How to write a press release

So, you want to get some exposure for your business. Maybe you have some great news to share with your community or you want to just get more people to notice you! It’s common for small businesses to have press releases created to get the news about their company out to the public, and the goal, as always, is to find new customers. Press releases, however, are only worth the time and effort if they are done right. If a press release is poorly written or poorly distributed, it won’t get picked up. What a waste!

The Reader (1910)So, let’s get to the good stuff. There are two critical things to always remember when crafting a press release for your small business:

Most important thing

First, get their attention. The headline that you create is as important as the headlines you read in the paper, and it serves the same purpose: to get the reader’s attention. There are lots of stories out there, lots of content to read (especially online) and plenty of distractions. That means that in order to get your story noticed by the news media, your headline and first few lines of text have to be gripping.

Second most important thing

Second, get the information out first. When reporters create articles, they use a simple formula to ensure that the most important part of the story is told right away. That’s because people would rather learn the information they are promised right at the beginning rather than read through the entire article, only to get to the good stuff right at the end. The bottom line is that people don’t read news like they read novels. So, that means that when you are submitting your press release, you should always put the most interesting news first, and then follow up with information about your organization and details that need to be included.

Formatting your Press Release

Begin your press release with your contact information and when you want your news to be released. If you want it to be released immediately or if you want it to be released in two weeks, let them know. Then, create that catchy headline that is enticing and really describes the best part about your press release. You’re hopefully writing this story with some exciting news to share about your business, so that should be reflected in your title.

Writing great content

Begin the content of the release with the location and date from which you’re writing it. That helps the press contextualize the story. Then, reflect back on the most important thing about press releases and make sure all your critical information (the real story) is written right away. Using quotes, numbers and facts is a great way to spice up your press release. You want to make the reporter or news manager’s job as easy as possible. The more work they have to do to publish your story, the less likely it is to get published.

Getting your list together

I like to spend some time researching the most appropriate news managers at specific online media sources, TV news outlets, print newspapers and magazines and radio stations that I want to pick up my story. It is important to find the right person in the right department to read your email. Otherwise, it might be put on the back burner. The media’s job is to put out good, relevant stories for the public, so if you play to this very basic fact, you won’t have too much trouble getting your story out there.

If you have any questions about how to write a press release for your small business, shoot me a quick email. I’d be happy to help!