A well-crafted PR copy is a crucial component of an effective public relations drive. Even though PR and media professionals are responsible for writing and editing press releases, anyone who writes a PR copy must continually improve their skills and strive to engage their readers in the best way possible.
A press release should be precise and detailed and written with the audience in mind. The purpose of a PR copy is to spread valuable information to the public or gain positive exposure. Even the best writers have the room to perfect their skills when it comes to PR writing.
In this post, we look at the public relations writing tips for a compelling PR copy. Let’s read on:
Have your audience in mind: Every writer knows that content is king, and to produce dynamic content, it’s always necessary to know your potential readers and target audience. When writing a PR copy, ensure each word is curated to harvest appropriate awareness. The media have eyes for newsworthy content, and they will know your text is worthy or not from the title. Therefore, ensure your copy creates a tangible and lasting impression with every word.
Open with a catchy gripping lead: The first rule in PR copywriting is to create a compelling point that will catch the reader’s attention. A good lead sets up your writing in such a way that it doesn’t devastate the readers but offers them satisfactory intuition to continue reading. The lead can impact your copy positively or negatively, so be keen to come up with a truly catchy one.
Keep it short but detailed: Like articles, PR copies come with specific word count requirement. That’s the reason why it’s essential to avoid any unnecessary words in your writing. Alternatively, say more with fewer words by giving it a natural and smooth flow. The secret PR professional use to come up with a compelling copy is uprooting empty phrases as well as words that add no value to their writing while finding a more straightforward way to get the point home.
Avoid passive voice in your copy: Editors don’t like PR writing in the passive voice. For that reason, it’s important to practice how to use the active voice when writing so that your copy looks clean, sound natural and is precise but detailed. Good writers are also good readers, and the more content you read, the better you become every day, thus reading more enhances your skills and improves your understanding of a good PR copy.
Read your copy out aloud: Some people love to write, but not even once do they take time to read their own writing out loud. It’s essential that after writing a PR copy, you read it out loud to help you simplify your statements and get rid of any wrong choice of words. Even editors read out aloud each of the press releases, landing pages, news and feature articles, and emails on their desks. Reading your work out aloud fine-tunes the final copy and makes it ready for publishing or distribution.
So, before we look at the fundamentals of writing a press release, let’s define it. A press release is a brief, influential, out of the ordinary story linked to a public relations professional or an organization and distributed by media channels. The purpose of a press release is to catch the media attention to news-conscious events and happenings.
Press releases are written by companies when there is a significant hiring/firing, major report or event, product or services launch, opening of a new branch, and many others. Before you start writing a press release, it’s important to remember your audience and keep them in mind throughout the writing and distribution process. These are the fundamentals of writing an effective press release:
Make it Valuable and Newsworthy
Journalists love to convey extraordinary stories and valuable information to readers. Before starting to write a press release, ask yourself whether the information you are writing is going to be of human interest, or will make the reader’s life better or is likely to change the world?
If you write a release without valuable and relevant data for the reader, it’s likely that the editors or media outlets will not pick it. Always ensure the press release answers all the 5W+H (what, when, who, where, why, and how) in the best terms possible.
Structure and Format
All press releases follow the structure of a news story. It presents information in an inverted pyramid format, downward in a logical order. It puts the essential info at the top down to the least.
A proper release has a compelling title followed by a paragraph with the main info in the first sentences. The news of the entire story is announced in the first line of the first paragraph while the other paragraphs provide supporting info as well as background data. The structure of a good press release can be broken down into:
About the Company (Boiler Plate)
Note to Editor
Depending on which company is sending the release, it should run between 300 and 800 words, but the best length is one page. If you keep it short, detailed, and newsworthy, the readers will find it exciting and easy to read. Also remember, a well-written release helps your company to gain visibility and build a brand. Don’t forget to include the “-30-“or “###” to mark the end of the press statement.
Quotes and Editor’s Note
Each publication has a different style. Some recommend the use of quotes, while some don’t mind whether or not you use them. However, after or before the quote, mention the name and job title of the person quoted. Further, if you want to send other additional specific information or links the editor that he/she might need, include it in the ‘note to the editor’ section.
Be sure to put all the contact information in order at the bottom because the journalists may contact you for any additional information.
Hopefully, this gives you a clear insight into the fundamentals of writing a press release. I’m sure there is a lot more to press releases writing and distribution, but every time you are writing a press release, these would be essential.
When does my business send out a press communication?
So, to begin, how many press releases should a business send out to the media? First, the press release must always be newsworthy. Further, the number of press releases to send out depends on what content or news it constitutes.
If it’s real news, then it should be sent out to the media. Like news stories, press releases should contain news relevant to your target audience to be picked up by media outlets. Don’t forget journalists, major niche-bloggers, and other media outlets are also part of your audience.
Therefore, a press release can be sent to the media under but not limited to, the following circumstances:
When there is a merger or acquisition
When launching a new product
When expanding your company to overseas or another factory
When issuing Quarterly Financial Results.
When there is Stock Split
Where there is more than 20 job openings or new hires at once
When there is a new or significant client in the company, but not more than once in a month
When the company receives an award
When there are substantial changes in the existing products or services
When there are important events such as news conference, anniversary, charity event, or career talk
When the company wins a significant contract
However, before sending out a press release for your business, always ensure it is relevant and valuable to the world and not just your business alone. One press release in a month is reasonable, or one every week is good enough, but only if you have news for your audience or something essential to inform them about.
It’s necessary that as you strive to create awareness of your business, but be sure you don’t make the media think that you are spam. Sometimes sending excess of press releases could have you and your business blacklisted. This happens if you frequently send press releases regularly, especially to outlets you’ve submitted to before.
In contrast, it takes a lot of patience and tenacity to have your press release picked up by the media. If you don’t submit press releases, your business will never get noticed. How then can you balance between these two situations? Knowing what your company stands for, and how things run throughout the year will help you understand how many news releases your business should send out to the media for distribution.
How big is your press release? If your press release has the capability and perspective of changing the world, then it’s worth sending to the media more frequent. However, if it’s only important to your business or company, it would be wise to hold it all together.
Time is the greatest asset for the media personnel and reporters in specific. Once they feel you are tapping too much of their time, any potential deals could break. It would be best if you checked out the particular requirements of various distribution outlets before you begin sending tons of press releases.
Sometimes it is critical to send out a press release, other times it may be ill advised 😮
The purpose of a press release distinguishes it from paid advertisements. Generally, press releases contain valuable information distributed to media outlets to reach the public. When you want to share exciting about your business with the public, a press release would be the most effective way to get media coverage. Let’s see what the right times when you need to send out a press release is.
Press releases are newsworthy statements written to communicate specific but precise information about an incident, occasion, or state of affairs. They are linked to businesses or companies and disseminated through numerous channels to the media. It’s therefore essential to write a catchy and influential press release to get the attention of the media and reach your target audiences, but don’t expect that the press will pick up your press release at once and run it.
During new products or services launch: If your business or company is planning to introduce a new line of products and services, spreading the word around to the media, existing and potential customers and investors will do you much good. A press release will be the best way to announce the launch and ensure it circulates through several channels.
When there is an upcoming business event: It’s always important to inform your consumers of future business events and even ask for their participation in one way or another. Nevertheless, we often wonder when such times come and know not how to reach out to the people. Write an appealing press release and send it out to the media in good time. Not too early because people might not remember, and not too late because they may be already committed to other things. 2-3 weeks in advance is perfect timing to send out a press release.
When you want to boost sales and conversion: Did you know a press release could be the marketing tool your business needs to drive traffic to your website and ultimately increase conversion rates? Provided this is done correctly press releases can help boost sales. For one, they feature in google news, give backlinks, bring traffic and increase conversions, and creates credibility.
When hiring/firing key staff: For large companies, writing a press release would also be purposeful when a new significant staff member(s) just got hired or dropped off his/her position. Established businesses which have several branches will need to make a press statement of any significant changes in their staffing, and the best way to go about is distributing a press release.
When making new business partnerships: When a company or business wins a new contract, get into partnership deals with some top companies, it is always newsworthy to tell. Every business will want media coverage to announce the latest hot deals, or partnerships and generally to make their success known to the world.
Only newsworthy press releases will get noticed and picked by the media. A press release is only newsworthy if it happened recently, it’s of human interest, and answers all the significant questions of a news story (what, when, where, why, who and how).
The press release is an accurate, catchy, compelling, and newsworthy content written for the media to spread to the targeted audiences. The reason for writing a press release is to get media coverage and reach target audiences. They provide affordable and efficient promotion opportunity for nearly any businesses irrespective of the size, industry, profile, or profit margins.
A press release is not an advertisement, but a way to pass newsworthy information to target audiences through the media.
Let’s talk about five benefits of writing a press release for your business:
Reach Out to the World
Formerly, it took an exhaustive process to have the press release written, approved, and published. However, the process of publishing and distributing press releases has become smooth and seamless today, and businesses can send as many as they want. Small and large companies can communicate to the world through press releases while improving their brand images and driving more interest.
Boosts Business Visibility
Both small businesses and established corporations are fighting for consumer mindshare. Writing press releases for long term distribution lets your potential customers know about your business, services, and products, and why they need you. Additionally, it helps your business to get more attention to mainstream media and renowned journalists. Eventually, your business will be trusted and given even more media coverage.
Increases Sales Potential
Other than boosting your credibility and making your business renowned to the public, press releases also increase profit margins. It outlines the primary features and benefits of services and products that places your business on top of the game and sets it apart from the rest.
Press releases are written and distributed for different reasons such as to announce new achievements, to launch products and services, new partnerships with other corporations, milestones acquired and new technological developments. All these events are newsworthy and can drive massive attention that instantly puts your business into the limelight for some time. Press releases go a long way of converting potential customers into buyers and increase sales potential.
Improves Your SEO
A well-written press release can take your business to another level altogether. If written with SEO in mind, they will be read by many people, engaged on, and picked up by many media outlets, and yours is likely to appear in the organic results of search engines. While direct SEO bumps are possible, your press release is highly likely to have an indirect impact. The more your press release is picked up media outlets, newspaper, or blog, the more links, mentions, likes, visibility, citations, brand recognition, referral traffic your business will get.
Keeps Your Audiences Informed
Presently, content marketing is about providing existing and potential consumers with the most valuable and relevant information. Whether you are rebranding your business, launching a new product, hosting an event, or branching out to a new industry, your audience deserves to know about it. Issuing a written statement in the form of a press release is a great way to keep them up-to-date.
Check out the video below for a template to start your first press release! Stay tuned for more at pertinencecom.com