If you want to spread the word about anything to do with your business then this is the perfect time to learn press release basics. Releasing a press release about your new product, promotion or event is a great way to spread awareness in our technological age. Even if you just want to promote an update or remind people you are still out there doing what you love, a press release is still one of the best ways to let eveyone know. Press releases can be disseminated via electronic and print media and the end result is the same: more attention for your business, product and brand.
No Bias Beyond This Point
To go about understanding press release basics, you need to realize that press releases are not articles or blogs. They aren’t about expressing ideas, per se. They are about stating the facts: the who, what, where, when and why. They get right to the point and they don’t try to push an agenda (at least not outright).
You can use press release basics for marketing purposes, you just have to be slick about it. Until you figure out how, take out words that describe emotion or thoughts, unless they are quoted by someone or unless they pertain to the subject at hand.
This is just a bystander’s account of what happened, nothing more, nothing less.
Understanding Press Release Basics – The Building Blocks
To fully understand the press release basics, you should learn the parts that make up a proper press release:
The Press Release Title
First, you have the title. Your title should convey what the overall press release is about in as few words as possible, but it needs to be eye-catching and newsworthy.
For example, “YourCompanyNameHere’s New Product Hits the Online Market”. Let people know what they’ll get by reading, in this case they’ll be able to identify the new product for sale.
After the title, we have the description. When learning press release basics, you will want to learn the art of writing compelling descriptions. Again, use as few words as possible and see if you can write a couple of sentences that will get anyone reading to really want to read your complete press release.
In this case, we might write, “YourCompanyNameHere’s new product recently hit the online market and so far response has been positive. As one user of the product commented, “I never have to shave my face again!”
Now obviously, a person reading that description will want to read the entire press release to learn how to get out of shaving forever. Set the bait in the description and you’ll get far more readers for your press releases.
Understanding Press Release Basics – The Body
This is your chance to describe everything to your reader. Earlier we spoke of the 5 Ws – the who, what, where, when and why. These all need to be included in your press releases, and you should start with the most important pieces of information first. You need to hook your reader if you want them to continue reading down the page. That means you need to be a little bit sensational at times to really draw your audience in.
In this case, we might start our press release with, “YourCompanyNameHere has released a new product and customers are raving their ability to throw out their razors forever. Could YourCompanyNameHere have the answer to shaving?”
Your press release ‘hook’ doesn’t have to be that sensational, but try to make it readable and enticing for the average reader. After the hook, answer the 5 Ws in the order of their importance. Think of yourself as a news reporter and describe the scene and what happened to your audience.
One of the rare instances where feelings can be known is within quotes, which are great ways to highlight certain people and their unique knowledge on the subject. When including quotes, make sure you mention who said it, as well as what they do and how they pertain to the subject at hand.
For example, we might say, “According to Fred Ship, “ShaveAway is the answer to shaving that we’ve all been hoping for. Just a light dab at night is all it takes and you’ll never have to shave again. I even put it on my arms and legs and it really cuts down on my swimming time!”
When providing information that you have collected from third-parties, make sure you cite your sources. That way your readers never think that you’re interjecting your own thoughts into the release. Remember, you’re the reporter, the outside observer looking in, giving an honest and true account on what’s going on. That’s what these press release basics are about and it won’t take long before they become like second nature.
After the body of the press release, understanding press release basics calls for a profile to be written about the subject at hand. In this case, the profile would be written about YourCompanyNameHere and would include a short description talking about who they are and what they’re trying to accomplish.
Call-To-Action And Link
When understanding press release basics, you should never forget about the call-to-action. This is the ‘click here’ or ‘visit this page’ that tells your press release readers exactly what you expect them to do. Then, leave a link that they can visit that will help them learn more about the subject matter at hand.
After your press release basics, the body and profile are finished, you will want to provide contact information so that people can contact you to discuss the matter in further detail. This will include the contact’s name and title, company name, email address, URL, phone and fax.
Commit these press release basics to memory and you’ll be able to spread the word effectively the next time you release a product, promote someone or hold a brand new event; or whatever else happens to be newsworthy. As long as you describe the 5 Ws in detail and come up with an attention-getting title, you’ll do your job as a master of the press release basics.