What is a press release?
A press release is a piece of copy that informs the media of a particular event or newsworthy story.
Businesses use press releases to try and get free coverage from print or digital magazines and newspapers. This free coverage can be priceless in reaching customers, and getting the word out about a new product or service.
Press releases must show the media how and why your story is of public interest, and make it easy for a journalist to imagine placing the story in their publication, and under their name.
How long is a press release?
One page maximum.
What is the layout of a press release?
- Newsworthy heading
- Lead paragraph containing the 4Ws (who, what, when, where)
- Key information
- Who to contact for more information
Why do a press release?
There are many benefits to press releases, including:
- Makes the media aware of your business
- Is an opportunity to land free press (which can equate to thousands in paid advertising)
- Reaches a wide audience
- Positions you as an expert
- Markets your product/service/event through the credible lens of a journalist
You can have a copywriter write a press release for you, or a public relations professional.
I’ve written many press releases for clients. However, getting a press release published in the press involves two parts: a well-written release and relationships with the media.
Because I don’t spend time cultivating relationships with news outlets, online bloggers, and so on I often recommend clients engage a PR professional. They can write the release and use their networks to get it out. Or, I can write the release and they can send it out.
Either way, the goal is the same: write a brilliant release and get it published everywhere.