The Insider's Guide on How to Write a Press Release + Examples

Learn what it takes to create the perfect release and check out some examples to get the creative juices flowing.

The Insider's Guide on How to Write a Press Release + Examples

After spending 10 years in the world of PR, we've managed to accumulate some insights to know what it takes to create a quality press release.

To further push your creative flow, you will find a selection of press release examples that work or have worked well. Without further ado, let's jump into the the fun-stuff.

 


How to Write a Press Release

Below we will discuss how to:

  • Make headlines stand out and grab attention.
  • Show the value of the press release to media.
  • Offer quotes to reassure your news.
  • Ensure there is background information that provides value to the media.
  • Develop an effective boilerplate.

 


#1 - Your Press Release Headline

You have one line and one line only to grab the attention of the media contact and get them to read more. That is its only purpose. This requires you to really focus on how to make your press releases headline captivating enough to keep them reading.

Something to bear in mind is that, when sending a press release to a media contact, your headline can be different to the headline you use when repurposing or reusing your press release via a branded online newsroom. You can personalise it to your contact so that they are more likely to engage versus a more general audience.

Use clear wording in the headline, one that is brief but to the point. Give a quality overview of the press release but leave some interest so that the media feels the need to open it. You can achieve this by using action verbs and, emphasize, keeping the headline short and sweet.

There are plenty of headline generators out there to try but most are suited for blog posts and have a focus on using shock and awe to drive clicks. I do recommend that you check them out though as they can spark a lot of creativity, and laughing.

Here are some sites to try:

 


#2 - What is the Value to Media Contacts

First paragraph after the headline hook should be a clear explanation as to why reporters, journalists, influencers, stakeholders and so on should pay attention to your press release (or the above *might* happen). Focusing on media relations never hurt anyone either.

You have the bias that any news you push out should be picked up, you work for the best company in the world, so why wouldn’t anyone want to talk about your story?!

Reality check: No one knows or cares until you make them do so.

In this first paragraph you need to place extra care into the value you provide and deliver it in a digestible way. Your media contacts really don’t have the time to go through it looking for facts and figures when they have a whole bunch of other press releases sitting in queue.

You need to cover: who, what, why, where and how. And do it expertly. Use data wherever it makes sense and, if that's your angle, be sure to explain what the data means and why the media should pay attention.

Never cover any new information after this paragraph. Everything afterwards should just be an expansion on context. If you haven’t mentioned it in this first paragraph, then you need to leave it out otherwise there is a high chance the fact will be missed.

 


#3 - Offer Quotes for Stakeholder Approval

Quotes provide context to your press release so once you have covered the meaty details in the headline and first paragraph, you need to deliver a great quote.

For a quote to be used it has to have certain requirements to be included. So a product review, for instance, is very unlikely to make it.

This is where stakeholders or influencers of your brand/product need to come forward and be used as an authority to explain the connection and benefits.

These stakeholders need to be critical members of the team or community - C-suite, project leads, team leads, experts in the field, recognisable figures, etc. Whoever it may be, be sure to choose 1-2 and make sure their quotes help to paint a picture of what the announcement means to the specific audience.

Quotes from different members can be used for specific media too. Sometimes a quote from a CEO can be more relevant in newspaper X but there may be more favour towards team leads for newspaper Y.

 


#4 - Provide Background Information

You have delivered the core of your press release by now and it’s come to the closing paragraph. Don’t be tempted to simply sign off with any old company description, it adds nothing to the story and makes the whole press release look spammy.

Offer information in this section that will really help to further strengthen your story/announcement. This can be done in various ways but here are some ideas:

  • Creative ways that your company developed the project or announcement.
  • Future benefits or uses of your announcement or project.
  • What kick started this announcement or project.

Pro-tip: Always add a link to your company press kit so bite-size information and media assets can be pulled and used for coverage.


#5 - Boilerplate 101

Don’t become one of the famous press release failures that journalists share on Twitter. Learn from others mistakes and make sure that your press release boilerplate section does exactly what it is meant to do:

  • Clearly describe what your business does.
  • Have a link to your homepage.
  • Straightforward and to the point.
  • Cite data and clearly show your sources.
  • Provide relevant press contacts
A good way to ensure your press release is perfect for distribution - ask friends/family to review the release with no context.

Then ask simple questions such as:

  • What does the company do?
  • Why are those specific stakeholders quoted?
  • Is the data believable?
  • Why does this announcement even matter?
  • How can I contact them for more information?

 


Press Release Examples

As mentioned above, press releases are having a much needed transformation. They are becoming far less plain-text with attachments and far more content and visual driven. It’s time to start reimagining what it means to create a press release and how it should be consumed.

Start thinking about new elements to include with your press releases, rich-content such as videos, infographics to visual data, Slide Decks or image galleries and so on.

To illustrate rich-content that I mentioned I will provide some press release examples to really give you an idea

 

Types of Press Release Examples

You might be looking for some additional inspiration and not just for the content you want to include but a specific style of press release too.

At Prezly we’ve have over had over 40,000 visual press releases published so we have managed to collect a great set of press release examples based on categories and events.

 


VW- Bye, Bye Beetle

Story image

Type of press release: Product Announcement

If you are a fan of the Beetle or not, there is no denying that it’s an iconic car world-wide. So to see the announcement that VW will no longer be making them could be shocking to some, especially the motor industry.

This is a winner of a press release as it’s a shocking piece of news that many people will want to learn more about and see why this decision has been made.

If you check out the press release itself, there’s plenty of information and a huge image gallery to enjoy. With the gallery and hosting of the press release in an online newsroom your media contacts can now search and find key information and have easy access to images that would have been sent via a big, juicy folder.

Check it out here.

 


Cowboy Bikes - Raises Money to Reinvent the Electric Bike

Story image

Type of Press Release: Product & Funding Announcement

To celebrate raising a funding round for their new product, Cowboy create a press release that contained all of the requirements - catchy headline, bullet-pointed details and content to follow.

They enhanced the press release by adding a selection of images within a gallery to further promote their product and brand.

Check it out here.

 


Deliveroo Italy Celebrates the Watermelon

Story image

Type of Press Release: Product Showcase

It’s difficult to turn away from this press release when you check out the visuals as well as the story and angle it takes.

To celebrate summer and the fruit that considered the summer fruit Deliveroo made the announcement that you could use their service to order various forms of watermelon. They showed off some interesting stats about the most desired time to order the refreshing fruit and also the cities that liked it the most.

The press release is a great example of taking a different angle with the story to present their service. Also the use bright and delicious images make it truly eye-catching.  It’s also a great example of providing all required contact information clearly and easy to access.

Check it out here.

 

 

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