How to Write an Effective Press Release
Press releases are key in getting people to follow your company. If you’ve got a new product or a record-amount of sales to share with the world, crafting an informative and attention-grabbing press release is a must. By explaining your latest and greatest accomplishment in an organized and savvy way, there will be more interest in featuring you in magazines, radio, newspapers and television. Recall the old saying, “be so great, they can’t ignore you.” That’s how you should treat press releases; be so great, they’d be crazy not to feature you in an upcoming issue or show!
So, where do you start?
Put the big stuff up front. Like any headline, yours needs to grab readers’ attention. For example, if Snap Fitness wanted to announce the opening its 2,500th club, we would showcase that with the headline “Snap Fitness Celebrates 2,500th Club Opening.” This isn’t a novel where you put the big, surprising news at the end. Make the announcement or accomplishment the first thing that’s read. Think of the reader — they’re probably going to spend 20 seconds looking at your press release. You have the first few sentences to win them over. Use key words like “wins,” “celebrates,” “honors,” “record,” “best” and so on.
Get a quote from your company expert on this accomplishment, too. For us at Snap Fitness, that’d be our founder and CEO Peter Taunton. Press releases should be used to make others aware of your company’s accomplishments. Use positive messaging to communicate that.
Tailor each one for the pitch. You should always have a specific publication in mind when you’re writing up a press release. By focusing on a certain media outlet, you can make stronger pitches and your press releases more personalized. For example, if you’re pitching to a specific franchise magazine, include all of your big numbers and stats that show your company’s success. If you’re pitching your new fitness technology gadget to the local television station, highlight the cool visual opportunities available. Play up your product’s unique functions and what makes it essential for users.
Double check everything. Twice. Any spelling or content errors are unacceptable. You lose all of your credibility with any mistake, especially when it comes to reporting incorrect numbers or facts. Have all the necessary eyes look at the press release before you send it off: legal, marketing, finance, etc. Yes, it’s important to get your news off in a timely manner, but it’s more important to get it right.
Don’t forget the basics. Your press release should be double-spaced, have your company’s logo near the top center, and be no longer than two pages. Put the dateline in the first sentence. List your representative’s contact information in the top-right corner. The little things count!
By Hayley Schnell, communication specialist at Snap Fitness.