What is a press release?
A press release (also known as a news release) is a factual piece of written communication sharing important, interesting or exciting information about an event, accomplishment or development relating to your business or organization.
This could include an announcement on:
- New products or services
- Leadership changes
- Mergers, acquisitions or divestments
- Financial results or updates
- Expansion into new markets
- Charitable contributions
- Research findings or survey results
- Event tie-ins
- Promotional, marketing or branding campaigns
- Award recognition
- New office openings
- Key contract wins
- Event sponsorship
- Expert opinion on trending topics
- Securing business funding
Press releases are usually distributed to the media. They can also be shared on social media, corporate websites and online press distribution websites.
What is the purpose of writing a press release?
Secure media coverage
Copywriting press releases are an important aspect of a business’ public relations (PR) activities.
A press release usually contains a hook (or angle) that makes the information newsworthy – it is what makes your story interesting and worth telling.
The purpose of a press release is to grab the attention of media professionals (e.g., reporters, journalists, writers, editors) so that they will be interested in any of the following:
- Writing a news article based on your story
- Asking you for more information
- Arranging for an interview
The ultimate goal is to secure favorable coverage of your news in the media.
Drive traffic to your website
Press releases have traditionally been used as a tool to communicate with mainstream media. But the role of the press release as part of communications strategy has evolved, thanks to the widespread use of the internet.
Press releases can be posted on the news section of your corporate website. They can also be shared on social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
Besides mainstream media and press release distribution services, press releases can now be sent directly to influencers, bloggers and consumers. Anyone can tweet or share a link to your press release or write their opinion or story on your news.
All this helps to direct traffic to your website and generating more awareness about your company, products and services.
What are the advantages of writing a press release?
A well-written and well-pitched press release can help you to earn positive media coverage. This can help your business stay top-of-mind and topical in the eyes of the public or target audience.
The exposure generated through the articles or news stories published or broadcast in the media can help your business to:
- Gain brand recognition
- Attract new customers
- Increase sales
A press release is not paid advertising. It’s often thought of as an affordable or more cost-effective way of reaching out to the public. The main investment is the cost of writing and disseminating of the press release, while the result is “free” publicity.
Strengthen your online and social media presence
A press release can be used as a tool to draw traffic to your website. This is great for SEO. A press release which has been optimised for certain keyword phrases can turn up in search engines, bringing visitors to your website. Sharing the links to your press releases on social media networks will also direct traffic to your website.
The rise of social media means press releases can be used as a starting point to build dialogue and engagement. Driving social interaction and fuelling greater engagement will result in increased visibility and social shares. Some news may even go viral on social media before being picked up by major news organizations.
How do you write a press release?
The number one rule about writing a press release is that it must be newsworthy. You also need to write it in a style that will grab the attention of the reader.
Press releases need to contain the following information:
- Headline: This is the attention-grabbing statement that summarizes what the story is all about and entices the reader to continue reading.
- Sub-headline: This secondary statement is optional but builds on the headline and further expands on the main message.
- Dateline: This shows where the news originated and when the press release was released.
- Lead paragraph: The opening paragraph of the press release needs to capture your reader’s attention, while summing up the key points. It should answer the basic who, what, where, when and why of any news story.
- Body: The main content provides additional detail on the news that is being announced. This can include background information, statistics and quotes.
- Quotes: Relevant quotes or “soundbites” from individuals can provide a additional depth and context to your story. These anecdotes or unique perspectives inject a human element to your press release that could result in better media pick-up.
- Boilerplate: This section, also known as the “About” section is found at the end of the press release and provides a brief description of the company issuing the press release.
- Contact information: This should include the name, phone number and email address of the PR person that journalists can contact for further information.
Why hire a press release copywriter?
If you want to pitch your story to the media, you have to demonstrate that your story is both relevant and current. A press release copywriter will be able to help you craft a newsworthy angle that would make your story compelling.
Copywriters make their living by writing. So engaging a copywriter will ensure that your press release is well-written, carefully thought-out and follows the correct structure.
Copywriters can help you to optimise your press release by including the right keywords or phrases. This can increase your visibility in both search engines and social media.
A good copywriter will have the expertise to develop effective messaging for your press release. When it is interesting, it is also more likely to be shared by more people.
Work with a Singapore press release copywriter
Need to find a hook for your press release? Get in touch with us now to discuss how to write a newsworthy press release.