6 Easy Tips for Writing a Press Release like a Pro
From compelling headlines to concise messaging, learn how to make your announcement stand out in a crowded market. Let your story shine and grab the spotlight with these simple yet powerful strategies.
Glenn Burgess
Glenn Burgess

Glenn P Burgess Author, Speaker - UK's No1 Fintech & SaaS Marketing expert.

Both small and large businesses share the dream of being featured in a major news outlet. A single compelling story has the power to significantly boost your company’s reputation and credibility.

This is where a press release becomes invaluable.

Despite the evolving landscape of communication, press releases remain one of the most potent marketing tools available. With a well-crafted and timely release, you can efficiently distribute your company’s message to both online and print media at minimal cost.

However, many press releases fail to hit the mark and end up discarded—both digitally and physically.

So, how do you ensure your press release gets noticed and published? Here are six essential tips to guide you in writing an effective press release.

1. Simplify for the Journalist

It’s crucial to remember that journalists lead busy lives. They might not be particularly interested in your business; rather, they prioritise press releases that make their job easier.

Some businesses overlook this and create press releases solely focused on boasting about their company. Others fail to clearly communicate the purpose of the press release. As a result, they’re left puzzled when it doesn’t catch the attention of any media outlets.

To increase the chances of your press release being noticed, every aspect should be tailored to grab a journalist’s interest and potentially turn into a story.

Write your release in a style similar to that of a newspaper, ensuring all essential information such as who, what, when, where, and why is provided near the beginning. Focus on informing your reader rather than selling a product or idea.

Write like a journalist using the so-called inverted pyramid style:

Steer clear of using exaggerated words, phrases, or overused expressions—stick to the facts. Even though your press release can help sell your idea, it shouldn’t sound like a sales pitch. Instead, write in a clear and professional tone, presenting the information objectively and in a way that’s easy to understand.

2. Capture Attention Immediately

Tabloid newspapers are famous because they use eye-catching headlines that grab people’s attention, especially when they’re waiting in line at the supermarket.

When writing your press release, avoid making exaggerated claims or shocking statements. Instead, focus on creating something that will interest a journalist and inspire them to turn your release into a story.

It all starts with a great headline for your press release. You only have a moment to grab the journalist’s attention before they decide whether to read on or hit delete. A strong headline can make all the difference.

For instance, consider these two headlines:

  • Acme Company Predicts Holiday Toy Sales (not very exciting…)
  • Get Ready for Zombie Mania with the Season’s Hottest Toys!

Your goal is to get your company’s name out there, but remember, journalists want to write stories that matter to their readers.

Start with a short, catchy headline that hints at the main information. Then, craft a compelling opening paragraph that quickly explains what your press release is about and why it’s important.

Here are 12 additional tips for creating a standout press release headline:

3. Highlight the News Value

Whatever you’re writing a press release about should be important and interesting to the public.

Every company wishes their press release would be featured in a big national publication with millions of readers, but that doesn’t happen every day.

Why? Because not everything is worth reporting.

While what you’re writing about might be exciting for your company, remember to think like a journalist.

Perhaps your company won an award or created a new product. Ask yourself some key questions to determine if these events are worth reporting:

  • Why should people care?
  • Does this new product make a big difference or change things significantly?
  • Does it shake up the industry?
  • Does your award reflect a trend that other companies need to know about?

Topics like these are interesting to readers.

Another important aspect is timing. If your press release isn’t particularly groundbreaking, it should at least be timely and relevant.

Examples of timely press releases include announcements tied to holidays, upcoming events or conferences, the opening of a new store, and monthly or yearly sales reports.

Following these tips for writing a press release can help you capture readers’ attention. Working with a copy editor ensures there are no typos or grammar mistakes. But at POW New Media, we go further—we make sure your press release is compelling and to the point, giving it the best chance of getting picked up by the media. Find out more about our press release copy editing services.

4. Focus Your Distribution Efforts

Many organisations use the “spray and pray” method to spread their press releases, believing that reaching more people is always better.

However, it’s smarter to prioritise quality over quantity. Targeting a specific, smaller audience that will find your press release valuable is more effective than sending it out to a large group who might not even read it.

By making some adjustments, you can tailor your press release to suit a particular readership.

For instance, if your company is hosting a seminar, you can use the same basic press release for every media outlet, but tweak the angle or headline to highlight the most intriguing aspect for that publication.

For example:

  • A local newspaper might be interested to know if the seminar speaker is a hometown graduate.
  • A national news website might want details about the study behind the seminar.

Customising your press releases to resonate with the right audience will have a more significant impact on your company than broadcasting it to everyone.

Moreover, when you know your target audience, you can write the press release to keep their attention longer by including information you know they’ll be interested in.

5. Add Quotes from Actual People

Quotes are a crucial part of your press release. Don’t skip this important element.

When selecting someone from your organisation to interview for the release, aim for the best person. Keep in mind that the most effective quotes are those that express something in a personal and intriguing way.

According to Business Wire, “Impactful quotes tap into emotion and pique reporters’ interest.” So, include quotes that “speak the language of your audience, not ones that sound robotic. Focus less on yourself and more on who and what you’re affecting.”

Here are some tips for incorporating quotes into your press release:

  • Quality Beats Quantity: Too many quotes can dilute their impact.
  • Keep It Brief: Memorable quotes are short and to the point.
  • Emotionally Resonant: Avoid generic and mechanical language.

Pro tip: Steer clear of quotes that start with “We are delighted…” PRCA, a global association of PR professionals, suggests these quotes are a waste of space. “If you catch yourself writing ‘We’re delighted/proud/passionate’ in quotes, delete them,” advises the group. “Journalists aren’t interested in how happy you or your clients are. They want to know what you’re doing to benefit their readers.”

While a press release should accurately convey necessary information, incorporating quotes adds a human touch. Humanising your press releases with emotional and thoughtful quotes makes your story more relatable to readers, fostering a deeper connection and engagement with your company.

6. Be Concise

Journalists have packed schedules, so it’s essential to consider:

  • What’s in it for them?
  • Why should they bother reading my press release and turning it into a story?

The answer lies in making their lives easier. By providing them with a story that’s practically ready to go, you’re saving them time on brainstorming and research.

Put yourself in the shoes of a busy journalist, and you’ll understand why they prefer concise press releases over lengthy ones.

If you keep your press release brief, clear, and to the point, there’s a higher chance that news outlets will pick up your story. Ideally, your press release should fit onto one page.

Furthermore, readers appreciate brevity. They’ll value your effort if you can deliver your story in a concise yet meaningful manner.

Additional Fast Tips for Crafting a Press Release

  • Make sure your audience knows they’re reading a press release and who it’s from by clearly stating this information at the top of the page.
  • Use targeted hyperlinks within your press release to direct readers to relevant pages on your website for more information.
  • Include links to your social media accounts or other website pages at the end of the press release for further details.
  • While traditional media outlets like newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio are common targets for distribution, don’t overlook bloggers, podcasters, and influencers as they can be a cost-effective way to reach your target audience.
  • Don’t neglect to publish your press release on your own website. Create a dedicated “newsroom” section on your site to keep your customers informed about important updates.

Final Words

Even in today’s era of social media and instant communication, a well-crafted press release remains just as crucial as it was in the past.

With numerous businesses vying for the public’s attention, breaking through the noise to share your company’s news can be challenging. Start by following these six tips, and you’ll enhance your chances of reaching your targeted audience.

Once you’ve implemented these press release writing tips, you may need assistance in refining the text. For this crucial task, rely on the professional team at POW New Media. With years of experience, we specialise in ensuring your press releases are error-free and clear.

Contact us today for a free quote.

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