How to Make an Effective Press Release That Will Showcase Your Brand
Creating a brand might be the most important thing today when it comes to getting recognition. This can mean anything from a business to a social media following, but whatever it is, brands are the new logos and names that people associate with. If you take a second to think about it, you’re bombarded with brands every day, sometimes without even realizing you’re acknowledging their presence.
Building a brand doesn’t just happen overnight, nor does it happen in a vacuum in the sense that they aren’t a product of hard work and other factors. Creating a brand is just one part of the entire story because the other half is making sure people know about this brand. Of course, there are methods like posting content and being active in different forms of media, but you need to legitimize it.
The best way to do this is by issuing a press release. A press release is a much more formal way to get brand recognition and it’s a way to get reporters and other media outlets to spread the story. Here is how you can make an effective press release to showcase your brand properly.
Grabbing Attention Early and Often
When creating any kind of press release, the first thing you want to do is craft something that is going to suck someone in with their attention as the primary target. It can be hard to write something that is good when you are competing in a media landscape focused on quantity over quality, but that doesn’t mean that getting someone’s attention is no longer a viable early strategy. Your brand getting recognition is the primary focus, so naturally, you need to ensure that people are aware of it right off the bat, and it starts with a good headline.
Your headline should be quick to read but include enough relevant information that someone can get a small taste of what to expect if they read the entire release. If you look at the samples at
, you can see that the headline is one of the most crucial elements to a successful piece of writing. If you’re writing a press release for a brand release or product launch, or something along those lines a headline like, “X brand Unveils New Y product, Expected Q2 Release” You want it to have a little more detail but simply stating “Brand is Releasing New Product” is vague. It should include some quick information on the details and the purpose, but the headline is the first step.
After that, you’re going to want to include the most relevant details in the actual body of the press release. This means including dates, names, important figures in the brand, and their involvement. This goes in the dateline as well as in the first few sentences of the first body paragraph (2-5 short paragraphs total). Include a quote from someone involved as well to add a name to the release. In short, the information needs to be presented fast and hard so that anyone can briefly summarize it if they read through it for a mere 20 seconds. If it takes them too long, they start to lose interest.
Formatting the Press Release
The formatting of the press release isn’t so much a major concern as some people make it out to be. While it’s certainly important to make sure that it is very well-crafted, organized, and it fits the mold of what to expect from a press release. You have some flexibility in this regard. No one will fault you for sticking with the tried and true, but your brand might need some spark to make it appear fresher in a reader’s mind. Remember, a reporter is using this information to potentially write up a story or publish press so you don’t want to appear boring.
Innovation is now one of the most important factors, so a press release for a tech company should always include some multimedia elements (more on this later). The general formatting does follow a hierarchy of needs. The headline, dateline, intro, body paragraphs, boilerplate, call to action, contact info, in that order, is the preferred method of the overall formatting. Each press release will vary in length and detail based on what it is. A press release for an award earned by an executive member of the brand will be shorter than one that is announcing a product launch or a rebrand, so it’s all about knowing the right time and place to use it.
Similarly, what your brand represents in terms of industry field (tech for example again), is also going to impact how you format the press release. All in all, this isn’t something to worry too much about. The focus here is obviously to garner attention and response for your brand by showcasing it well, so the most valuable lesson to keep in mind when making the format for the press release is to keep it focused, organized, and uniform.
Always Focus on Proper Writing Skills
The golden rule of writing should always be to double-check your work. Spelling and grammatical errors will take a reader right out of the press release and send them packing for new material to read. They go through hundreds of emails a day trying to find stories to publish and report on, so you can imagine how much they’d scoff at one riddled with errors. It’s pedestrian, it’s amateur, it’s unsightly, plain and simple. Every computer and every writing processor has or is capable of having some form of spelling and grammar checker so there’s no excuse for this to be an issue in your press release. As always, proofread it and even have a friend skim through it to find anything you may have missed.
Beyond the spelling and grammatical errors, you need to know how to write in the proper fashion. Your press release will not be in the first person, meaning you won’t be referring to yourself as “I” or “me.” After all, this is a press release to showcase your brand, not you as a member or individual within said brand. A third-person perspective is the writing choice of style for a press release, as is an active voice. These are useful to remember when creating your press release because you can spot any lapses where you switch from active to passive, or first to third-person. This makes your press release effective because it appears as a very well thought out release, and that’s enticing to a reporter going through it.
Including Multiple Forms of Media
As an aside to the formatting of your press release, this is something that is subjective to the writer. The best part about writing a press release these days is that they are often distributed via email, which means multiple media types can be included in them where it wasn’t possible on paper. You can, and often should, include photos and
to help illuminate your points. This makes it easier to digest, gets the relevant information out quicker, and frees up space in the writing to condense your paragraphs into more manageable quantities. Mixed media in your press release is definitely an angle to approach from.
The benefit of mixed media, aside from saving on space and allowing more relevant information, is that it shows how your brand is ready to adapt. The classic idea of the press release is often considered outdated when you want to focus on just text format. The modern brand, company, business, and individual needs to be able to showcase flexibility in their work and that means adopting multimedia content. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel here but you should understand how being at least on top of trends is valuable for your brand’s press.
Keeping It Legible
Spelling and grammar are only one aspect of the legibility of a press release, the other is not bombarding the reader with a thesaurus worth of terms, phrases, or words. It would be great if everyone outside of the healthcare industry understood the dangers of sub-therapeutic dermal abrasions, but they don’t, so you can just as easily say low-level skin cuts or something along those lines. Keeping it simple also means
keeping it legible
, and that means ditching the fancy talk and jargon. It sounds great, but you’re not writing a thesis, you’re writing a press release.
The information you provide should be able to speak on its own without waxing poetic about your vocabulary skills. The reporter needs to open the email, read it in that half-minute span, get the gist of what you’re saying, and then make the decision on whether the story has legs. Every second counts, so every second they’re trying to decipher what those terms mean is time you’ve lost on their attention. Write it so it comes naturally the way you’d expect to read something and you won’t come off as trying too hard, which could harm your brand’s image.
Including Additional Details
Towards the end of your press release is where you can contextualize a lot of the material for the reporter. This is where you’d add in a tidbit about the brand’s origins, the history of the company, some of the founding members, or some kind of
that relates to the message and details earlier on. If you were releasing a new kind of ergonomic kayak as a sporting goods brand, you’d mention how you are planning to improve inclusivity as a brand. These additional details help make more sense of the press release’s intended nature, and why the story is important.
It’s also important to include as much as you can about the brand without coming off as self-advertising in blatant ways. Any press release needs to include your boilerplate, which is the background information mentioned, but you should also include a logo of your company or brand, probably more towards the beginning, but some people include theirs near their contact info. This a simple formality for putting a visual element into the press release so there’s a frame of reference for your name.
Getting the Release Distributed to the Right People
Last but not least is actually getting your press release out there. This step is considered important because you don’t want the message to get lost because of the messenger. What does that mean? It means that you have to be tactical and strategic about distributing the press release. On one hand, you could hypothetically compose a massive forwarding list on your email and fire off hundreds of emails, but on the other hand, this approach is a dangerous choice.
Why wouldn’t it be more advantageous to get out your press release to as many people as possible? Strength in numbers, right? Wrong, and it’s actually more damaging to follow this approach. People usually don’t reply to emails from people they hardly know, this is different, as journalists have to field plenty of emails a day, but only from people they might think are relevant. If you’re writing about a
, you shouldn’t be distributing the press release to journalists who focus on finance, they won’t care. Similarly, spamming people with emails will just tick them off.
Be more thoughtful and send emails to reporters who actually care about certain topics related to your brand and the likelihood you’ll get a better response will increase. It’s also good to remember that the editors will think you’re lazy if you send them the press release instead of taking a few minutes to figure out who their staff is and what they write about.
If your brand is in need of a little recognition, you might want to consider creating a press release to talk about an important announcement or event, but you want to make sure that this press release is a slam dunk. Follow these tips and your brand can benefit from a very effective press release.
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