How To Write a Press Release
As a creative you will often have some thing or event that you want to share. Whether it is a fundraiser you are holding, a new gallery exhibition with your work, or an important gig you are playing, a great way to get this information out into the public is by creating a press release. A press release is an official statement issued to media outlets giving the relevant information on a particular matter. There are some important things to think about when writing a press release.
Create One Target Message
You should create a press release that is about a clearly identifiable topic. Creating it on a single newsworthy topic will make it more likely for your target audience to find it and read it. If your press release contains too many topics or points it will be harder to understand the overall message of the news story and will be less likely to be republished on other news sources.
Write a Clear Headline
After you specify whether the piece is for immediate release or to be released under embargo, which means released after a certain date, you must give your press release a title. The purpose of this title is to grab attention, encourage people to read, and let people know what the information that follows will be about.
Include the Basics
Press releases need to contain the following information, not necessarily in this order, but this information is important to the media and their readers.
- Who– who is involved, including you, your company, and any others
- What– what is the reader going to read about
- When– when did this happen, timing, specific dates, any relevance to other events happening at this time
- Where– where is this happening or where did it occur
- Why– why are you sharing this news, is there a desired effect on the audience
- How– how is this happening or coming about
These six things will help you write an informative yet concise piece. After you have a good foundation to build upon, begin your piece by summing up your story. You should try to do this within the first two sentences of your piece and elaborate from there. You want to give people a taste of that they are going to read without disclosing all the juicy information. You can then explain more in depth as you work your way through your piece.
Have a Newsworthy Story
You must convince the publication or reporter that your story is worth being in their publication, whether print or online. It is important that your story will appeal to the entire readership. This will make it more likely for it to be published and republished. It is important to also format your piece like a professional news story. This makes it quicker and easier to go into publication and requires less work from another journalist or publication staff member, which is preferred by media outlets.
Use it as a Sales Tool
The purpose of a press release is to convey a message to your target audience. This message should spark them to become interested in you work and hopefully want to learn more. Sell yourself and what you do with an interesting, concise, and lively piece. This will cause more people to react to it and want to discover more about you and what you do. Just don’t oversell. A press release should never read like an advertising copy.
If you feel as though you can’t write your press release in the proper format, while keeping a professional yet intriguing writing style, you may want to consider hiring someone. The more something looks and sounds like a news story the more likely it is to get picked up or republished by others. If it fits in your budget, hiring someone is the quickest way to get instant gratification when it comes to press releases. Another benefit to having a professional is that they have personal contacts within media outlets, making it more likely your press release will be seen and published.
Press releases need to be packaged as an informative story. The more interesting and relevant you make it, the more likely it is to be read, absorbed, and thought about.