What Is a Press Release and Do You Need One?
A press release, also known as a news release or media release, is an official written communication that is typically distributed to members of the media or journalists. Its primary purpose is to inform the media and the public about a specific event, product launch, announcement, or any other newsworthy development related to a company, organization, or individual.
Press releases are often used by businesses, non-profits, government agencies, and other organizations to generate publicity and media coverage. They provide journalists with key details and quotes about the news, making it easier for them to write a story on the topic. Press releases can cover a wide range of topics, from the introduction of a new product or service to updates on corporate milestones, financial results, or organizational changes.
Press releases are usually written in a standardized format that includes a headline, subheading, body copy, and contact information for the media to reach out for more information or to request an interview. Once written, the release can be sent out via email or other distribution methods, such as press release distribution services or social media.
Information you should have on your press release
A press release should contain all the necessary information that journalists and other media professionals need to write a news story about your event, announcement, or other news item. Here are the key elements that should be included in a press release:
Headline: A clear, concise, and attention-grabbing headline that summarizes the news item.
Subhead: A one-sentence summary that provides additional context and supports the headline.
Dateline: The date and location of the news item.
Lead paragraph: The first paragraph of the press release, which should provide the most important information about the news item, including who, what, when, where, and why.
Body copy: This section provides additional details about the news item, including quotes from company representatives or other sources, statistics or other data, and background information.
Boilerplate: A standard paragraph at the end of the press release that provides background information about the company or organization.
Contact information: Contact details for the person or team that can provide additional information or arrange for an interview.
In addition to these key elements, there are some other best practices to keep in mind when writing a press release. For example, press releases should be written in the third person and in a journalistic style, with short paragraphs and sentences. They should also be free of jargon and hyperbole, and should focus on providing factual information that is newsworthy and relevant to the target audience.
When to write a press release
Here are some common situations where you might want to create a press release:
Launching a new product or service: When introducing a new product or service, a press release can help generate interest and excitement among potential customers, as well as provide journalists with the necessary information to write a story.
Company milestones: Significant milestones such as anniversaries, major accomplishments, or important organizational changes can be newsworthy and can help to build a positive image for the company.
Hosting or sponsoring an event: Press releases can be used to promote events such as product launches, charity events, or industry conferences that the company is hosting or sponsoring.
Responding to a crisis: In situations where the company is facing a crisis or controversy, a well-crafted press release can help to shape the narrative and provide important context.
Publishing a new report or research: If your company has conducted research, published a new report or survey, or has made a significant discovery in a particular field, a press release can help to get the word out and establish your organization as an authority in that area.
Overall, a press release can be used to communicate anything newsworthy or significant that you want to share with the media, your stakeholders, or the general public.
Where should you submit a press release?
There are many websites where you can submit a press release for distribution to journalists, bloggers, and other members of the media. Here are some popular press release distribution sites:
PR Newswire: PR Newswire is one of the largest press release distribution services, offering distribution to a network of over 5,000 media outlets worldwide.
Business Wire: Business Wire offers a similar distribution service to PR Newswire, with a network of more than 89,000 journalists and 1.4 million social media users.
GlobeNewswire: GlobeNewswire is another popular press release distribution service that offers a wide range of distribution options, including targeted distribution by industry, location, or topic.
PRWeb: PRWeb offers a range of distribution options, including regional distribution and industry-specific targeting.
Marketwired: Marketwired is a popular press release distribution service that offers a range of targeting options, including by industry, geography, and media type.
Newswire: Newswire is a popular press release distribution service that offers a range of packages, including social media distribution, industry-specific targeting, and more.
EIN Presswire: EIN Presswire offers a range of distribution options, including targeted distribution by region, industry, or topic.
When choosing a press release distribution service, it's important to consider factors such as the size of their media network, the targeting options available, and the cost of the service. Additionally, some services may be better suited for specific industries or types of news, so it's important to do your research and choose a service that is a good fit for your needs.