How to Write the Perfect Press Release for Journalists

A press release is a document used to send the latest news or reports about your business to journalists.  The goal is to get journalists (or bloggers) to pick it up and write about it in an editorial feature.

The information in a press release can vary depending on the industry and business, however it generally contains company news, published data, major events and quotes from a senior source.

Often at Searchable.co.uk, we get asked about he best way to format your press release, where you should send it out to and other distribution tactics.  In this article, we’ll go over all of the above to help you with your next press release.

How do you decide whether a Press Release is worth it?

PRess releaseWriting a press release should only take an hour or so.  However, the distribution and outreach process could take several days or even weeks.  Therefore, it’s important to know when it’s worth writing a press release and when it isn’t.

For smaller companies, I usually limit press releases to when you launch something that’s news worthy such as data, controversial polls, tools, infographics or other headline news.   You need to ask yourself if it’s interesting enough for bloggers to write about and pickup.

We’ve had great success at Searchable.co.uk writing press releases with controversial polls, industry predictions, white papers and infographics.  We’ve had even more success when combining two things or more things together.

For instance, our recent PocketWinnings.com infographic was picked up and linked to by more than 10 news sites in less than a week.  This included industry-leading portals such as CasinoMeister.com.

Finally, if you’re using an survey or poll in in your headline then ideally you need to have enough respondents to add credibility to your piece.  According to a whitepaper by ResearchScape.com, you need at least 1,000 respondents to add strong credibility to your report, with 70% of press release surveys having more than 1,000 respondents.

What Should I Write in the Press Release Title?

This is by far the most important step in your press release.  Why?  Because your press release title is the first thing that editors will see in their emails, Twitter, Google News or whichever other source they use.  If you’re press release is boring or poorly written, no one is going to click to read more.  In fact, you could write an amazing press release that no one even picks up because the title was too boring.

Our recommended tips for writing your press release title are to make it as clear, compelling and controversial as possible.  It’s also great to use stats in your headline and keep it short so that it’s easy to display in the Google Search Results Pages (SERPs) or even on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

For example, not many editors are going to click on a press release that says “New Report shows that Businesses are against an increase in the National Minimum Wage”. It’s too long to fit into the search engine results page and it doesn’t contain any interested stats or headlines.

However, if you replace that with “75% of Businesses are against the Government’s Wage Hikes” then you’ll get a much higher click-through rate to your story.  It’s straight to the point, contains controversial stats and motivates the editor or blogger who picks it up to read more.

In order to write a headline short enough to fit into the Google news or regular search results, I recommend using a plugin such as SEO Yoast.  This allows you to see how your headline will appear in the search results and whether it’s too long.

Writing the Press Release Body

The press release body should be around 300-500 words.  Under no circumstances should it be more than an A4 page.

You should explain who, what, where, how and why in the first two paragraphs of the body.  You should also include any statistics or facts as early as possible.

Here’s an example made-up press release:

“A new survey published by BusinessXYZ.com shows that 75% of UK businesses are against smoking in the workplace.

The survey, conducted over November 2013, interviewed 700 senior executives and managers and asked them what their opinion of smoking in the workplace.  More than 600 stated that they were strongly against any kind of smoking in the workplace”.

You’re press release should not be written in first person or be over promotional.  Remember that you’re telling news, not promoting your site’s services.

You should link to additional data sources in order to give journalists more information and data about your sources.  Not only does this add credibility to your story but it also gives journalists an incentive to link back to your site and credit you as the official source (a lot of the time when a bigger site such as the Mail Online picks up a story, they’ll fail to credit the source.  This then means that other bloggers who pick up the story will credit the Mail Online for the source).

We always try to add quotes to our press releases in order to give it a human touch and add some authority. Journalists love using quotes in their stories and our clients get an ego-buzz when they see they name in print.

Finally, make sure you leave your real contact details and phone number at the bottom in case journalists want to get in touch.  Also prepare yourself for phone calls too.  It’s no use sending out a story on Friday afternoon only to leave the office and find 10 missed calls when you come in on Monday morning.

What Time and Day is it Best to Send out a Press Release?

Honestly, we’ve had mixed results with this.  Obviously avoid the weekends. I’d avoid Mondays since this is a busy workday where everyone catches up on his or her emails and avoid late afternoons on a Friday.  Ideally you want to send it out mid-week (Tuesday-Thursday) early in the morning.  The slower the weekly newsreel, the better.

Adam Grunwerg

Mr grunwerg has written 22 post in this blog.

Adam Grunwerg is the founder of Searchable.co.uk and has numerous years of experience in SEO, inbound marketing developing brands online. He has also previously written for the Guardian, SearchEngineJournal and AffiliateFYI.com.

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  • http://www.webdesignreview.co.uk haris awais

    For seo of a website ,press releases must be written in third person attitude , it should not be promotional and letters like I,we,us must be avoided