instantly impacted by your announcement. Quoting key figures and authorities underlines the significance of your improvement. The chosen quote ought to form your narrative and emphasize the core of the announcement. Don’t ask everybody in your workplace for a remark or really feel compelled to quote all 25 individuals included within the acquisition — choose one or two essential spokespeople and focus the quotes round their distinctive perspective.
Rule 4: Provide beneficial background data on the topic.
In this final paragraph, remember that the reader already has the entire very important particulars and knowledge they want to file a story or unfold the phrase.
It will be tempting to present superfluous info and tidbits about your organization or the event of your announcement — we typically assume a piece of writing is missing if it is not drawn-out and simply shy of being a novella. However, a press launch wants to be useful and concise.
Offer particulars right here that strengthen your narrative, like inventive or noteworthy methods your organization developed the undertaking or announcement at hand. Or, when relevant, touch upon future implications of your announcement.
Another great way to add worth to your press launch is through the use of newsjacking. A means of relating your press launch to one thing presently happening to make it extra beneficial to the journalist and reader.
Rule 5: Summarize the “who” and the “what” in a boilerplate.
Twitter is chock-full of reporters lamenting press releases or pitches that do not clearly clarify what the corporate does or what the announcement is definitely about, so as an alternative of being the butt of a joke, make your launch extremely simple to reference.
Describe what your organization does in clear, plain English, embrace a hyperlink to your organization’s homepage early on, and make your boilerplate succinct and simple. If you cite information, embrace a reference hyperlink for the information supply, and ensure each title within the launch has an related title and firm as properly.
To preserve your self sincere on this entrance, ask a buddy or colleague to learn the discharge with out context and ask if they will simply and readily clarify why the announcement issues, what your organization does, and why the executives included are quoted. If the reply to any of these questions isn’t any, get again to the drafting board.
The key to preserving your PR technique new faculty is forgetting preconceived notions of what public relations is and as an alternative specializing in creating extremely exceptional content. Traditional press releases can nonetheless be actually beneficial when executed properly, so as an alternative of ditching releases as a tactic, give them a fashionable makeover to make them extra helpful on your advertising and marketing.
Think about how you have used inbound strategies to remodel your advertising and marketing methods to be extra customized, approachable, and construct relationships. Those identical ideas apply to your PR technique: Create content to craft your personal story and use tactful outreach to get reporters and analysts conversant in your model.
Press Release Examples
Many individuals assume press releases have to be chock filled with buzzwords and branded phrases. “Big data,” anybody? Five-syllable phrases you might have to lookup on Thesaurus.com? Quotes from each government on the planet that go on for pages? We’ve seen all of it. Unfortunately, so have reporters — and they’re not followers.
Instead of stuffing your subsequent launch with business jargon, take a web page out of our ebook (okay fantastic, book), The Newsworthy Guide to Inbound Public Relations, and brainstorm some inventive approaches on your subsequent announcement. Can you embrace new information? A exceptional graphic or video? A shareable SlideShare? If so, a inventive angle might help carry your content and enhance the chance of social sharing.
Now, to get you pondering heading in the right direction, take a take a look at some inventive press launch examples under, the kind of information each is reporting on, and what makes the discharge distinctive:
Type of press launch: Event
Škoda, a automotive producer primarily based within the Czech Republic, lately confirmed off its sponsored racing staff in two massive locations: on the 2017 World Rally Championship, and in a smooth, image-based press launch reporting on the occasion.
The information launch, proven above, does not have any hassle aligning the appear and feel of the Škoda model with the press launch itself — which is a essential facet of any firm’s press content. The launch opens with a giant function picture of one in every of its automobiles in the identical vibrant inexperienced that covers the enterprise’s web site. The press launch additionally begins with three useful bullet factors summarizing the information for readers, and ends the discharge with a couple of captioned actions photographs to give reporters extra context across the occasion.
Type of press launch: Acquisition
Yes, a video press launch! This information merchandise from ScribbleLive gave reporters practically every little thing they’d want to republish this story, all in a thorough two-minute video in regards to the firm’s newest acquisition.
ScribbleLive opens the video press launch above with the corporate’s emblem and a clear header stating the information. This allowed the corporate’s CEO to bounce proper into his commentary on the acquisition, giving reporters loads of quotable materials on the state of the business and why this merger was so essential to them.
The press launch additionally segments the video the identical manner a written press launch would, breaking apart the CEO’s commentary by the query he is answering. This makes it simple for viewers to bounce via the video and discover the knowledge they’re most all in favour of listening to about.
And, being on YouTube, a press launch on this format permits reporters to embed the information content instantly on their web site, making ScribbleLive’s information that a lot simpler to share.
Type of press launch: Opening a new workplace
When you open a new headquarters, it may be exhausting to determine what to say. People simply need to get a take a look at the brand new digs! In the above press launch by Peapod, a web-based grocery service, the corporate places images of its new workplace proper on the high, instantly exhibiting readers what makes this information so vital for Peapod.
The launch even singles out a quote by the Mayor of Chicago slightly below the headline, hinting to reporters who’re writing about Peapod’s new HQ that that is the comment Peapod is most all in favour of sharing with readers.
Check out the boilerplate textual content on the backside of the above press launch. “About [company]” textual content can too simply mix in with the precise information textual content, making the piece appear longer than it truly is. By isolating this copy in a darkish grey field, Peapod offers a smoother studying expertise and ensures the story itself does not get misplaced in an intimidatingly lengthy wall of textual content.
Type of press launch: New product launches
When you are launching services or products, the knowledge is usually greatest expressed in written type. But when all you are doing is writing about your new providing’s value and options, it may be troublesome for others to refer to and report on it later. We at HubSpot know the problem properly.
The graphic above helped us to complement our personal product announcement — written by our incredible Communications Manager, Ellie Botelho — with particulars that wanted a visible assist. Using a mixture of colours and shapes, this graphic allowed us to reveal essential relationships between merchandise, in addition to their respective costs and after they’ll be accessible. (Interested one in every of our merchandise? Take notice! ^)
We’ve additionally crafted this complete, easy-to-follow press release template full with a promotional plan and issues on your subsequent announcement. We use these identical pointers when writing and formatting our releases right here at HubSpot, and created a fake, pattern launch to illustrate what content goes the place and why.
Tips for Publishing Press Releases
Writing a press launch is de facto solely half the battle. Once you are completed with manufacturing, it’s going to be time to give attention to distribution.
Of course, we’re all conversant in the normal distribution levers we are able to pull, which embrace publishing the press launch on our web site/weblog, in addition to sharing the press launch with our followers/subscribers by way of social media and e-mail. But for making certain a press launch will get the utmost quantity of distribution potential, listed below are some ideas you’ll be able to comply with.
1. Reach out to particular journalists.
Instead of blasting a press launch out to each journalist you’ll find an e-mail deal with for, give attention to a few journalists who’ve expertise overlaying your business (and firm, hopefully) and ship them customized messages. Connect the dots. Show why what you wrote connects to what they write.
2. Don’t be afraid to go offline.
Most journalists have mountains of emails (and press releases) to kind via. Try sending your launch via snail mail or one other offline channel to differentiate your self.
3. Send the discharge to high journalists the day earlier than.
Give journalists a while to craft a story round your press launch by sending it to them — beneath embargo — the day earlier than it formally goes stay. (FYI “under embargo” simply means they are not allowed to share the knowledge within the press launch till the time you specify.)
4. To keep away from competitors, do not publish your launch on the hour.
If you are publishing your press launch on a distribution service like PR Newswire or Business Wire, keep away from publishing it on the hour (e.g., 1 p.m., or Three p.m., or 5 p.m.). The purpose? Most firms schedule their releases to exit on the hour, which implies in case your launch goes out on the hour too, it is extra seemingly to get misplaced within the shuffle. Instead, attempt going with a extra distinct time (e.g., 1:12 p.m., or 3:18 p.m., or 5:22 p.m.).
5. Share your media protection.
If all goes in accordance to plan, and your press launch will get picked up by the media, your job nonetheless is not completed. To preserve the thrill going, you’ll be able to launch a “second wave” of distribution by sharing the particular tales that information shops write primarily based in your press launch.
Editor’s notice: This publish was initially printed in November 2019 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.
Originally printed Aug 19, 2020 8:35:00 PM, up to date August 20 2020