Content Writing For Reporters: Press Releases

When B2B businesses want to make a big splash, they need to get their message out into the news media. Whether you’re a huge brand or a small local one, the process is still the same. You need to write a press release.

What is a press release, really? It’s really just like any other content marketing piece! The difference is that your audience is the media. Your conversion goal is to make something interesting enough that they’ll want to reach out to you for more details, or just run with your press release.

So how do you write a press release that gets attention? Let’s take a look at some press release principles that you can use to write better press releases.

Choose Your Outlets

News outlets aren’t just some big nebulous audience. You have to target which news outlets are relevant. If you know which news sources or trusted journalists are followed by your audience, use those. If you don’t know, start finding out!

Your Press Release Email

Many press releases are emailed these days. The same marketing principles apply. Start with a subject line that’s brief, clear, and not generic. “Press Release: Exciting New Discovery” is going to get pitched in the bin. “AI Company CONCURED Reveals New Semantic Image Technology” is much better.

The copy of your press release needs to be both in the email and as a Word or PDF attachment. It also needs to have a header with your contact details and logo. If you have letterhead already, use that. If you need to add more info, use the footer. Speaking of contact information, give the journalist multiple ways to reach you. Phone, email, and social media are all valid.

Digging Into The Release Copy

A press release is meant to introduce news to the world. Thus, you have to assume that the journalist doesn’t know much about your industry. Use simple language and explain things clearly. If you use jargon, you’ll need a sentence to explain it.

Press releases are also small. 1-2 pages, 2-3 sentences for each paragraph, and a single point per sentence is best. Ideally, the highest paragraphs have the most important information, then decrease from there. In fact, this is crucial if you post it online so Google can grab the meta information from your first paragraph.

You might think this is too little information, but it’s the journalist’s job to reach out for more information and expand it. To put it into content marketing terms, think PPC landing page, not a blog post or a long-form sales letter.

It is best if you can add in a quote from someone in your company that the journalist can reach out to. If you quote someone, include their contact information, role in the company, and their relation to the story in the footer.

Tone and Style

If you have a writer that knows how to write in AP style, that will get you bonus points. That’s the style that journalists use (hence Associated Press style). Every sentence should use active language that grabs the attention of the reader. Try reading your press release out loud before sending. Does it sound “newsy”? That’s a good sign.

Want to know what to do next if the journalist contacts you? Find out more on how to make an effective press kit for B2B marketing in our latest eBook.

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