Press release distribution continues to be a cornerstone of an effective public relations program.
For many companies, issuing press releases is something they may be required to do for disclosure and compliance requirements. For others, distributing a press release is a consistent element of getting the word out about current news they may have to share.
When issued using a wire service, press releases are a credible way of sharing news and information. Each day, thousands of businesses distribute press releases, meaning that if you do issue one, it could be lost in the noise.
What can companies do to help their press release stand out? What practical advice can be followed to increase the value of a press release?
To help you write more effective press releases, we looked at five examples taken directly from the GlobeNewswire newsroom.
Let’s see what makes these examples to follow in your own writing and press release distribution efforts. Keep reading to find out!
Example 1: Create a Compelling Press Release Headline
The National Association of Realtors published a press release covering the latest home sale news. The headline grabs attention: “Pending Home Sales Fell 8.6% in June.”
Then, if you read on, the subhead says, “Homes were 80% more expensive in June 2022 than in June 2019.” With a compelling subhead like that, the reader wants to know more.
The release then opens with key highlights that support these two points.
As many are closely watching the real estate market, this news would appeal not only to those in the industry but to a much wider audience, such as home buyers and sellers, as well as those who are writing news stories about this volatile market.
The press release is effective because it:
- Opens with a compelling headline
- Backs that up with an interesting statistic in the subhead
- Goes on to state the most important points with bullets
- Supports all this in the body of the press release with even more statistics and information
Example 2: Add Visuals to Your Press Release to Help Tell Your Story
This press release issued by The Pritzker Military Museum & Library takes what might be perceived as a somewhat pedestrian announcement to the next level by including a photo of the award recipient.
It opens with this headline: “Pritzker Military Museum & Library Will Bestow a Posthumous Citizen Soldier Award to Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams at its Annual Liberty Gala.”
The sub-head supports what was delivered above: “Williams was the Last Living WWII Medal of Honor Recipient.”
Then when you start to read the release, you see that this war hero recently passed away at the end of June. You learn more facts – he donated his Medal of Honor to the organization years prior. He had established a foundation and was active in honoring Gold Star Families.
The release goes on to say that there are other award recipients who will also be honored at an upcoming event. In that way, the press release also serves to promote the event to which the organization would like to sell tickets.
The press release works because it:
- Includes a photo that helps bring the story to life
- Explains why this story is newsworthy by highlighting key facts
- Helps draw attention to an event that’s coming up
- Opens with a hook – then adds supporting information as you read further
Example 3: The Inverted Pyramid Writing Style
This press release issued by Catalyst Accelerator is a good example of how to use the inverted pyramid style in your announcement.
The headline, “Eight Companies Join Catalyst Accelerator’s International Space Domain Awareness Cohort,” sets up the reader for what’s to come. As we read, we learn who the eight companies are, when they will meet, and some history about the program.
Then, there’s a quote from the program director, followed by information about each of the eight companies participating.
This press release is effective because it:
- Follows inverted pyramid style – it features the essential information first, followed by supporting facts
- Gives each of the participants its own time to shine in a paragraph devoted only to it
- Includes a quote from the program director, explaining how and why these participants were chosen from those that applied
- Gets to the point quickly and is brief
Example 4: An Executive Announcement Done Right
Many companies make an announcement when a new executive joins their team. This press release from Ogilvy effectively covers the key points of a new executive vice president coming on board.
The press release opens with the individual’s name and where he is joining the company from, then it goes into his responsibilities in his new post. After that, the release shares information about his background.
Then, it includes a quote from the company he is joining – and his quote in response. The way these quotes are laid out is particularly effective because bold type is used to draw attention to the person being quoted.
In addition, the way the new hire’s quote responds to the quote from the hiring company elevates the value of each quote.
This press release works because:
- It’s a well-written example of an executive announcement
- The use of bold type to draw attention to the quotes is effective
- Having one person’s quote respond to the first person’s quote elevates them both
- A photo is available by clicking on the link at the bottom of the release
Example 5: Press Release That Announces a New Product or Solution
The next example highlights how to make a product or solution announcement – and also how to work with another company you may be partnering with to share the news.
The headline reads: “WestJet Deploys MedAire In-Flight App Connecting Flight Crew With Doctors For Emergency Life-Saving Assistance.”
Then, the subhead expands on that: “Airline to fully deploy the app by mid-July across their fleet of 737 aircraft.”
This press release immediately tells us what the news is. If you read the headline, you understand right away why this would be important. Then, the subhead tells us when it will be fully deployed – and which aircraft in its fleet will be getting this capability.
As you read further down in the release, a doctor – WestJet’s chief medical officer – is quoted, adding credibility to the news being shared. Her quote talks about how the amount of time is relevant when responding to a medical crisis, further underscoring why this technology is needed.
The press release answers the who, what, when, where, why and how. It also uses a technique that’s effective in drawing the reader’s eye to key information through the use of bullet points.
And because the announcement is being made by two companies that are working together, both boilerplates are included at the bottom (this is a best practice).
The press release works because it:
- Puts the news front and center
- Backs up the headline and subhead with additional details, answering the 5 Ws and 1 H of news writing
- Quotes a credible subject matter expert
- Uses bullet points to draw attention to essential details
- Includes both partners’ boilerplates
10 Press Release Distribution Best Practices to Help Your News Stand Out
By following these examples and implementing best practices the next time you’re asked to craft a press release, your announcement has a better chance of catching the eye of a journalist who may need a source for a story.
As reporters scroll through the many releases that are issued each day, you should always:
- Be succinct. Try to keep your press release brief, if possible. Link to additional details if needed.
- Check – and double-check – spelling and grammar (mistakes take the reader away from your intended message).
- Highlight the key point in your headline – then support that with a compelling subhead that shares another critical point. Research shows that if you don’t grab readers with your headline, they may keep scrolling and not read your release. The same is true of news stories. Spend some time making sure this is well written.
- Write in inverted pyramid style. That means including the most important information upfront, then the points of lesser importance as the reader progresses through the release. Don’t, as they say, bury the lead.
- Include the who/what/when/where/why/how in your release. Be sure it answers those questions, as that’s what journalists will want to know.
- Include data or statistics in your press release, if you can, to make it more credible. Reporters are drawn to compelling research. Even if you can’t conduct your own research, you can cite someone else’s (provided you link to the source to give proper credit).
- Use bullet points and bold text to help draw the reader’s eye to what you want to stand out most. This can be an effective way to highlight essential information.
- Include quotes from subject matter experts to create trust with readers. Quoting an expert is a powerful way to help support your key points. Write quotes that sound like something a person would actually say, versus the standard boring quote that we often see (“We’re so excited...” or “We’re very proud...”).
- Avoid using overly promotional language in your press release. Ads are for selling – press releases are factual and written with the media and public stakeholders in mind.
- Offer visuals with your press release. GlobeNewswire’s Media Snippets can help bring your news to life.
Following this advice can increase the success of your press release distribution. Best of luck in creating your next release!