Publicists have many PR strategies in their media relations toolboxes. One of the most essential tools a publicist has is the traditional press release. Press releases are a great way to get the word out about product announcements, events, or other developments, and garner attention for and interest in a client’s business or brand.
As media becomes even more integrated into daily life and the digital space becomes more and more crowded with information, it’s important to consider how to spin a typical press release to ensure it makes the most impact.
Press Hook knows how important PR strategies are when building relationships between clients and media professionals. When it comes to the most helpful PR strategies, learning how to write a press release in the current digital space is one that every publicist should have under their belt. Here are some new rules for writing a press release in 2022.
What can an effective press release do?
Before considering exactly how to write a press release, it’s important to know what a good press release can do for the client or brand it is written for. A press release might announce a key event, such as the grand opening or the date that a new product will be released. In this case, a well-written and engaging press release attracts attention to the event. It encourages the media to report on it, and gives them all the essential information they need to be informed and interested in the business or product.
Press Hook makes publishing press releases easy. With Press Hook, media can browse press releases for all the big news from the brands they already have their eye on, as well as major announcements from new-to-them brands.
What’s in a press release?
To begin to answer the question of 'how to write a press release,' let's start with the critical pieces that every press release should contain.
- Location and Date — Press releases should include the specific place where the event or business that the piece is about is located, as well as the date of the press release.
- Headline — Every press release needs a catchy headline that is both interesting and informative. If coming up with a great headline gives you writer's block, try crafting a headline after writing the rest of the piece.
- Summary — A single sentence or a series of bullet points can summarize the main points of the press release at the top of the piece. With a summary, the reader can easily see exactly what the release is about and choose whether or not to continue reading.
- Body — The body paragraphs of the press release contain all of the key information, including the main purpose of the press release—whether it’s an event, business partnership, or product news—and all of the relevant supporting details. Keep it short—a paragraph or two will do just fine.
- Affiliate Information — A press release should include information about the client’s affiliate marketing program.
- Call to Action — The conclusion of a press release includes contact information and a call to action encouraging involvement with the client’s brand or business. A call to action might ask interested parties to attend an event, request samples, and so on.
Writing a great press release in 2022
When following the new rules for writing a press release in 2022, it is also vital to put your spin on the press release when you can. Making the most of minor stylistic details can help your press release make a more significant impact. A few of the areas that a publicist should focus on when considering how to write a press release include:
- The groundwork
- The topic
- The headline
- The purpose
- The length and level of detail
- The quotes and photos
- The audience
- The social reach
Lay the groundwork
Taking steps to ensure the success of a press release actually starts before the piece is even written.
“Gone are the days of press releases receiving substantial traction from a simple, well-written release and placement on a presswire,” Jessica Fonseca, the COO of Pink Shark PR, explains. “In 2022, effective press releases will see the most success from a combination of tried and true practices and a little social media twist.”
What does this mean? Fonseca says, first, PR firms will need to establish strong connections between their clients and ideal journalists in the client's target markets far before any ‘press-worthy’ news is available. As Fonseca puts it, these pre-established relationships or introductory meetings not only get the client's name and face in front of the people you want writing about them, but it also increases the chances of a feature in a top-tier outlet.
Be selective about the topic
“With over-saturation happening on so many online media outlets, the number one rule for 2022 is that not all news is press release-worthy news,” Fonseca stresses. “Simple product updates or minor executive announcements may get a mention here or there, but they won't receive the kind of attention your client is looking for.”
Instead, PR firms need to guide their clients to understand that what may be exciting to them may not be exciting to the press. It’s smarter to wait for the right combination of assets to go with any 'ole announcement. This can mean a big-name partner, funding or financial updates, or launching or releasing new, mind-blowing technology. These additions can make smaller news announcements reach far more readers. Knowing which types of developments are worthy of being written about will help you write successful press releases for your clients.
Choose an engaging headline
The headline is the part of a press release seen first by reporters, readers, and other media members, and it sets the tone for the rest of the piece. Whether you are hoping to direct customer traffic to the client’s website the day a new product drops or to catch the attention of a reporter who could write a compelling news article about your client’s new business venture, the headline is the first and best chance you have to draw a reader in.
Make your point early
More and more media are being distributed online, and even a catchy headline does not guarantee that a person will keep reading through the entirety of a press release or other news article.
To give your client’s information the best chance of reaching its key audience, be sure to make your point early on in the press release. The most important, exciting, or engaging information should be at the top of the article, so the reader knows exactly the purpose of the press release.
Write a short, focused press release
The best PR strategies strike a balance between the needs of the client and the reality of the current digital media space. Promoting a client’s brand is important—and so is describing the exciting developments that require a publicist to know how to write a press release in the first place—but part of making an effective press release is staying within expected parameters.
A short press release that emphasizes key details and remains focused is a great press release. Supporting details that add to the primary purpose of the piece should be included, but every element should have a point and add to the overall strength of the press release.
Include quotes or photos
PR strategies in 2022 need to be savvy enough to help a press release (and the client, of course) stand out in a crowded digital space. A complete understanding of how to write a press release includes knowing how to create one unique to the client’s needs, but that can still effectively get results. A simple way to personalize a press release is by adding quotes or photos. The inclusion of even one quote or picture can make a huge difference in any press release by going beyond the basic template without adding too much length to the piece.
Target the right audience
Knowing how to write a press release goes beyond writing. It’s also important to know the right way to distribute the press release to have the most significant impact possible for the client. As a publicist, PR strategies such as publishing press releases on your own website and contacting reporters directly with the press release are common practices.
Choose the reporters you send the press release to wisely. Reviewing the stories a journalist has recently written and choosing journalists who regularly cover areas or topics related to your client’s brand or product can improve the chances that they will choose to write a news article about your client.
Building relationships with journalists is easy to do with Press Hook, where journalists can find you and ask you directly about your client and their brand. Press Hook allows media professionals and publicists to connect with ease.
Utilize social media
Social media is a powerful marketing tool when it comes to press releases. Fonseca’s final tip for writing press releases in 2022 has to do with harnessing the power of social media, telling Press Hook, “2022 is the year to start tapping into the firm's and clients' social media platforms to boost press releases.”
Fonseca says it's almost essential for clients to be following their favorite journalists on social platforms in 2022 and casually engaging with them (not about their own company, but about what the journalist is writing about). The work doesn’t end when a press release has been written, because it still needs to reach an audience to have an impact. Social media can help achieve that goal.
Learn more PR strategies with Press Hook
If you’re interested in learning about and effectively implementing more PR strategies—like how to write a press release in 2022—Press Hook is here to help. Press Hook helps connect brands, publicists, and journalists with one another to make media relations simple.
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