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What Should You Say in a Press Release?

Journalists can receive dozens and sometimes hundreds of press releases each day, so it’s important to make yours stand out.

The first step is to email your press release to journalists at publications you’d like to cover your announcement. You should make sure your company’s name is included in the subject line, so it’s clear who it’s from. You should then make the rest of the subject line as interesting, memorable and eye-catching as possible.

Remember, this is the first thing the recipient will see, and if it’s nestled among hundreds of other emails in their inbox, there’s a good chance they won’t even open it if it doesn’t stand out and say something that piques their interest.

Structure Your Press Release Effectively

Once they’ve opened your email, you want to make it as easy as possible for recipients to understand what it is and read it. So it’s very important to think about how it is structured and laid out.

Firstly, put the words “Press Release” prominently at the top, so it’s immediately clear what the email is. Follow this up with a clear and striking headline that briefly explains what’s in the press release and makes the journalist want to read on.

After the headline, include the date, so it’s obvious straightaway to the recipient that this is brand new.

Main Body Copy

This is where you include the bulk of the information you want to share, so it’s important to be as clear and concise as you can.

Imagine that the reader is only going to read the first paragraph or two, so you need to get the key points at the top.

With each word and sentence, you should also remember what’s sometimes called the 5 W’s of a Press Release.

Who: Who do you want your message to reach? Is the language you’re using suitable for your target audience?

What: What message do you want to put across and what do you want to say?

Where: If your announcement relates to a specific event, location or people in a certain area, make this point. And if there’s more information about your product or service available, tell the reader where this can be found.

When: A press release has to include newsworthy information, so it must be released in good time for people to plan and respond to your announcement.

Why: Explain your reason for doing what you’re announcing and what you hope to accomplish.

By considering the 5 W’s throughout, you’ll be able to cover all the main relevant points and let journalists know why your press release is worth covering.

Finally, don’t waffle.

A press release should be around 300 to 400 words and cover all the main points you’re trying to convey. You can make it even more readable by using plenty of subheadings and bullet points, so a journalist can quickly skim read it.

Include Images

A well chosen image can make your press release more interesting, but compress the file size so it doesn’t take up too much space in the journalist’s inbox.

Include Quotes

Journalists writing up press releases will appreciate an original comment, as it helps to present a more human side to what might otherwise be a fairly dry announcement. A quote could either be from a senior stakeholder at your mortgage brokerage, your main press relations officer or perhaps even a customer.

Call-to-Action

You want the journalist to accurately write up the press release in their publication, so make it as easy as you can for them by pointing them towards background information, such as links and attachments sent over with your press release.

Describe Your Business

End a press release with a three- or four-sentence summary of your company, with a link to your website home page.

Contact Details

If there’s a particular person at your organisation that you’d like to handle media enquiries, include their name, work address, phone number and email address, along with a photograph.

Countless businesses and organisations will send press releases to journalists every single day, so it’s important to think strategically about what you want to say and how you say it.

If you think about the person reading your press release and make it easy for them to write an article that conveys the message you want to get across, you stand a much better chance of getting good coverage in your chosen media outlets.

Use our Press Release template Document, to help you structure your content.

 

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