What is a Press Release?
A press release, media release, or news release is content that communicates an organization's developments to the media. It is presented in a written form to the people and reiterates a company’s development, new products, announcements, or changes in the organization's culture or structure.
So when this press release is written well to target the right audience, it will get you the media attention you seek. Plus, it also helps shape public opinion about a particular product, your business, or brand name.
So many brands today work on press releases - content marketing - to help achieve their overall objectives and goals.
Importance of a Press Release
There are several benefits of press release writing, which are why so many businesses today are resorting to it to regain or create their position in the market.
Here are a few key reasons why it is so important and why you need to find an agency that can work on press release writing for you:
- Marketing: You can drive traffic to your websites via press releases.
- Customer Loyalty: It also improves customer trust and loyalty to the brand.
- Features Your Company: Your company gets featured in Google News.
- Increased Coverage: You get full media coverage across various blogs, websites, and pages.
However, remember that while a press release gets you the media attention, it will not make you a well-known company overnight. Nonetheless, it is a very effective marketing tool to get you known across the digital world.
Types of Press Releases
There are six different types of press releases depending on the sole purpose of writing the press release.
When you launch a product, whatever you say about it, your tagline, your press release, or your way to market it all contributes towards making it a success or a failure.
In order to make it a successful launch, you need a well-thought-out press release. Product launch press releases should tell the customers all the essential details like the product features, price, placement, etc.
You may also be writing about an upcoming event. The press release will cover all details related to the event, whether private or public, when and where the event is taking place, who should attend, who the RSVPs are, etc.
Changes in the Organization
If there are any structural, functional, or branding changes, these may be communicated to the masses via a press release. Many businesses use this strategy to announce new partnerships, acquisitions, agreements, rebranding campaigns, etc.
The press release announces the change as well as the reason behind it.
Changes in Ownership
Another reason for the press release could be a significant change in the company's administration, management, or legal owners. This announcement is of particular interest to the other companies and the general public as the new direction would bring in changes, decisions, and the organization's general way of running.
Sometimes there may be a press release announcing an award, a credit, or recognition. In this scenario, the press release would not just announce the news but also explain how it benefits the general public.
There may be occasional breaking news that must be shared with the public. For instance, at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, companies had to send out press releases fast, as the situation was crucial and there was a dire need for instant action.
How to Write a Press Release?
Usually, all press releases have almost the same format and guidelines. Since the formatting is consistent, it doesn't take much time for people and journalists to scan the whole document.
So it makes the job easier for both the writer and the reader. You need to follow ten steps to write an effective press release.
Make sure to write an excellent, eye-catching headline always. The headline is the first thing a reader scans, so it should be catchy and descriptive but at the same time not misleading or too long.
Get a couple of options to shortlist the best one, brainstorm, get the help of an agency, or ask your group before you decide which one to go with. Of course, the catchier it is, the better would be the results.
Your press release should always hold the truth. Make sure to add numbers, stats, and quantifiable measures where you can. These show that you have command over the subject and know your material.
SEO is very important with press releases. Make sure to use the keywords in your title, text, and conclusion without overstuffing or redundancy.
Take on Different Perspectives
Don’t just stick to one angle only when narrating your perspective. Set up a mood and then design a story around it. That way, it will be news worth discussing and give you a more effective response and action on your website.
Different angles or perspectives may include the overall community, a conflict, emotions, or developments that affect your brand or are affected by the recent developments in your business.
Write Key Points First
When drafting a press release, remember that the essential stuff or the main news will always come first. So start afresh and write about it first. The explanation and details come after.
Add Secondary Information
Next, you’ll discuss the secondary details of the development. You may include actual quotations here that the press can use later in their covered stories. Plus, the reasoning behind how the changes affect people, the community, and the environment can be discussed in this part.
Remove Redundancy, Fillers, and Fluff
Your press release should always be concise and, at best, about 500 words max only. Never go overzealous by adding more information and details. That’ll make your press release harder to scan through and get the gist of the message across.
Use AP Style
Most organizations use a preset standard for their press releases: AP style. So make sure to stick to one singular format. That; 'll save considerable time on your part and for the journalists to read through and create their write-ups out of the original work you share.
Most press releases have a few critical points bulleted at the top to make those more readable and worth noticing. Follow the same format and include the essential key points in this part of the document.
Include Contact Details
Make sure to add contact details in your press release. People who read it need access to the company and see who is writing it. That would also benefit you by giving you access to more leads and potential customers.
Ensure the contact details include:
- Details of the person to be contacted.
- Email address
- Telephone or cell number
- Any downloadable media asset
Things to Consider When Hiring an Agency for Press Release
When hiring an agency for press release writing, it is good to know beforehand what to look for to avoid common failures. So here are some considerations to find the best agency to work with and a few tips to get them aboard and geared up for success.
Set Your Objectives
Know and set your objectives and goals straight from the start. Why do you need an agency for press releases? Is it a new setup, or has there been a shift in business direction?
So, think about your issue and why you need the agency. Then enlist the objectives and the tasks you wish the agency to accomplish for you. That way, it will be easier for them to know what is expected of them and would also save considerable time and resources.
Set Performance Measures
Make sure to discuss and set performance metrics beforehand. This will enable you to check the agency's performance and see if your goals are met.
Metrics also give the agency a directive on how to do a particular task. For example, you can set the success measures on the overall goal and target smaller goals throughout the project.
Make sure to discuss these in-depth during your initial meetings with the agency. The goals may vary according to the type of project, external factors, the media landscape, etc.
So considering all these factors, you and your agency should work on the same lines for the goal achievement.
Size of the Agency
Small agencies with smaller setups and large ones offer various services, not just press releases. You need to decide which one goes best with your business.
The good thing about working with a smaller agency is that they give you a lot of attention and time. But it also depends a lot on your business.
For instance, if you are a startup, it would make sense to go for an agency with a smaller setup instead of one with more prominent names in its client list. However, you need more attention to detail at this point, and the chances are that the agency won’t be able to meet that expectation.
Of course, the more prominent names would always be a priority for them. However, if your business is well established and you need an agency for a short tenure, it would be wise to spend on a bigger one with more experience and influence.
Make sure to set the budget for the agency. Determining the amount your company is willing to spend is essential as that can set the grounds for deciding which agency you’ll hire for work.
Make sure to consider the market rates, how much the average agency costs for their services, and how much you can allocate. This is an important decision over the long run as you need to have a solid plan to commit to for years.
It is best to work with an agency close to your business. This is because you may need continuous correspondence with them and may have to conduct urgent meetings. Hence proximity is a grave concern.
Mistakes to Avoid
Now there are several benefits of hiring the right agency for your business. However, a few common mistakes can make it hard to achieve your objectives.
Make sure you do your homework before getting an agency on board. Here are a few common mistakes when hiring a press release writing agency to work for you.
Do a little bit of research before your search for an agency. Check the market rates, and tally the amount you are willing to spend on the agency. This way, you will be aware if you are being overcharged.
Also, avoid the low pricing trap. You need an agency you can rely on; even if that costs a bit, it's worth spending more than going for a low-priced agency that could cost you a lot in the long run.
Failure to Realize the Incentive
Make sure to hire an agency that charges per project, not by the hour. Many agencies that work on an hourly basis charge you a lot. This is because they tend to work for extended hours and also cost you a lot of time.
Agencies that charge per project have a goal and work more efficiently to achieve it.
Remember, communication is the key to success. Make sure you and your agency are working along with the same frequency. Tell them in detail about your business, goals, USP, competitors, etc., and everything related to your brand.
The more they know about you, the more they’ll be able to connect with and understand your objectives. Any communication gap between you could lead to a host of problems, misunderstandings, and critical issues being missed in the project.
Hire the Best Agency for Press Release Writing through Xpeer
Press release writing, if done right, can open many avenues for your business growth. However, hiring an agency to work with you is best to get the most out of it.
Xpeer helps you connect with firms for drafting, personalizing, and publishing press releases. With the top names on their panel, you can find the best fit for your business that provides you with the best work and rates. Connect with Xpeer today.