Have you just launched your first startup and now want the world to know about it? Writing and distributing press releases (PR) is one way of doing that.
Press release (also known as news release) play an integral part in building relations with journalists and brand awareness. It also helps a ton in generating a new stream of revenue. Want to know how?
This post will help you understand press releases, the benefits of press release distributions, and how to write the best press release that gives the best results. So without further ado, let’s get started!
- What is a Press Release?
- The benefits of distributing press releases.
- How to write a press release for a startup?
What is a Press Release?
Press releases are official announcements from a company to share valuable information with relevant audiences.
Although news releases are for everyone interested in knowing about the business, it’s primary for media representatives. You send the news to media persons interested in writing for your business and then re-write stories and share it with the bigger world.
For example, if you’re a smartphone maker and want the world to know about the upcoming smartphone, you send a press release to tech-savvy journalists, bloggers, and other media persons. The receiving partners then re-write or reshare the story on their websites, blogs, magazines, etc. and help others know about the new smartphone.
The Benefits of Press Release Distribution
There are numerous benefits of distributing news releases. Of the many, here are a few:
Digital marketing is way more cheaper than traditional marketing. And of the many, press release distributions has an even low marketing cost.
The prominent cost appears when you hire press release distribution services. It involves distribution, advertising, and marketing costs. However, the benefits are way more higher. The amount you input will give you a large portion of returns.
The only challenge you may face is finding the best press release distribution services. When selecting the best option, make sure the provider is offering geographic and demographic targeting, schedule the release on multiple social media platforms, and offer Google & Facebook advertising campaigns.
The core purpose of sending press releases is communicating with your target audience. No release is good for the business if it doesn’t target the relevant audience.
If you hire a press release distribution company or opt for reaching out to media representatives, make sure you address your audience accurately.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Although not very effective news releases play an important role in SEO. To make it more search engine friendly, try adding relevant keywords, URLs, and images. When the media representatives publish the release on their blog or website and link the target keywords back to your website, you may get the advantage of better website ranking in the search engines.
Every startup needs recognition. Without that, no one would ever know you. You don’t want that.
Press releases are one of the best ways for branding. When you launch your new business and write about it, people will start recognizing you and following you. If you continue to roll out good news with reliable and valuable information, they would start sharing within their network. Hence, they would become your brand ambassadors and you’ll get more traffic than you even didn’t imagine.
Updating the Audience
Press releases also work as a way to keep interested readers up to date. Once they new about your new venture, they would be more interested in knowing what is new happening and what are you bringing for the users.
News release distributions also work towards increasing your business revenue. They help you market your services/products and get you new customers.
Relationships with Journalists
If you don’t go with any press release distribution services, you can opt for reaching out to media representatives, requesting them to publish your content. The more you send press release to these media persons, the better relationships you’ll establish.
However, building relationships with journalists is a hefty job. You have to find the right publishers, read their publishing guidelines, write individual posts for every publisher, and then send it out.
How to Write a Press Release for a Startup?
Now that you have the benefits and definition of press releases, it’s time to start writing your first-ever press release.
The steps to write an outstanding press release includes:
- Finding a newsworthy story
- Following the format
- Add company logo
- Writing an eye-grabbing headline
- Don’t forget to add dateline
- Start strong
- Brief the important aspects in the body
- Add quotes
- Include boilerplate
- Add contact details
- Recheck everything before you send out the PR
- Things to avoid when writing a PR
Finding a Newsworthy Story
Since press releases are official announcements, they don’t have to go out with useless or outdated information. Every news release has to have something valuable for the reader.
The best way to do that is first understand the types of press releases. The most common press releases include:
- New business/product/service launch
- C-level hiring
- New partnerships
- Fundings received
- Charity press releases
- Event press releases
- Rebranding press release
- Award press release
Knowing the types of press releases for your startup will help you stay vigilant and gather the accurate information for the news before sending it out.
Follow the Format
You may distribute the press releases in different formats. The most common formats include:
- Plain text
PDF means attaching the press release with the email. It gives your email a pretty clear view. However, it’s an outdated practice to distribute press releases in PDFs.
The best practice (and the most useful method) is sending out press releases in plain text. Write the content in the email, so it gets easy for the reader (the publisher) to read and interact with the content. However, it gets a bit messy when you have so much to say. And it may get boring.
Sending out interactive press releases is the newest way. The content is easy to ready and roam around. However, some publishers might dislike such content and ignore the release.
The best way to choose the formatting is reading publishers’ guidelines before you write the content.
Adding Your Company’s Logo
After you have all the content for a newsworthy press release and selected the format, it’s time to pen down the release.
Before you do that, make sure you have the company logo. It must go along with the press release.
Adding logos do one big magic; it creates brand awareness.
The content must begin with your logo. It grabs readers attentions and adds colors to the boring content. Make sure you upload the same logo with your email. We recommend uploading a 200 x 200 pixel logo, so the publishers could easily reuse the logo when publishing the content on the platform.
Writing a Eye-grabbing Headline
After the logo, the headline is the most important thing of the content. Make it as catchy as you could.
We recommend adding action verbs, keeping it short, relevant to the press relevant to the content, clear, and targeting the right audience.
The content body usually starts with a dateline, which includes the location where the content is published and the publication time. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
After the headline, the first paragraph is the most important thing of the content.
The intro paragraph is always crucial. Some writers suggest staying to the point and keep it short. While others suggest a lengthy intro. We go with the former option. It’s the most usable and best way to grab attention (of readers and search engine crawlers).
The next few paragraphs are all about details, facts, and figures. Let’s assume you’re a smartphone maker and just launched a new device. After the quick intro, give a detailed overview of the smartphone. Highlight key features and specifications of the device with a call to action (CTA) at the ending part of the content.
Adding quotes from some senior members would add great value to the entire content. Although, it isn’t mandatory. Adding quotes will enhance the appearance and trust of the entire content.
Unlike blogs and articles, press releases include boilerplates that include a little about the company. Add a small paragraph with the business your company does, the date it established, the awards it won, etc.
Adding Contact Details
Some publishers prefer contact details at the end of the content, while others like it at the top (just below the logo). The contact details will include email addresses, phone numbers, and names for publishers to contact, if they have to.
Recheck Everything Before Sending Out the Press Release
Before sending the PR, make sure the release includes all the elements mentioned above:
- Is it newsworthy?
- Have you selected the right format according to the publisher’s guidelines?
- Have you uploaded the logo in the correct format and size?
- Does your PR include an attractive title?
- Have you added a dateline with the right format?
- Did you start strong?
- Have you clearly explained everything in the content?
- Are there any quotes in the release?
- Have you added a boilerplate with accurate company info?
- Have you included contact details where publishers could reach you out?
Things to Avoid When Writing a Press Release
- A valueless, irrelevant, outdated story: No one likes reading irrelevant, useless, or outdated news. It’s better not to send a press release, if it doesn’t include anything valuable for the reader.
- Dragging the pitch: The first few lines of any content is the most important part to grab attention. If the first paragraph from your PR is dragging the story, don’t send. Rewrite the content. Keep the first few lines short, targeting, and interesting.
- Unauthentic quotes: If there isn’t anything to quote in the PR, don’t create unreal or unauthentic quotes.
Writing a press release for a new business or startup is similar to writing for any other business. The only thing that will differ is the idea.
For more details, feel free to comment with questions or suggestions so we could discuss in detail.