Writing a press release can be super tricky if you’re not sure what the right press release format looks like as opposed to a blog post. While both tell a compelling story about your brand, press releases have a different twist to them. If you want to know how to write a press release without accidentally turning it into a blog post, read on.
Press Release Formats vs. Ordinary Blog Posts
Blog posts have an H1 title, H2s as subheadings, and a CTA in the conclusion. On the other hand, press releases have a straight-to-the-point title, an introductory quote, a body that contains only factual news and a boilerplate that talks about the company.
Blog posts often include around 800-1,500 words since algorithms assess a blog post’s ranking ability through word count and content. Simply put, longer blog posts rank higher in the SERPs than shorter ones do. And while it’s a good idea to include hyperlinks on blog posts for SEO purposes, it’s a different story with press releases.
Press releases are formal and straight to the point. While blog posts use in a casual tone to educate readers, press releases are written in a “just the facts” manner, intended to create a huge buzz around one new product or service.
Blogging welcomes feedback openly in the form of comments and shares from subscribers. Blog posts are shared frequently on social media channels and linked to in newsletters. This helps the brand establish a connection with its audience even after its first touchpoint.
Press releases, however, can be all over the media, including local online news sites, event calendars, national TV, newspapers and more. You can, of course, be featured as a news story and have the press release video published on your website. The thing is, press release exposure gives you instant organic traffic. Blog posts take about six months to rank and gain traffic momentum.
Blogging is like a superb way of doing omnichannel customer service. Let’s say somebody left a comment on your blog post after linking it to their Facebook post. There, you can interact with different users and maintain good customer experience. You can directly answer customer inquiries through your blog post and respond to comments to show that you are proactive in securing a great purchasing journey for them. Blogs help you establish a better digital footprint through customer service. Press releases, on the other hand, reach out to a wide range of audiences without the same interest-targeting.
Writing a press release requires tighter messaging and a professional tone while a blog post is conversational and laid-back. Rather than inviting engagement and interaction with customers, a press release allows your brand to promote its products or services to a wider audience in a journalistic manner.
How to Write a Press Release
Writing a press release takes considerable research to create factual, empowering, and catchy content. From creating the script to coming up with attention-grabbing videos, it starts with writing a press release that gets heads nodding in agreement.
Select a Topic
Picking a topic might be the easiest way to begin writing a press release. However, this is where most brands stumble. They pick a topic that’s been in the media for so long that it no longer elicits excitement or curiosity from anyone. If you have something in mind that’s new, unique and oddly interesting, it’s time to create a press release to show it off.
Think of news as a way of spreading vital information in an educational, helpful and attention-catching manner that’s relevant to your target market. Online press releases include company news, the hype surrounding a new product release, prescriptive content from an industry leader, or any revolutionary leadership involving a current event. Press releases communicate stories that help your audience understand your brand’s vision.
Here are seven questions your audience might ask when reading your press release.
1. What’s in it for me?
2. Who are these people?
3. Why should I trust this brand?
4. Do they have a significant impact on me?
5. Why are they doing this?
6. Why should I be a part of their cause?
7. Are they worth my time?
If you manage to answer all these questions to your audience’s satisfaction, you’re writing an awesome press release.
Read our blog on how to write a press release for even more information.
Come Up With a Press Release Format
Press releases are generally formal and emphatic. The message and tone of voice are controlled and poised. Press release formats embody a company perspective and should be written in first-person. We’ve compiled a list of the necessary steps for writing a catchy press release.
Write a Compelling Title
As with a blog post, the title of your press release is critical. The title itself should clearly inform your audience about the content to follow and should be convincing enough for them to continue reading. Your press release title should be descriptive and head-turning, and like any title, it should spark your reader’s curiosity.
Here’s a great title from one of our professionally written press releases:
Beneath your punchy press release title is your subheading. It contains two lines of text and is a critical part of press release writing. Although brief, it must support and explain the title. Also, these subheadings should give your press release more depth. Check out this subhead from the press release above:
Insert a Catchy Quote
When writing a press release, you should never forget to include a relevant quote. Go ahead, grab the best line from an interview with the organization’s leader, or from the company spokesperson’s best presentation. Quotes are included in press releases to give the media or a journalist a valuable statement straight from an industry thought leader.
The quote itself should embody the organization, so it’s vital to include who said it and note his or her role within the company or the organization. If you’re quoting people outside the governing body, such as customers or board members, be sure to give them a proper label. Don’t forget to ask permission from the person regarding whether you can use his or her quote before it goes live.
Here’s one of our captured quotes from our press release example:
Write an Informative Press Release Body
The body is where you build the story with all the facts and details, making sure that it’s provocative enough to hold the reader’s attention. Ensure that the seven questions in your reader’s mind are addressed and that every word is enticing enough to make them read to the end. Writing a press release is useless if the body doesn’t resonate with your audience, so be sure that your details are laid out interestingly.
Check out the body of our example press release:
Write a Convincing Boilerplate for Your Press Release
The last significant piece of your online press release writing comes after the body of the text: the boilerplate. Boilerplates are short summaries of your organization, including the name and the cause. This summary is uniform for all press releases and must clearly communicate your brand’s purpose. Contained in a paragraph form, the boilerplate states that your organization approves the release and allows potential customers to learn more about your business.
A boilerplate must include the following:
- The name of your organization.
- What your organization does.
- Who your organization serves.
- A brief explanation of your vision.
You may be helping a charitable institution or foundation devoted to a certain cause (such as an environmental or societal issue that your organization aims to solve). If this is the case, don’t forget to include this information in your boilerplate. This will allow you to be recognized by people who share the same insights as your organization.
A Harvard’s Business Review survey from 2012 unearthed the same findings: 64% of customers cited that shared value is the primary reason why they keep in touch with a brand. Find common ground with your audience and include it in your boilerplate.
Include Links in Your Online Press Release
Writing a press release should build the credibility your brand needs to acquire more and more of the public’s trust. It also helps support your search visibility in the SERPs.
When appropriate, don’t forget to include links to your website’s applicable pages so readers can get a chance to learn more about your brand. Send them a link to your blog, your social media accounts, your latest product launch or your latest community project. Anything that provides value to the reader will give the brand an element of trust.
Feel free to include long-tail keywords with your links. This will help your online press release rank higher in the search results. Using long-tail keywords boosts your search engine optimization.
Include Your Press Release Date and Press Contact
Writing a press release is useless if you don’t provide a press contact for more details. Include your support email or hotline, if needed, and plug in your active social media accounts. Your press contact must appropriately represent your organization and know the exact purpose of the press release content. Also, the press release must indicate if it is available immediately or only on a certain date in the future.
Amplify Your Press Release Distribution With prREACH
Once you’re done writing a press release and have strictly followed the correct press release format, it’s time to add it to the “Press,” “News,” “Updates,” or “Insights” page of your website. Send it to local media or distribute it on various online press release channels.
Why settle for free online press releases that don’t bring your marketing strategy to its next level?
Get laser-precise targeting that brings your content closest to the right audience — the audience that deserves to see how wonderful your brand is. The prREACH team of press release writers and video editors understand your need for a compelling video press release. Stop scouting for industry-specific journalists, bloggers, and media outlets by yourself. We’ve got the right connections that can bring your content forward and give your marketing strategies a full-fledged boost.
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