How To Write A Press Release In 2021 [With Examples & Templates]
If you’re not sure how to write a press release for your business, this article has all the answers for you.
Sending press releases to relevant news and media companies is among the oldest ways to spread the word about your company, brand, or product.
And it still works (when done the right way.)
In this detailed article, I’ll tell you how to write a press release by sharing examples, templates, and best practices that you can immediately apply.
Let’s dive in.
What Is A Press Release?
A press release (also called a “news release,” “news announcement,” or “media release”) is an official announcement by your company for journalists, reporters, and media companies.
It’s a one or two-page document highlighting a new development related to your business like a product launch, successful funding round, latest research report or publication, or a new business partnership.
What’s the goal of a press release?
To release an official statement from your company that gets the attention of relevant media outlets and journalists who can use it in their stories and publications.
The target readers of your press releases are journalists, not your customers.
If your PR is newsworthy, journalists from multiple publications will cover it in their stories, giving you the exposure you want.
The Benefits Of Using Press Releases
Why bother writing press releases? Do they even work in 2021?
Yes, they do!
In fact, well-written PRs are among the fastest and cheapest ways to spread the word about your startups, brand, product, or anything else that you want to highlight about your business.
They won’t immediately get you featured on CNN, Fox, or the front cover of the Time Magazine, but if you stay consistent, they’ll benefit your business in various ways.
Here are some of the main benefits of using press releases.
For new startups, early traction and media coverage is crucial for creating brand awareness. Press releases help you achieve this objective by connecting you with giant publications always looking for newsworthy items. Even if one or two leading publications write a story about your brand, the smaller ones will follow.
Want to create positive sentiment about your company by publicizing a high-profile partnership or the news of an industry leader joining your ranks? Write a press release highlighting the event’s significance and send it to the relevant journalists in your network.
Search Engine Optimization
Digital PR offers several indirect SEO benefits. For example, since PRs are publicly listed on press release sites, they can show up in search results against relevant search terms.
Similarly, journalists searching Google for the latest events/happenings in an industry or specific brands can also come across PRs in search results.
If a major publication picks up your PR and features it in a story, your site will get high-value backlinks and media coverage that can lead to more link-building opportunities.
So in that sense, while press releases don’t assist you with on-page SEO, they help you with your search rankings and backlink profile.
Every time a journalist picks up one of your press releases, you get an opportunity to build long-term media relations that you can leverage for your brand. Innovative brands slowly and gradually grow their media influence and get positive press through their relationships with influential journalists.
7 Steps To Writing A Press Release That Gets Results
News outlets, media companies, and journalists get thousands of press releases every day. Yet, very few of those PRs make it to a published story.
How do you write a press release that gets everyone’s attention? Follow these steps.
Step 1: Start With A Newsworthy Item
Journalists have no interest in covering your company or brand. They only care about newsworthy stuff that makes them look more credible and adds value to their publication.
Fractl surveyed 500+ journalists and found that 39% of the respondents looked for exclusive research in a PR pitch, while 27% looked for content relevant to their publication.
Thankfully, doing something newsworthy isn’t as tricky as it sounds. For example, if you have an active email list, you could run a survey about a relevant topic, publish the results in an article and create a press release about it.
Here’s a good example.
The press release by the Content Marketing Institue to promote their annual B2B Benchmarks report is another excellent example.
Notice the angle they’ve used to make it look newsworthy.
Similarly, you could highlight a key benefit of your product or service that has a significant impact on your customers and use it as a selling point in your PR.
Step 2: Write A Compelling Headline
Journalists get hundreds of PRs every day from various sources.
But they only open the ones that seem interesting and relevant. This is why it’s crucial to get your PR’s headline right.
According to research, 8 out of 10 people only read the headline copy.
How do you write compelling press release headlines? By using your PR’s main hook in the title along with relevant adjectives.
Here’s an example.
“Acme Industries Hire Jason Gotch As CTO”
This headline is easy to ignore because who cares about Jason or Acme industries, right?
Now here’s a click-worthy version of the same headline.
“Award-Winning Tech Marketer Determined To Lead Acme Industries In The Digital Marketing Age”
See the difference?
Here’s another example.
“Acme Launches Its New Payment Platform” – easy to ignore
“Acme Plans To Empower 1 Million Small Businesses With Its New Payment Platform” – not so easy to ignore.
Think of the main benefit you’re promoting in a press release and use it in your main headline.
Step 3: Drive Clicks With Your Sub-Headline Text
Most press release headlines have a short text snippet that explains what’s inside. You can think of it as the meta description Google shows in its search results.
The sub-headline gives you an opportunity to persuade journalists to open your press release. Use it to expand on your headline and offer some more insights while keeping an element of surprise.
Here’s a perfect example.
Notice how the sub-heading text expands on the main headline and provides data and numerical evidence.
So don’t underestimate the impact of this section of your PR and use it to drive more clicks.
Step 4: Use The Inverted Pyramid Model For The Body Content
The inverted pyramid model is a popular newspaper reporting technique in which the most important part of a news article comes at the start.
Here’s what it looks like
This is precisely how you need to structure your press releases.
Forget formal introductions and unnecessary information. Get straight to the point, tell the reader why this press release is important, who it is for, and how it will impact its target audience.
Step 5: Include A Relevant Quote
To give journalists credible information to cover in their news stories, add at least one quote from a relevant executive from your company (preferably the CEO or a functional expert.)
The quote should explain the main content of your press release and describe its impact (like the one in this screenshot.)
Make sure the quote is from a direct source in your company and aligns with the main content of your press release.
Step 6: Format Your Press Release For Easy Skimming
No one likes reading walls of text.
To ensure that journalists read your press release till the end, keep the following formatting tips in mind.
- Write in short paragraphs of 2-3 lines at max.
- Try limiting your press release to 5 paragraphs.
- Include original quotes in the body text.
- Use bulleted lists where applicable.
- Include a relevant image, chart, or screenshot.
- Write on behalf of your company in third-person voice.
Step 7: Include Your Contact Details
It is standard practice to include an About section along with your contact details at the end of a press release so that journalists can get in touch with you for any questions.
If your PR is about a new partnership, you also need to add the contact details of the partnering company.
Add a small note mentioning that you’re willing to help journalists improve their stories with more quotes and numbers if needed.
That usually encourages journalists to reach out more frequently.
Tech Press Release Examples Worth Following
Now that you know how to write a press release that gets results, let me share a few press release examples worth emulating.
1. Eureka! Ranch
From headline and intro paragraph to formatting and tone, this press release got everything right.
2. Children Hospital Of Philadelphia (CHOP)
This longer-than-usual headline will catch any journalist’s eye.
Press Release Templates For SaaS And Tech Companies
Here’s a press release template SaaS and tech companies can use to announce new product launches. Try using this template as a guideline, and feel free to modify it according to your needs.
Press Release Template For Product Launch
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: [Date]
[Press Release Title]
[Press Release Subhead (1-2 lines)]
[City, State]: [Company name] today announced [name of new product/service], a new [product/service]. [Name of new product/service] is [description of product/service] and offers a new way for [target customer type] to [benefit or features].
“[Quote from higher-up in the company about the product/service],” says [name], [title] at [company]. “[Additional quote].”
Features and benefits of [product/service] include. [try including stats and data where possible]
- Benefit or feature #1
- Benefit or feature #2
- Benefit or feature #3
[Product/Service] will be available starting [availability date], at [price point]. For more information on [product/service], visit [URL of product page].
About [Company]: [3-4 sentence description of your company and its recent accomplishments, if applicable].
Are You Ready To Write A Press Release?
As I’ve shown you in this article, writing a press release for your company isn’t as confusing or complicated as some people think.
If you follow the tips I’ve in this article, take inspiration from the press release examples I’ve quoted, and use the press release template I’ve shared, you can quickly write a press release that stands out from the crowd and helps you gain valuable media coverage for your brand.