Everybody knows that celebrities need to manage their public relations. Famous artists, entrepreneurs, thinkers, and politicians need to manage the way they come across to the press.
But how many people in small businesses understand the purpose of a press release?
You may have hired the best people, developed the best product, and even ran the best marketing campaign, but it all means nothing if you can’t deal with the press. The press is ruthless, especially in this social-media-driven clickbait age. One wrong step could be a PR disaster that you don’t want to end up on the wrong end of.
If you’re looking to improve your public relationships with press releases, you’ve come to the right place. This article will walk you through all you need to know about press releases. Keep reading!
The Purpose of a Press Release
To put it simply, a press release a piece of writing that communicates something about a new service, circumstance, or event. In effect, the purpose of writing a press release is to plant your own message about a new aspect of your company in the head of the public.
Messaging is key in press release importance. If, for example, there’s a key part of your product or even that’s tough to understand, or you’re making a controversial decision, it’s important to get your say in before the media runs with their own store.
In a famous case of press release disaster, the developers of the video game Cyberpunk 2077 made major promises in press releases that they didn’t keep. Then, they completely bungled their damage control press release and didn’t offer refunds until way after the damage had been done.
As you can see, the main press release purpose is to control your own narrative. A good press release will highlight the advantages of what you want to communicate and hide the weaknesses without ever lying to anybody.
Sometimes, a press release can be issued to make sure that a customer is staying on the mind of a media outlet. This should never be the main consideration, but it is something to think about. You want the media to remember you and be on your side.
Now that you have the answer to the question — what is a press release? — let’s get into some press release best practices to make sure you handle your press release right.
Will It Stick?
The last thing you want to happen after you spend the time and money to create a quality press release for it to be ignored completely.
Make sure you study current trends, talking points, and new stories to see if your release won’t just fit in — but make a splash. Pop culture has turned the world into one never-ending story that all of our companies, celebrities, and politicians are a part of. Will your release be something that people take note of in that story?
Know your audience. Are they more likely to look into traditional news media, or do they get their knows from social media? Depending on your answer to this question, you may need to study which new source is best to send your release to, or which times of the day/week/month are best to announce new information.
To make sure your press release sticks, you have to make sure people remember that it’s tied to your brand. Work brand awareness and visibility tactics into your story, so you’re not just slipping it into the media, but your company. However, make sure that your press release isn’t an attempt to advertise any specific products — marketing is not the purpose of a press release.
How To Write It
It’s also important to make sure that your message is clear and concise. You only get one shot at this press release, so you have to get it right. Be pithy, punchy, and grab attention by any means necessary, other than lying.
First, create a headline that will catch the reader’s eye. This should let anybody who comes across the release know immediately the basics of what the release is about.
When you get to body paragraphs, you can’t let the attention slip. Make sure you get out the who, what, when, where, and why as soon as possible. Attention spans are cheap these days, and you’re going to need to get as much out quickly as you can.
Many people may give up a boring press release after the first paragraph, so make sure you hit it with emphasis. Keep in mind that the information and attention is the most important part of your writing — you’re not writing a novel. The media outlet you send your release to very well might pick up your release as their own story, and figure out their own wording for it.
Keep in mind search engine optimization (or SEO). Using key phrases that will direct people to your website is a great way to get all you can out of your press release.
For more information on press releases, eReleases has written a great article. Check out right here!
Master the Press Release
No matter what your company does, it’s important to understand the purpose of a press release, so you can master the narrative around yourself. Keep in mind how sticky your ideas are, how much they grab attention. Focus your writing on these goals, time your messaging right, and you can do no wrong in the world of public relations.
For more information about the world of business, check out our business section!