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Press releases are one of the most impactful tools in a PR toolbox, but how you approach them can mean the difference between great coverage and a waste of time and money.
Just because most journalists agree that press releases are a top priority when looking for trusted sources doesn’t mean all press releases hit the mark.
There are many different wire services where companies publish thousands of press releases daily, so it is critical to put the time and effort into crafting the best press release to make yours stand out.
If you can nail the press release, you’ll also have a leg up on crafting media pitches because they use many of the same principles.
Let’s break down exactly what a press release is, the different types of press releases, some industry best practices, and, most importantly, the anatomy of an effective press release.
What is a Press Release?
A press release is an official statement or proclamation announcing news that provides relevant information to the media. The key here is that it is an informative piece of content.
Press releases can take many forms depending on the news you are announcing. Before writing a press release, whether it’s your first or 100th time, it is essential to set clear expectations on what you want to achieve to understand better what you are writing.
Press releases are announcements. They are not editorial (like this) or inspirational pieces.
Can press releases lead to editorial and inspirational content?
But that is the job of the media you are trying to reach, and what the media needs is an informational source – a press release.
Types of Press Releases
Companies issue press releases for various reasons, so it is crucial to understand the different types of press releases; let’s break down some of the more common types of releases: product or brand launches, company news, event announcements, and reports.
Product or Brand Launches
Product or brand launch press releases can do wonders when trying to reach a new audience of potential customers about a new product or feature. However, not all product or brand releases warrant a press release.
If you are launching a new brand or product, tailor your press release to resonate with journalists at industry trade publications, so always tie it back to what they find valuable and relevant.
If a new enhancement gets launched and is only relevant to customers already using the product, then an email campaign to your current customer base is the way to go.
Here are a few different ways brands have launched product news:
- Media Advisory: Chrysler Will Unveil Innovative Electric Concept Car, Three Teaser Images to Preview Brand’s Drive to All-electric Future
- Found Advances Weight Loss Standard of Care With MetabolicPrint Launch | Business Wire
Company News Announcements
A company news announcement encompasses any significant news the media might be interested in, such as new hires, mergers and partnerships, award recognition, company milestones, growth, and more.
But how do you know if your news is …newsworthy?
Jodie Booras from Kaiona Communications recommends asking: “Does this news impact those outside the organization? For example, if the company is restructuring its internal management structure in a way that only affects employees, it’s likely not newsworthy. If they bring in a new VP of Sales to focus on customer relationships, that is newsworthy.”
In an ideal world, these announcements will lead to interviews or, at the minimum, coverage from various target publications.
Here are a few examples of company news announcements from various newswires:
- Orthofix Names Massimo Calafiore as President and Chief Executive Officer | Business Wire
- Travis Barker Launches Barker Canna Co. with Hardware Partner Jupiter Research
Events have taken on many different forms since COVID-19, but whether virtual, in-person, or hybrid, events are just as essential to promote via a press release.
The primary goal of issuing an event press release is increasing attendance.
To reach the right audience, focus on resonating with the publications your audience reads. Scan through other event press releases they have covered to ensure your press release includes all of the common elements or themes you see.
Here are a few examples of event announcement press releases:
- Enterprise Connect 2024 Expands Conference Program, Adds RingCentral CEO Keynote | Business Wire
- Oncternal Therapeutics to Participate in Oppenheimer 34th Annual Healthcare Life Sciences Conference
Finally, one of the most intensive yet effective types of press releases is announcing reports with insightful data.
It is no secret that journalists love data, so if you can provide new and proprietary data, along with an analysis, you will quickly become a trusted source to them. Data-driven press releases are a great way to establish your brand as an industry thought leader.
Unlike announcing a product enhancement that may no longer be relevant after 6-months or a year, releasing reports full of valuable data can get cited for many years.
Here are some examples of press releases about data-driven news:
- TCN Consumer Survey Reveals Nearly Three-Quarters of Consumers Will Abandon a Brand After Just One Bad Customer Service Experience
- Holiday Tourism and Luxury Travel: The Latest Travel News Trends
Anatomy of a Press Release
There are a few key elements that all press releases should include, regardless of what type of announcement it is.
Breaking down each section:
The headline is one of the most essential parts of your press release – it is your opportunity to catch your audience’s attention and make them want to read more, so it needs to be concise, engaging, and informative. Focus on why this press release is essential to the audience, not why your company is excellent.
The dateline is one of the most critical elements of the press release, and there isn’t much to it other than the date you publish it.
Don’t overcomplicate it.
Press Release Lead-in
The lead-in is the beginning of the first sentence of your press release, and for branding consistency, this should always be the same on all press releases. Most lead-ins get written ahead of time as part of a brand’s approved press kit.
Adding key facts lets journalists quickly scan and extract the most crucial information.
How do you know what warrants a key takeaway?
If your report found something that challenges the status quo in your industry, that is a newsworthy takeaway. If some data points reiterate a well-known fact that everyone is already talking about, then leave it out.
Try to shoot for including 8 – 13 key findings.
Always include at least one quote in all press releases, ideally two to four sentences per quote.
The quote can come from an executive team or someone in charge of the project or event.
If it makes sense for the story, you can include quotes from multiple people. One example would be having a quote from a new partner, hire, or customer and an executive.
All press releases should have a call to action. CTAs can be event registration links, landing pages, or as simple as a link company’s home page.
Boilerplate outlines what exactly your company does for those who have yet to become familiar with the brand. You should be able to find this information in a press kit already.
All press releases should include contact information for the press. We recommend using someone on the PR team, whether internal or with an external agency.
Let PR be the gatekeeper of all inquiries instead of letting executives get bogged down by emails.
If you want to give your press release the best chance at reaching the most people, think about some unique media assets that can make it stand out and make the lives of your target journalists easier.
Examples of assets include data, infographics, and videos, among others.
Although assets aren’t always available, they can make a significant impact. We recommend including them if you can.
Additional Sections for Launches, News, Events, and Reports
In addition to the essential elements mentioned above, here are some other specific sections to include based on the type of press release.
Product Specs for Product Launches
For product launches, include key differentiators of the product that make it stand out from competitors or prior versions.
Tip: Look at the product specs or any marketing and sales material.
Company News Highlights
When announcing company news, try to incorporate at least one specific key highlight that makes it significant to this news.
For example, if you are announcing a new executive, detail that executive’s background and what they will bring to the company. When announcing an award the company won, what was the main contributor to that company winning the award?
Event announcements must include vital information, like the 5 Ws (who, what, when, where, and why). Where will the event be held? Who should attend? Where can they register? You get the idea.
Key Takeaways for Reports
When announcing the results of a new report or survey, you want to point out the most insightful key takeaways, along with a brief analysis of the findings. Give just enough to intrigue them but not enough where they do not need to take any action.
Your CTA for these releases will likely get them to download or sign up for the full report.
Additionally, provide the survey demographics so they can quickly see the audience used to give this data and ensure it is the right fit for them.
5 Press Release Templates To Get You Started
Ready to write your own press release? To get started, use the templates below for the main types of press releases discussed in the previous section.
General Press Release Template
[Headline: Engaging title highlighting the main news]
[Company Name], a leading [brief description of company], today announced [briefly state the news]. This significant [milestone/development/achievement] marks a [reason why this news is important].
- Fact 1: [Important detail about the news]
- Fact 2: [Another crucial point]
- Fact 3: [Additional relevant information]
“[Quote from a company executive or project lead highlighting the significance of the news and its impact on the industry or target audience],” said [Name, Title] of [Company Name].
For more information, please visit [website/landing page].
About [Company Name]: [Brief boilerplate about the company, its mission, and its impact on the industry].
Product Launch Template
[Headline: Captivating title announcing new product and its impact]
[Company Name], a [description of company], is thrilled to unveil [Product Name], a groundbreaking [product category] designed to [describe the main benefit or problem it solves]. Set to revolutionize the [specific industry or market segment], [Product Name] offers [key features or differentiators].
- Feature 1: [Description of feature and its benefit]
- Feature 2: [Another feature and how it addresses customer needs]
- Feature 3: [Additional feature or unique selling point]
“[Quote from a company executive or product manager explaining the inspiration behind the product and its expected impact],” said [Name, Title] at [Company Name].
[Product Name] is available [mention the launch date, availability, and where to purchase or learn more].
About [Company Name]:[Company boilerplate highlighting expertise and commitment to innovation].
[Headline: Attention-Grabbing title reflecting the company news]
[Company Name], a [brief description of the company and its industry], is excited to announce [describe the news, such as a new partnership, milestone, executive hire, etc.]. The [announcement/news] is a testament to [Company Name]’s growth and commitment to [mention the goal or mission related to the news].
- Highlight 1: [Detail about the news and its significance]
- Highlight 2: [Another critical aspect of the announcement]
- Highlight 3: [Additional relevant information]
“[Quote from a key executive detailing the news and its impact on the company’s future],” stated [Name, Title] of [Company Name].
For further details, visit [website/landing page].
About [Company Name]: [A brief company overview, including its mission, market position, and achievements].
Event Announcement Template
[Headline: Compelling title announcing the event and its unique appeal]
[Company Name], a [description of the company], proudly announces the upcoming [Event Name], scheduled for [Date] at [Location]. This event aims to [state the event’s purpose, such as raising awareness, launching a product, etc.] and will feature [mention key activities, speakers, or highlights].
- What: [Brief description of the event]
- When: [Date and time]
- Where: [Venue and address]
- Who Should Attend: [Target audience]
- Registration: [Where and how to register]
“[Quote from an organizer or executive explaining the significance of the event and what attendees can expect],” said [Name, Title] at [Company Name].
For more information and to register, visit [event website].
About [Company Name]:
[Brief boilerplate about the company and its role in the community or industry].
Data-Driven Report Template
[Headline: Engaging title highlighting the report’s key finding]
[Company Name], a leader in [industry], released a comprehensive report titled “[Report Title]” today. The report offers groundbreaking insights into [brief description of what the report covers], revealing [key findings].
- Finding 1: [Significant discovery or data point from the report]
- Finding 2: [Another crucial insight]
- Finding 3: [Additional important data or conclusion]
“[Quote from an executive or lead researcher discussing the report’s implications or how it challenges current industry perceptions],” noted [Name, Title] of [Company Name].
The full report is available for [download/purchase] at [website/landing page].
About [Company Name]: [Company boilerplate, emphasizing expertise and commitment to research and innovation].
Press Release Examples From Around the Web
Here are some more press releases found in the wild. You’ll notice that not all of them follow the exact same layout that we’ve recommended. But all of them include essential sections that make a press release successful.
This example uses a strong title stating why the news is important to readers. The video helps this stand out and provides another medium for information. Within the body of the release, the use of bullets helps to break down the complexity a bit, making it easier to read.
This event announcement press release answers the 5W’s (who, what, where, when, and why) all in the intro paragraph. There is also a clear CTA to learn more.
The headline on this press release focuses on the company and what it means for the industry (education usage surges). The format calls out key features using bullet points, and there’s a quote from the product team.
Note – there’s also a quote from a customer, which serves as nice third-party validation.
Press Release Tips
Once you understand the key elements you should include in each type of press release, you are well on your way to creating a great outline.
Below are a few bonus tips to keep in mind as you start diving into crafting the perfect press release:
Keep It Concise: Aim for around 600 – 800 words for news, events, and product launches.
You may go well over 1,000 words for data-driven reports because you include critical takeaways with an analysis of each.
Use Visuals: Give the journalists and their audiences a significant element to visualize your announcement. Even something as simple as a product image or an executive headshot.
Proofread Carefully: Even the best writers make mistakes. The more you read and re-read any content you have written, the more your brain will read what you know it should say, not necessarily what it says on the page.
Even small teams can consider affordable tools like Grammarly.
Distribute Strategically: Once you have put the time and effort into creating and publishing a great press release, implement a strategic plan to distribute it using a digital PR tool like BuzzStream so it reaches the right audience.
If you plan to pitch using email, check out our email outreach templates.
Using BuzzStream to Send Press Releases
BuzzStream has a bulk send feature built into the platform for sending press releases.
You can set sequences, follow-ups, track opens and clicks, set dynamic fields, and many other features. You can read all about our bulk send functionality here.
Frequently Asked Questions About Press Releases
What Are the 7 Parts of a Press Release?
The seven parts of a press release include the headline, dateline, introduction (lead or lead-in), body, boilerplate, call to action (CTA), and contact information. The body contains the key takeaways and the quote in our list above.
What is the Structure of a Press Release?
The structure of a press release typically follows a straightforward format: it starts with a headline that grabs attention, followed by a dateline, an introduction that summarizes the news, the body with detailed information, a quote, a boilerplate with background on the issuing company, a call to action, and ends with contact information for further inquiries.
What Should Be in the Body of a Press Release?
The body of a press release should contain detailed information supporting the announcement, including key facts, statistics, and quotes from company executives.
What Are the 3 Core Components of a Press Release?
The three core components of a press release are the headline, which captures the essence of the news; the lead paragraph, which summarizes the most critical aspects of the announcement; and the body, where you include detailed information and quotes to support the lead.
What are the 5 Ws in a Press Release?
The 5 W’s in a press release are Who, What, When, Where, and Why. These elements ensure the press release communicates who is involved, what is happening, when it’s occurring, where it’s taking place, and why it’s important.
What is a Boilerplate in a Press Release?
A boilerplate in a press release is a standard paragraph at the end that provides background information about the company or organization. It typically details the company’s mission, history, or achievements.
What Not to Include in a Press Release?
In a press release, avoid irrelevant information, jargon, unverified claims, and personal opinions that do not directly support the news announcement.
The focus should be on newsworthy content that interests the media and your audience.
What Does 30 Mean at the End of a Press Release?
The number “30” at the end of a press release is a traditional notation used to indicate the end of the document. It is a holdover from press telegraphy days in the US.
What Does ### Mean at the End of a Press Release?
Similar to -30-, using ### signifies the end of a press release. Some may also use -END-.