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What Is a Press Release? The Key Basics to Know

You’ve heard it before: so-and-so company has issued a press release for their new gadget. Or there was an incident and company X issued a press release in response to the accusations.

Because it’s such a versatile term, exactly what is a press release?

What Is a Press Release?

A press release is a brief, compelling news story, hand-crafted by a public relations professional and sent to specific members of the media. Press releases are meant to pique the interest of a verified niche in media. They’re also meant to draw attention to a topic, product, service, or announcement.

What Is Included in a Press Release?

Everything. A press release should contain all the vital information – the who, what, when, where, and why – so that journalists can share your news with ease. 

A standard press release includes the name of you or your brand and basic contact information such as an e-mail address, website URL, and phone number.

Perhaps most important, a press release should include information not currently found elsewhere. This could be teasing the first images of your new product, announcing the release date of a new service, or a way to address leaks, rumors, and speculation.

The content included in a press release should be meaningful.

How Do You Write a Press Release?

Press releases should read like news. They should be written in third-person, cite necessary quotes and sources, and contain standard release information. 

Perhaps most important is your headline – it should spark inspiration and imagination in your reader. Aim for the header to be short and punchy. If the journalists don’t find your release intriguing or newsworthy then it’s likely their interest will wane.

How Often Should a Company Issue a Press Release?

Press releases can be weekly, monthly, or on an as-needed basis. Find what works best for drawing and maintaining interest in your business and brand.

How Do Companies Distribute Press Releases?

In the beginning, it may be difficult. You’ll need to develop a contact list who will be interested in publishing your news. Make sure to send your releases to actual people – general news departments get a lot of requests and your press release can get lost in the crowd.

Even without an initial contact list, use your website and social media to market your announcement. Your most dedicated following will be there and can share in the hype surrounding your news.

Who Benefits From a Press Release?

Most companies would benefit from this form of PR writing. Journalists benefit by taking your condensed news and sharing it across their outlets easily. And it benefits your consumers by being a concise and easily digestible way to learn about what you and your business are up to.

Press Releases Are a Boon for Your Business

So, what is a press release? Succinctly, it’s a brief, compelling news story used to intrigue journalists. It has a variety of applications and should be used to draw interest to your business.

Thanks for reading. If you’re thirsty for more info on digital marketing, check out our other articles for further business tips and strategies.

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