When it comes to content, sometimes old school can be a good thing( namely, when it comes to old school rap or Throwback Thursday on Instagram ). But when it comes to your company’s public relations strategy, being old school isn’t advantageous for your business or your brand.
Ten years ago, people still relied on morning newspapers for news. Today, the great majority of your company’s customers and prospects scan headlines on Twitter or ensure whatas trending in their Facebook feed.
People now have control over where, when, and how they consume information. As a outcome, public relations is no longer about feeding into a traditional news cycle; it’s about relevant content when, where, and how your prospects, influencers, and customers will consume it.
Sounds pretty hopeless, right? Wrong. While relationship-building still helps you get into popular publications, we now have the opportunity to quit playing the waiting game and make our own buzz. By turning your PR strategy into an inbound one, you create opportunities that werenat there before and carve out a place for your company, building meaningful mindshare with your target audiences in the process.
One of the most crucial updates to stimulate to your PR strategy is to think of press releases as an opportunity to connect to the audiences you care about — including, but not limited to, reporters.
What is a Press Release/ News Release?
A press release is an official announcement( written or recorded) that an organization issues to the news media and beyond. Whether we call it a “press release, ” a “press statement, ” a “news release, ” or a “media release, ” we’re always talking about the same basic thing.
Most press releases are succinct at merely a page long. Two pages tops. Ultimately, companies want to provide enough information so that news outlets have sufficient material for publishing their own stories about whatever the company is announcing in the release.
And while it may be seducing to craft a press release that embellishes your company’s accomplishments or twists the facts to make a narrative voice more intriguing to the media, recollect: Press releases live in the public domain, which means your customers and prospective clients can see them. So instead of thinking of a press release solely as a ticket to earning news coverage, you should also think of it as a valuable piece of marketing content.
How to Write a Press Release[ With Example]
You’ve got your proclamation in mind, and now it’s time to get onto down in terms to share with your community, industry, and followers.
Take Catbrella Inc ., a fictitious ad agency, which simply gained its 10 th Twitter follower after two years of paid social media efforts. To announce its achievement, Catbrella could issue a press release like the one we’ve dissected below .*
Sample Press Release Format:
* Disclaimer: HubSpot is wholly responsible for the silliness of this faux proclamation.
Rule 1: Make Your Headline Irresistible
Just like writing the perfect blog post title, setting up your press release for success starts with your headline. You merely have one line to work with, which can seem scary, but consider enunciation carefully to attain your headline captivating.
Use action verbs, clear, understandable speech, 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 obliging headline. It’s worth the time and endeavor on your proportion.
Rule 2: Don’t Play Hard to Get
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 launching, 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 narrative to someone else from a position of authority.
There shouldn’t be any new, crucial info covered after this section that the reader could potentially miss.
Rule 3: Offer a Tempting Quotable
Once you’ve defined the scene, it’s is high time to bring your details to life with a quotation that reporters can use for context around your proclamation and help paint a picture of how your news affects the given industry, customer base, and landscape.
Ideally, quotes will be from key stakeholders in your company including your executive team, project results, or those directly impacted by your announcement. Quoting key figures and authorities underlines the importance of your developing. The chosen quote should shape your narrative and underscore the merits of the announcement. Don’t ask everyone in your office for a comment or feel compelled to quote all 25 people included in the acquisition — pick one or two critical spokespeople and concentrate the quotes around their unique perspective.
Rule 4: Provide Valuable Background Information
In this last paragraph, keep in mind that the reader already has all of the vital details and information they need to file a narrative or spread the word.
It can be tempting to provide superfluous facts and tidbits about your company or the development of your announcement — we sometimes guess a piece of writing is lacking if it isn’t drawn-out and just shy of being a novella. However, a press release needs to be helpful and concise.
Offer details here that strengthen your narrative, like creative or noteworthy styles your company developed the project or proclamation at hand. Or, when applicable, comment on future implications of your announcement.
Rule 5: Induce the “Who” and “What” Obvious
Twitter is chock-full of reporters lamenting press releases or pitches that don’t clearly explain what the company does or what the announcement is actually about, so instead of being the butt of a gag, stimulate your release incredibly easy to reference.
Describe what your company does in clear, plain English, include a link to your company’s homepage early on, and construct your boilerplate succinct and straightforward. If you cite data, include a reference connect for the data source, and make sure every name in the release has an associated title and company as well.
To keep yourself honest on this front, ask a friend or colleague to read the release without context and ask if they can easily and readily explain why the proclamation matters, what your company does, and why the executives included are quoted. If the answer to any of those questions is no, get back to the drawing board.
The key to maintaining your PR strategy new school is forgetting preconceived notions of what public relations is and instead focusing on making highly remarkable content. Traditional press releases can still be really valuable when executed well, so instead of ditching releases as a tactic, give them a modern makeover to stimulate them more useful for your marketing.
Think about how you’ve used inbound methods to transform your marketing strategies to be more personalized, approachable, and build relationships. Those same principles apply to your PR strategy: Create content to craft your own narrative and use tactful outreach to get reporters and analysts familiar with your brand.
When Should I Distribute a Press Release?
While there’s no cut-and-dried formula for when a press release should be written( and distributed ), here’s a few reasons when it’s a good idea 😛 TAGEND New product launches Updates to existing products Opening a new office Introducing a new partnership Rebranding Promoting/ hiring a new executive Receiving an awarding