After 10 years in the world of PR, we like to think we know what makes a great press release – not because of our own ideas of what makes a good story, but because of what our thousands of clients with their hundreds of thousands of press releases have proved to work.
Here are the top four things you can learn to do right now to get your news noticed, tap into social and build your brand legacy.
How to write a great headline ❣️
What assets to include 🍑
How to get extra eyes on your story 👀
How to sweeten the deal 🍦
A bonus #5 step? Watch our interview with journalists Holly and Kelsey as they explain how they love – and hate – to be pitched:
We ask seasoned journalists Kelsey Ogletree and Holly Brockwell how they love to be pitched.
1. How to write a great headline ❣️
The headline is the first thing a journalist sees and it has one job: get them to read more. Make it good, or they may not read any further.
First off, determine who your audience is, who your competitors are, the current state of your market and what you're doing that's different. Then use that information to tell me why I should care about your news. (Spoiler: if you have to explain it, it's too convoluted.)
Some things you can do to make a great headline:
Write it as if it were a headline and ask yourself, "Would I read this?"
Ask "Why should anyone care?" until you have a solid answer
Tailor the headline to your audience
Entice the imagination and surprise the reader
Play with your grammar (punctuation, active vs passive voice...)
And it doesn't hurt to add some personality to it, a bit of flare. Do you think Han Solo makes generations swoon because his scripted lines are all factually correct? Of course not. It's all down to entertainment and bravado, timing and charm. (Ok, it might also have something to do with Harrison Ford's face, but we can't all have Harrison Ford's face marketing our products, so it's best not to fantasize.)
Other things that catch the eye are surprising statements (!), startling statistics (!!) and celebrity namedrops (just make sure it's someone your audience will have heard of).
So while we can't all be Han, we can take an extra 15 minutes to brainstorm a few creative alternatives to the standard "Company X releases Product Y" one-liner snoozefest before hitting "send". You scoundrel.
Nail the headline
These three real-life press release examples show the importance of crafting a headline that grabs attention, uses wordplay and inspires curiosity:
2. What assets to include 🍑
Did you know that multimedia press releases get up to 9.7x as many views as those using text alone? Ragan knew it in 2011, when including images within your press release doubled the chance of it getting noticed; video quadrupled it. There's little comparable data published more recently because including media in your press release in the year 2021 shouldn't even be a question.
And yet, the majority of press releases go out as barebones text. Why?
With cameraphones and stock imagery abound, there's no logical reason to exclude images, videos or other multimedia from your press releases, when including them will set you apart from all the other stories flooding journos' inboxes.
If possible, embed a gallery within your press release, particularly if you're launching a new product or presenting a story that looks great visually. This will give the reader an immediate idea of the story you're telling without them having to read through reams of text, and arms them with a good selection of imagery to use in their coverage.
Embed quotes and tweets
Got a relevant tweet? Great – embed it. Someone raved about your business on YouTube? Stick it in. Got your latest product shot raking in likes on Instagram? In it goes.
Remember, your job is to make it as simple as possible for other people to tell your story.
By embedding evidence journalists can use you are saving them time while adding context and colour to your narrative.
If you use a specialized campaign client, the interface will often have an option to introduce html into the body of your story, making it possible to embed supported content, which varies from provider to provider but should include support for things like tweets and YouTube videos. (We simplified it a bit in Prezly so you can just copy-paste the URL of whatever you want to embed and the system does it automatically for you.) Worst case scenario, even with plain text you will be able to copy in a link.
Make your news social media friendly
Images and videos become extra powerful when it comes to sharing your press release on social media, since social networks will automatically generate a preview based on the content embedded within your press release. Having an attention-grabbing, vibrant image front and centre in your story is an easy way to increase your chances of engagement.
If you want to go a step further and optimize your images for use on social media platforms, there are a few more things you can do.
Include images in different resolutions and sizes
While these differ across platforms and you could spend several days cropping images to all the suggested sizes (overeager sharers might find this social media cheatsheet useful), it's generally a good idea to include:
A landscape image (around 1200 x 628 pixels)
A square image (1080 x 1080 pixels; think Instagram)
If you're operating in food or creative industries – interior design, cosmetics, fashion, DIY, kid-friendly projects, crafts and hobbies – it's a good idea to include a long portrait image for easy sharing on Pinterest (236 pixels wide)
Prezly gives you total control on how you use images and other media to tell your story, giving you the tools to easily move, crop and resize your content right in the story editor.
⚠️ A word of warning ⚠️
Be very careful when including images, videos and really any attachments in your campaigns. Email clients can interpret bulky email attachments as spam and filter them out of the recipient inbox, rendering your carefully executed press release all but invisible.
Better practice is to host your media somewhere reliable and embed it in your email so that it takes up very little space. (Psst... If you're using Prezly, we take care of all that for you, so all you have to do is insert the image/video/audio file/tweet – or whatever you like – hit send and we do the rest 😉)
The press release examples below are a masterclass in how different industries can use multimedia to wow the beholder. Notice that each one uses a bold, vibrant hero image at the very top of the story, follows with less than 100 words of flavour text and then immediately rewards the reader with more visual stimuli. Each of these releases was created in Prezly, which makes it possible to embed galleries, videos and more in your campaigns without making emails too heavy for your contact's inbox.
Check out how these three very different businesses used vibrant imagery and embedded video to not only grab attention but make it near impossible to look away:
3. How to get extra eyes on your story 👀
As in, set up a newsroom for your brand or project and use it to house your backlog of news, contacts and media assets. You can do this in myriad different ways, whatever your budget, from dedicating a part of your normal site to news updates, to setting up a free blog account through Wordpress or Wix, to using a dedicated piece of newsroom software. (You'll forgive us for being biased towards that last option, since customisable newsrooms come as standard with Prezly subscriptions.)
Having a newsroom gives you the power to control at least some of the narrative around your brand, establishes a history for your venture and gives people – journalists, bloggers and customers alike – a source of truth for your business. This is incredibly important at a time when most of what people read about your enterprise comes from third-party sources like social media posts and review sites.
Put simply, your newsroom is your brand's legacy online. But there are other benefits to hosting your press releases on a live site versus shooting them out via discrete email campaigns.
Why you need a newsroom in 2021
Typing up a press release and sending it to your treasured contacts has some obvious drawbacks:
If your contact misses the email, they miss the story
Whenever you have an update or correction to add in, you have to send it as an amendment in yet another email to your contacts, making controlling your narrative difficult
Every time you want to share your story or pitch it to someone new, you have to fiddle with copying the press release across, tweaking formatting, attaching assets and so on
Our clients don't suffer from any of these problems for one simple reason: every Prezly account comes with at least one online newsroom (Premium+ plans come with five newsrooms as standard).
Setting up an online newsroom and using it to house your brand's latest stories makes it easy for you to:
Keep information current
Provide additional resources and company context
Share and reshare your stories with a single URL
Set up public stories, private stories and schedule embargoes
Plus a bonus benefit many PR people like to keep hush-hush:
An online newsroom means more eyes on your story because it shows up on Google
What to include in your media centre
It's also a good idea to include a link to some further assets relevant to your news, company or product in every press release campaign you send out – in other words, to the media centre of your newsroom. After all, is there anything worse than opening up that big piece of coverage you've been anticipating all week only to find they published your CEO's 2016 Facebook profile pic? Nobody wants that.
Far better is to remove any potential for miscommunication by linking every press release to your media centre, which at the very minimum should include:
🌓 Light and dark versions of your logo – transparent background, .png or .svg file type; nothing smaller than 200 pixels across and strictly no .jpgs
💁♀️ High-resolution, professional photos of your management team – including anyone likely to be featured in news coverage (original photograph files are best as these will be of the highest quality; this is particularly important when targeting print publications, which are unlikely to accept images less than 2000 pixels wide and 300 dpi resolution)
👕 High-resolution product shots – this is also a nice opportunity to get a shot of your logo in action, on your office wall, a t-shirt, your product – something a bit more interesting that adds context to your brand
🎥 Videos if at all possible – cut these into soundbites and social-media-friendly lengths (that means 30 seconds max) and close the shot with a call-to-action or url
Remember, your aim here is to arm journalists, bloggers and influencers with the resources they need to present your news in the best possible light.
4. How to sweeten the deal 🍦
Ok, I'm going to get this out of the way upfront because I know you don't want to hear it: you need to make multiple versions of your press release.
Is it time-consuming to write more than one version of each press release? Sure. But is it totally worth it?
Yes of course it's worth it. Why would I even ask otherwise.
This comes hand in hand with knowing your audience. What interests this person? What's their beat? What audience does their story need to appeal to? What are they going to need?
The more familiar you are with your contacts, the more likely you are to know when a story will resonate with them. (This is one of the many reasons we champion smaller, targeted campaigns over mass-mailing strangers through bought media lists – with the latter, that relationship just isn't there.) When you're thinking about how to write a press release, content, form and style is all very well and good – but none of it will mean squat if you haven't tailored it to your very niche audience.
Localize your press release
Sure, most of the world is fluent in English, but that doesn't mean you should be lazy with your localization. If you have more than one office or a remote workforce, it shouldn't be too difficult to get your story translated.
If there are several languages you hit up frequently – say, the bulk of your audience is split between Belgium and Mexico – take the opportunity to set up your newsroom in French, Spanish and Dutch so that people can toggle between them. Prezly makes multi-language newsrooms easy to set up, but you can do it manually too through whatever hosting service you use.
In short, remove whatever barriers stand between your story and your reader.
And it shouldn't stop at language.
Take the time to research how your announcement affects the city, region, country, continent you're emailing – in short, is there a special reason why a person in a particular place should be interested in your news? This also gives you the advantage of getting more than one angle of your story covered, which is especially handy for handing out exclusive content.
And if you work across a bunch of territories but they all speak English? That's no excuse not to localize details like currency, which can be a subconscious deterrent as Nicole Yeardsley points out in our Wallsauce case study:
"I find that particularly with the US, they like to think you're a US company because, of course, we need to ship them a physical product and they want to know that they'll get it this week and not months from now."
Smart move, Nicole! You're nailing it 💅
Offer exclusive information, images & opportunities
While some mass content creators will be happy to copy-paste your press release into a fresh post and call it a job well done, professional journalists and bloggers will want to tell a unique story with your input, and it's this latter group that is invaluable to your brand identity. (You can reach the former audience through bought media lists and newswires, and while this sort of straightforward coverage is still a win, it results in a lot of replicated content that readers may be less inclined to trust.)
One way to sweeten the deal for any journalists giving your story the side-eye is to offer them something unique – a piece of information no one else knows, exclusive product shots, an interview with whoever's involved. Something that will help them make their story different from the next site over.
Scroll down for a whole load of lovely press release examples that do it right. But first, treat yourself to our free guide on pitching :)
See what the most effective pitches are made of, based on 15,976,113 emails.
142 press release examples
More than 50,000 stories were published with Prezly in the last year. Here are 142 of the best-performing press releases to give you an insight into what wins coverage.
An unforgettable narrative
Press contacts front and center
Every asset a journalist could want
Cowboy reinvents the electric bike and raises $3 million to transform urban mobility
Everything journalists need
LEXUS LC CONVERTIBLE CONCEPT: ONTWERPSTUDIE NAAR ‘ULTIEME SCHOONHEID’
Moog One - A Meditation On Listening
Wallpapers that take pet decor to the next level
Hyundai ‘Walking Car Concept’ es el futuro en los servicios de rescate
Audi e-tron extreme: innovatief testvoertuig op de legendarische skipiste
Bye bye, Beetle - Beetle Final Edition – Premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2018
NOUVEAU RANGE ROVER VELAR SVAUTOBIOGRAPHY DYNAMIC EDITION – UNE PUISSANCE RAFFINÉE
“Smart Drinking Traject” in Health House
Aura Kingdom: The new class rocks!
Yemen: MSF strongly condemns attack against its staff in Ad Dhale and suspends activities
Karl, Delinte, Pinto return to conference action in style
NIEUWS: Telenet brengt kijkgedrag bij kids in kaart
GIMLET MEDIA SETS STANDARD FOR PODCAST PRODUCTION WITH GROUNDBREAKING WSDG-DESIGNED STUDIO COMPLEX
Pop Art: la última tendencia en decoración del hogar que domina el diseño de interiores
Estée Lauder: New - Perfectionist Pro
Home Invasion in VR – Intruders: Hide and Seek Now Available
PWI’s New Elysium Expansion Launches, Game Debuts on Steam
CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 4 LANZA UN EVENTO MASIVO; LA NUEVA TEMPORADA DE CONTENIDO ‘OPERATION GRAND HEIST’ COMIENZA HOY
Prepare to Cry: GRIS unveils its emotional launch trailer
Forge of Empires Announces New Gameplay: Guild Expeditions
Forge of Empires Named “Best of 2015” in Google Play Store
CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED DYSTOPIAN ADVENTURE ‘PIKUNIKU’ OUT NOW
Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport with 700 hp
Emirates gives cricket fans a unique cheer
Timberland celebrates the 45th anniversary of the yellow boot with a dedicated collection
Telenet has been given the green light from the European Commission for the acquisition of BASE Company NV
Smashbox: Introducing the Crystalized Collection
Embrace innovation with Wolf Gourmet toasters and blenders at e&s
Bobbi Brown - Sterling Nights
106TH GREY CUP PRESENTED BY SHAW RECAP: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23RD
Mustard - A surreal comedy about friends, real and imagined.
Panda Express presenta Wok-Fired Shrimp, un platillo perfecto para disfrutar al máximo del relax de Cuaresma
Light & Life Announces New Year’s Eve Event with David Guetta in Brooklyn Warehouse
How do we pick which aircraft to fly which routes? Why no A380 for us? Find out!
THE SPORTS PERFORMANCE STYLE GAME HAS BEEN REDEFINED WITH THE LAUNCH OF THE OAKLEY® EYE JACKET® REDUX
Nieuwe generatie 50 cc-kettingzagen van Husqvarna verandert de normen op het vlak van zaagcapaciteit
This Mother's Day - Celebrate Mum and the Heart of the Home
Anguria: se la voglia è improvvisa ora c’è una soluzione. Si chiama Deliveroo
Tom Waes op glad ijs in Groenland
Schwarz und Luxus all the way!
Lannoo Publishers is presenting the first overview of artist ROA
These statement wall murals are the ultimate conversation starter
Butterfly bonanza in Northern Australia signifies biodiversity hot spot
Crónica de un campeón: Elías Hanna y el largo camino hacia la victoria
DIGITALE NOMADEN REISEN UND ARBEITEN MIT DEM MULTIFUNKTIONALEN EVOC MISSION PRO 28l GRENZENLOS KOMFORTABEL
High-tech on and off the slopes: X-BIONIC is revolutionising winter sports once again
Cult Car Skoda
HET NIVEA Q10 GAMMA, 10 KEER RIJKER AAN CREATINE*
Foreign Correspondent: On Thin Ice
Feminist voices from the Middle East, North Africa & Europe speak out
New EU initiative to counter surging wildlife cybercrime
Meet the ‘hero’ who keeps your meals safe
Into care® recruits Karel Vrints to get care centres on the digital train
INVITATION PRESSE: Un nouveau chapitre démarre à Drohme avec l’ouverture du restaurant Le Pesage, aménagé par Lionel Jadot
CATHAY PACIFIC GROUP RELEASES COMBINED TRAFFIC FIGURES FOR JANUARY 2019
Stay sweet this summer in Kouros Hotel & Suites
Real-turn strategy: SpellForce - Heroes & Magic coming to mobile devices
Hot tub meets hot desks as Germany’s first The Student Hotel (TSH) opens in Dresden
Dire adieu au GSM lors du « phone funeral » de Recupel
ASSASSIN’S CREED® REBELLION, disponible para dispositivo moviles el 21 de Noviembre
Aumenta el flujo de heridos de guerra a los hospitales de MSF tras el recrudecimiento de los combates en las gobernaciones de Hudaida, Hajja, Saada y Taiz
HVAC R EXPO SAUDI OFFICIALLY OPENS DOORS IN RIYADH
Designed for kicks: The e 602-II bass drum microphone
HP Opens CES 2019 with Stunning Displays, PCs and Security Innovations
Ambi is Reimagining the Higher Education Experience with a New Product Class and $6.5M in Funding
Controversial Ceilings? - Murals Wallpaper On The Potential Of The Fifth Wall
Lenovo names Ashton Kutcher as its newest product engineer
Mercy Ships is beginning its first field service in Cameroon
Overwatch League Opening Week viewership up year over year
TECH SUPPORT: ERROR UNKNOWN RELEASE DATE LEAKED
Update 2.5 Now Available for Crytek’s Hunt: Showdown
Paving Way for a Marine Conservation and Citizen Science Project
Hear It To Believe It
Marie Jo strives for ultimate freedom for women
Hat trick: Piccolina Gelateria opens it's third store in St Kilda
Be our guest for the next Spillian Mythic Catskills Adventure -Find Your Holiday Spirits December 6-8
Cosy-Up Your Space, The Swiss Way
Important milestone for Porsche Motorsport’s Formula E project
Huawei werkt de ‘Onvoltooide Symfonie’ van Schubert af met een smartphone en AI
OlliOlli Switch Stance: Legendary Skate Title Coming to Nintendo Switch
Honduras: MSF responds to new epidemic of dengue fever
Dawn of Steel releases globally for Android devices
Samsung introduceert ’s werelds eerste 8K QLED signage displays
Alerte média - Hôpital des Enfants Reine Fabiola Minnie Mickey ont fait une surprise aux patients
Get Dad into the Spirit this Father’s Day with a Bespoke Whisky Blending Experience at Sydney’s Archie Rose Distilling Co.
INICIA EL AÑO CON UN CABELLO RENOVADO CON MOROCCANOIL®
First baby born at UZ Brussel Hospital through innovative combination of preservation techniques for oncofertility
Nuevo Volkswagen T-Cross ‘Soy seguro’
Pantone '19: feel like a fish in the water with the prettiest shades of living coral
World premiere of Oculus virtual reality film transports SXSW viewers to a hospital ship
Forest soils need many decades to recover from fires and logging
Appel à tous les héros : Overwatch®: Legendary Edition arrive sur Nintendo Switch™
Success Story: SKODA and Volkswagen Celebrate 25-Year Partnership
Red Bull Neymar Jr’s Five 2019: Inschrijven kan vanaf nu!
WATER EXPERTS RECOMMEND MORE EFFORTS TO COMBAT CLIMATE CHANGE IN URBAN AREAS
Africa Oil Week 2018 highlights key challenges and opportunities facing the oil and gas sector in Africa.
A Week of Awards: flydubai Recognised at the CEO Middle East Awards and the APEX Awards
Where To Keep Dry This July
Mastercard place la tranquillité d’esprit du consommateur au centre des innovations du Mobile World Congress 2019
The lizard and the egg: Liolaemus lizards break golden rule of biology
Witte Tornado raast door station Aumale
Becoming Hurricane Resilient: New GIS Spatial Planning to Inform Decision Making
Sweetwater Studios to Host Recording Master Class Featuring Don’t Feed The Animals
LLEGA A MÉXICO EL NUEVO REEBOK GURESU 2.0
Paul van Dyk Readies for Festival-debut of New Live Show, ‘AEON by Paul van Dyk’
Prezly grows 400% as brands tackle accelerating audience expectations
Walter Van Beirendonck designs costumes for Die Zauberflöte in Berlin
ENGINEER JOSH HADDAD BUYS TIMBALAND’S WSDG-DESIGNED THOMAS CROWN STUDIOS
World Pride in New York!
Entre la belleza de los diamantes y la nostalgia, así fue como se inspiró A$AP FERG para crear su reloj G-SHOCK
The sound of creativity: Neumann at the heart of Berlin’s creative village
FF Shanghai célèbre son 6ème anniversaire sur le Bund
Première exceptionnelle: le célèbre architecte Stefano Boeri conçoit son premier bâtiment belge
Young Ghent-based designer Maria Scarpulla designs unique objects who are tuneable to the mood of the day
Welcome to the softer side
Five travel proof outfits
HP Raises the Bar for Its Category-Defining Stream Notebooks with New Colors, Impressive Power and Thinner Designs
Bold new series from National Geographic— Valley Of The Boom — delivers the drama of Silicon Valley’s internet pioneers during the dot-com boom and bust; premieres in Asia on January 13, 2019
We Rate Dogs: The Card Game
Sennheiser at InfoComm 2019
HYPERLOOP ONE CAN HELP TRANSFORM THE KINGDOM AND BE PART OF VISION 2030 DELIVERY
#LikeABosch: Bosch lanceert IoT-imagocampagne
Inicia el 2019 uniformando a tus empleados con el nuevo catálogo Dickies
Dior Parfums en Dôce 18 Concept House
How Lisa met Martin
PrimaDonna launches lifestyle collection with top model Myla Dalbesio
A Soaring Display of Unity: UAE carriers join hands to celebrate the legacy of Sheikh Zayed
Young Myrtle Beach woman honors her father's legacy and raises awareness of Lung Cancer Foundation of America's mission by helping others weather the storm
Insomniac’s Electric Daisy Carnival Mexico 2019 Moves to the Beat of PK Sound
Omarcity brings Colombian design to Europe with Tucurinca
Wall murals designed to celebrate 100 years of Bauhaus
Yuengling and Philadelphia Phillies All-Star Aaron Nola Announce Official Partnership
McDonald’s Belgique partage le bilan de l’année 2018 et ses perspectives pour le futur
The Emirates A380 receives an official visit at the Bahrain International Airshow
ŠKODA delivers 110,100 vehicles worldwide in November
DDB Brussels et Ellis Gourmet Burger servent The Wrong Order.
Philips lance Spencer®, un distributeur de médicaments de nouvelle génération en Europe
Find inspiration in these articles from our PR Academy, filled with practical tips and tricks on how you can increase your earned media coverage.
A Guide to Increasing Earned Media Opportunities in 2019Learn how you can increase your earned media opportunities with this straight-forward guide.
Press Kit 101: What to include to get earned media coverage, with examplesThe essential things to include in your company press kit to improve media relations and increase earned media opportunities
How to Improve Media Relations with Prezly's PR CRMHow can you use Prezly to better build relationships?
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