marketing help press releaseIn today's busy world a business-to-business marketer needs to know that content is a big part of marketing strategy. A good way to create content is with a press release. What is a Press Release and Why Do You Need One?

A press release is a written statement to the media. It can announce a range of news items, including scheduled events, personnel promotions, awards, new products and services, sales accomplishments, etc. It can also be used to generate a feature story. Reporters are more likely to consider a story idea if they first receive a press release. It is a fundamental tool of PR work, one that anyone who's willing to use the proper format can use.

The Parts of a Stellar Press Release

It all starts with the headline! That doesn’t mean that your headline is the first thing you write. Often it is easier to start with the story and then extract a good headline from your content.

You only have one line to work with, so the headline should be clear and concise, but it should also be attention getting. The headline should set up your news with just a few words so choose those words carefully. It should contain words that demand attention and create excitement. One way to do this is to extract important keywords from your content.

Stylistically, the headline is in bold and in a font size that is larger than the body copy.  Conventional headlines use the present tense and often omit the use of words such as “a” and “the”.

It’s got a great body! The body of your press release should be written as if it were a news story. Often journalists do not have the time to research a story. Most of the information they get will be from your press release. If you want the information included, put it in your body.

You should also tell your audience all of the relevant information right away. The first paragraph should cover the who, what, why, where, and how of your topic. It is also important to start the first paragraph with the city and state where the press release originates.

It is also helpful to provide a tempting quote. This gives reporters something additional they can use in context of the article. This quote generally comes from key individuals in your organization, such as the executive team, project leads, or those who are affected by the announcement.

Close the body with relevant background information. This will remind the reader of all the vital details needed to spread the word on your announcement. Offer details that strengthen your narrative, but remember to keep it concise.

Don’t forget to prove all of your relevant company information before you close. This boilerplate information should provide concise information that will help a reporter quickly grasp who your company is, what it does, as well as company history and milestones.

Lastly, remember to signal the end of your press release with three hash (#) symbols.

Crafting a great press release is an important skill that any marketer or PR person can master. It is an excellent way to spread the word about events, milestones, product announcements and more.

Download the template for a standard press release here!

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