Writing press releases

Research shows that press releases are used in an article only 3 out of 10 times. Therefore, it is important to know how you can make sure your press release is read and published by journalists. Make sure that you create a message that stands out and gets placed. Do this by following these tips for press releases.


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10 Tips for Writing a Press Release

A press release needs to be well structured and tell a clear story in order to be successful. These ten tips will help you on your way.

  1. Write specifically to your target audience and adjust your language accordingly. Use language that resonates with readers and avoid jargon;
  2. Create press releases that are grammatically correct. This way you can be sure that they will also be published correctly in the media;
  3. Approach the journalist you are writing the press release for in a personal way;
  4. Use a catchy title. This will grab the journalist’s attention and increase the chances of your press release being published;
  5. Add a link leading to a page with more of your press releases. This can help keep your company in the back of journalist’s minds;
  6. Be critical when writing. Check for any errors or oversights and look at it from different perspectives;
  7. Put yourself in the shoes of a journalist when writing;
  8. Sending an email to multiple journalists? Use the BCC field, it’s the courteous thing to do;
  9. Use synonyms to avoid using the same words repeatedly;
  10. Make sure what you write doesn’t come off as an advertisement but as a news piece. Otherwise it won’t be seen as news but an advertisement.

Other tips for writing a press release

  1. The structure of a press release is usually set. You must use this standard structure for your press release. Make it clear it is a press release by labelling it as such at the top - but never in the subject line. Describe the five Ws - who, what, where, why, when, and how - in the introduction. Also make sure your press release is “scannable,” meaning it starts with the most important information, not ends with it. Finish your press release with a short summary of your company and don't forget to include contact information;
  2. Use both business and personal language;
  3. Avoid as much as possible names of involved colleagues or institutions, as this can disrupt the flow of a story.
  4. Use quotes that are supported by, for example, experts;
  5. Do not write long texts, the text should be short but powerful and no longer than an A4 page;
  6. Think about the timing of your message, do not send a press release in the weekend but preferably at the beginning of the week (Monday or Tuesday);
  7. Make sure your press release is sent in the text of the email. Never add attachments to your email, especially not as pdf;
  8. Don’t forget to add high-quality image material via a link to an external page - don’t put it in the email itself or in the attachment;
  9. Look for relevant journalists, media and editorial offices. Use Presscloud for this;
  10. Include facts in your press release;
  11. Be available after you have sent your press release;
  12. Ensure that your press release actually has news value. This is a must.

A good relationship with journalists is half the battle when it comes to PR

In order to have a chance at a published article, it is important to have good contact with journalists. Always keep in mind that journalists benefit from your press releases, just like you benefit from their publications. Show interest in journalists by getting in contact with them via, for example, social media like LinkedIn. If you get to know journalists better, it will be easier to meet their needs.

New School PR

With the rise of social media, PR and marketing have changed a lot. As a result, marketing staff is often multi-functional and has knowledge of various fields. Furthermore, PR has become much more extensive than just a press release. It is a process of specifying the target group to reaching them. The PESO model is often used for this. This P(aid), E(arned), S(hared), O(wned) model describes four types of media. Paid media is media attention that the company itself pays for. Earned media is the media attention that the public gives to a company. Shared media is what a company shares on social media and the actions that follow afterwards. Owned media is all the media that the company itself has control over. A PR manager can use all types of media for the PR strategy.

Writing a press release - How should it not be done?

Many unnecessary mistakes are made in press releases. Because the mailboxes of journalists are often flooded with press releases, it is important to avoid certain mistakes to ensure that your press release does not end up in the trash. As a writer, avoid the frequent use of jargon in articles, this is unclear to journalists. It is also important that the first row and title of the press release be captivating and announce the news right away.

Why is writing a good press release so difficult?

As a press release writer, you are often part of a company, which can make it difficult to tell the news factually. This is because both colleagues and your own involvement influence you. Therefore, try writing from an external perspective. Put yourself in the shoes of a journalist: how would he or she write about this news?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who is your reader?
  • What is the news?
  • What is your goal?
  • Is the news at the top?
  • Is it scrollable?
  • Am I using a third-party tool?
  • Have I removed corporate policy from the press release?
  • Am I using the correct style?
  • Am I paying attention to the subject line?

Write a press release in 10 simple steps

How to write an effective press release? Follow these ten steps:

  • Think of a newsworthy topic
  • Write the introduction of your press release
  • Put the most important information at the top - make it scrollable
  • Make headings and paragraphs (make the text scannable)
  • Put a quote in the newspaper article
  • Make a catchy headline or title
  • Add visuals
  • Do a spelling and grammar check
  • Include contact details - note to the editor
  • Make sure you send the message to the correct media.

8 extra tips for an effective press release

  • Have a goal
  • Look for a (current) news item
  • Do not use jargon
  • Use quotes in your press release
  • Search for relevant journalists, media and editorial staff in Presscloud
  • Create a press list - find email addresses and save them in the database
  • Do not send your press release directly - but at the beginning of the week
  • Make sure you are available after sending

Press Release as a communication tool in your marketing plan

Marketing is a broad term that consists of many different components. When a clear goal has been established, it can be effective for companies to use PR in their marketing. Using a press release in corporate communication can have a positive effect on achieving marketing goals.

Make your news release part of your marketing and communication strategy

A press release is often seen as an independent marketing tool. This is where many companies go wrong. A press release should be part of an overarching strategy. A press release is a process and all steps should be carefully considered. Think carefully about the purpose of your press release and whether it is appropriate in the marketing of your company.

The checklist for an irresistible press release

In order to achieve free publicity, it is good to start with a press release. Draw up a plan to make sure that this press release fits into the marketing plan of your company. Try to put yourself in the journalist who will read your press release. Use the 5Ws (listed above) and make sure that your news is independent, current and urgent.

Free publicity and content marketing

Content marketing is becoming increasingly important in the marketing plans of companies. The PESO model can be used to determine the content marketing plan of your company. Sharing relevant content with journalists can lead to free publicity. When free publicity is achieved, it is likely to have a positive impact on both Paid-, Earned-, Shared- and Owned media content.

The composition of a good press release

Press releases do not have these same layouts for no reason. A good press release follows a certain structure:

  • First line: PRESS RELEASE
  • Second line: The headline of the press release: title, news in brief
  • Then: the intro or lead of the press release: the five W’s
  • Next: the body of the press release:

The press release should be scrollable, the most important and most attractive information is at the top, followed by information with less priority. The title and the beginning of the story contain a core sentence that consists of the news being announced. The introduction contains the 5W’s (who, what, where, when, why). A press release ends with your contact information.

Have press release written

Is writing a press release still not within anyone’s scope in your company? There are various agencies that are willing to do this for you. But to whom can you send your press release? Here Presscloud can help you out. Presscloud makes sharing PR campaigns with relevant journalists even easier by giving companies access to categorized press lists. This is a useful tool for making your company’s PR campaign known to the public without the hassle of a PR agency.

How to write a good press release?

Are you looking for tips when writing a press release? A press release is not an advertisement and the composition of a press release follows a fixed structure.

How do I write a press release?

Do you want to write a press release? Follow these rules: bundle your information in a short text of maximum one A4. Start the article with the core of your message. Be objective. Don't make it a promotional speech. Write correctly. Grammatical errors are not allowed. Make sure the message is ‘scrollable’.

Write a successful press release

In order to write a successful press release, it is important to put yourself in the role of a journalist. Because a journalist has an overloaded mailbox, they should be able to work through it quickly. A journalist does not easily trust the senders of press releases, is critical and analytical. A journalist also has a lot of knowledge of the Dutch language. Try to keep these characteristics in mind when writing a press release.

Checklist for a press release

PR allows you to spread your message through traditional media. Media increasingly relies on content and additional information from third parties. It is becoming increasingly effective to use PR, as media increasingly relies on content and additional information from third parties. As advertising budgets are increasingly flowing to Google and Facebook, there is momentum for PR. The first challenge: determining what news your press release is about. This checklist provides an answer.

Have you written a first press release? Then go through the following questions. Is the answer to one of these questions 'no'? Then it makes sense to work on the press release again.

The questions in question are:

  • Is your press release objective?
  • Does it deviate from the ordinary?
  • Does the title grab the attention?
  • Is all the relevant information in the introduction of the message?
  • Are there quotes or quotes in the message?
  • Does the message agenda a problem?
  • Does it have an impact on the Netherlands or a particular industry?
  • Are your contact details found in the message?
  • Is there general information about the company to be found?
  • Do people click on it?
  • Is it up-to-date or in-line with current trends?

Press Releases

The checklist provides an overview of different kinds of news. The next step is writing your press release. A good press release grabs the attention of journalists, is objective, short and powerful and ensures that your company can shine. Below you can read how to approach this.

Make sure to write an objective press release

Rule number one of writing a press release is to make sure it is objective. Do not say that your company is better, your solution is cleverer, your colleagues are even more capable or that you are better than the competition. This kind of information is not editorial but commercial. In other words: if you want to read in the paper that your company is the best, you will have to buy an advertisement.

The structure of a press release

A good press release consist of the following parts:

  • A headline
  • A sub headline
  • Lead/Introduction
  • Body Text
  • Boilerplate
  • Sender Contact Details

Headline and Subheading of a Press Release

The most crucial part of a press release is undoubtedly the headline. It’s the first thing journalists read. It needs to catch their attention without being too loud. A good headline signals a problem or proposes a solution to a well-known problem. The subheading is complementary to the headline. It typically tells about the company itself. Below is an example of a good subheading: ‘Not just a glass ceiling, but a sticky floor too is threatening diversity in the tech sector’, ‘Female founder calls on women to show more ambition’.

Lead/Introduction of a Press Release

A good introduction to a press release (the so-called lead text) creates a sense of urgency for the reader. The lead summarizes the entire press release and gives answers to the questions who, what, where, why, when and how? An introduction is often not much longer than three to five sentences.

Who, what, where, why, when and how?

Below you can find an example of such a lead. Even better: the lead of the press release of the Startup of the Year – Shypple.

Importers and exporters who ship their goods by sea freight are faced with an enormous amount of non-transparent services and accompanying hidden costs, according to the research of the newly launched startup Shypple, which wants to make the shipping market more transparent. The online forwarding agent wants to make it easier for the Dutch SMEs to import and export goods.

These are the ingredients for a good lead text of a press release

  • a problem is presented (SMEs are duped by non-transparent costs);
  • a research is presented (own research);
  • a sender is introduced (Shypple, making the shipping market transparent);
  • there is a motivation presented to communicate about this topic (solve this problem);
  • a mission is presented (help SMEs).

Try to divide the press release into a maximum of five paragraphs. Make sure the content of the press release is not longer than one or one and a half A4 pages. Writing is deleting after all.

Body text of a press release

There are some starting points for the structure of the rest of the press release. The first one is that this text should be "scrollable". That means that you can cut off a part of the bottom of the message without losing important information. That means that you should place the most important information at the top of the message and less important information at the bottom of the message.

These are the ingredients for a good body text of a press release:

  • a section with more information about the research;
  • other research data;
  • a quote or citation from the founder or creator;
  • a quote or citation from a customer, partner or independent ambassador; explanation: why was this company founded and how does it intend to fulfill its mission?

Try to divide the press release into a maximum of five paragraphs. Make sure the content of the press release is not longer than one or a half A4 sheets. Writing is deleting after all.

Boilerplate and contact information of a press release:

A good press release tells a story. But every story has a sender. The boilerplate gives you space to tell what your company does and in what way it is different from other companies.

Under each message you then place the heading ‘About [COMPANY NAME]’. In 2 to 4 sentences explain:

  • why your company was founded;
  • what problem you are solving;
  • what you have achieved so far;
  • which companies are your customers;
  • how many people work there;
  • and what your ambitions are.

Do you want to make sure journalists can find you? Write a note to the editor and ensure that your contact details (at least your email address and telephone number) can be found under each press release.

Are there still questions after sending out the press release? Or does a journalist want to interview you? It is then essential that a telephone number is stated under the press release - a telephone number that is also answered when a journalist calls.

7 Tips for Writing a Convincing Press Release

  1. The Magic of News Value
  2. Hit the Nail on the Head
  3. The news is at the top
  4. Text is scrollable
  5. Keep it simple and short
  6. Use quotes
  7. Include visuals

Tips on Sending a Press Release

This is where Presscloud can help you out. Presscloud makes it even easier to share PR campaigns with relevant journalists by providing businesses access to categorized press lists. This is a handy tool to help your business’s PR campaign break into the mainstream without the hassle of an agency.

Press Releases & Lists

Putting together the right press list is important when writing a press release. Always remember: who is this news relevant to?

Make your news go public!

Sharing your news with the world can sometimes be quite exciting. Make sure you create a press release that is newsworthy and objective so that it is posted by journalists.

Structure your messages

A press release always has a fixed structure. Check the Presscloud blog for many examples of press releases, so that you know how to construct a press release.

Reach the right journalists

How to reach the right journalists? By creating relevant news for them. It may be necessary to re-write a message for other publications, so that you can pitch it to even more journalists.

Write Engaging Press Release

An engaging press release is one that headlines its most important news. Above all, an engaging press release is one with a catchy headline. Think of what problem you're solving or what the biggest news is - and put that in the headline. That way your message stands out!

The Structure of Your Message

The structure of a press release always follows the same order: you place the news at the top and place less important content at the bottom of the message. This way your message is ‘scrolling’

Journalistic writing

In essence, you must learn to think like a journalist. How would a journalist write about your company? Objectivity and neutrality in writing are basic principles in journalism. This remains the most important thing in PR.

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