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How to Write and Distribute a Press Release (10 Definitive Formulas to Press Release Success)

how to press release techniques

If you own a business website, then you already know that attracting traffic is the most challenging part of the job. If there is less traffic, which means you will have fewer leads, and ultimately a lesser number of sales.

So, the next question you will have is; how to increase website traffic? Isn’t it?

Well, there are several proven methods to attract traffic to your website fast.

  • SEO your website and contents.
  • Paid advertise on Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Share contents on all major social media channels.
  • Guest blog on other authoritative websites and blogs relevant to your business.
  • Acquire backlinks from big websites.

Now, all of these methods are effective in one way or another, and if you want to attain eye-popping sales numbers month after month and year after year, you will have to employ a combination of all of the above and pursue a grand success.

And if you see in deep, you will know that the common component in all of them is content. Content still remains the most influential part of any digital marketing strategy. This can be blog post contents, a landing page sales copy, social media posts, or any type of content that you will employ to build a brand and a community of loyal customers who will stay with you through thick and thin.

Remember, your content marketing, if done right is the key that will unlock your business’s good fortune. You can call it the backbone of your marketing.

The “press release” is one such type of content that can significantly boost the traffic to your website. Being a brand, it is a must-do part for your public-relation strategy. And along with traffic, you can also generate backlinks for your website through it.

Before the internet age, businesses had to rely only on old-school marketing methods like traditional news outlets to get any information out. Was it effective? Yes, but there was very little control over how, what, and when the consumers consume the information.

Now with a press release, you will have all the power of creating a buzz on your own. You will be able to connect with your audience better and gain their trust by providing value-added news through your PRs.

Alongside your consumers, you can also use your PRs to gain significant media coverage for your brand, if the PR is picked up by any newspaper or a media website. And of course, that will be an outright achievement for your business, all on its own.

What is Press Release (PR)

A press release is a tool made to announce something that is newsworthy in the most objective way possible.  The whole purpose of a press release is to get coverage and get noticed by a target audience.

A press release is quite different from your typical blog posts or landing page sales copies. It is short, concise, and has a specific format.

PRs are mainly used to broadcast newsworthy information about a brand. You have to carve out a newsworthy angle every time you think of creating a PR because a press release is all about circulating “NEWS” regarding your business to your target audience. This indeed limits the number of press releases that you can churn out at a particular time, as it’s not like publishing blog posts.

Advantages of PR

A press release is a real powerhouse when it comes to benefit your business. It not only boosts your sales numbers but also provides exposures to your brand. A brilliantly done PR can establish you as an industry expert, a thought leader, which will go a long way to earn the trust and attention of your target customers.

Let’s see all the benefits of a well-executed press release:

  • Press release increases the website’s inbound traffic.
  • Boosts the sales numbers.
  • Gets instant and potential exposure to go big if the PR is picked up by journalists for media coverage.
  • Improves website’s SEO if the PR gets published by a big shot media channel website.
  • Helps you reach a much larger target audience segment that was untapped earlier.
  • Complements your digital marketing plan by distributing the press release across different channels, including social media.

PR Format – How to Write a Press Release

A press release is an influential tool that can boost your business, amplify its exposure, and multiply its traffic. But at the same time, a PR can also harm your website, if not done correctly.

Press release follows a strict format, and there is a little chance of error regarding that. But then again, it does not mean that you can’t be creative with your press release while writing it.

All you need to remember is that a press release is only appropriate when you have something newsworthy to share about your brand. As for the press release copy, it has to be succinct, to the point while providing all the information you need to convey to your customers.

The different structural elements that make up a well-structured press release are:

  • Headline
  • Subheading
  • Dateline
  • Bullet points
  • Introduction
  • Detailed Body
  • Boilerplate
  • Contact Info

The format may vary from one PR distribution site to another, but it won’t be much. The core format of the press release remains the same everywhere.

press release format

Now let’s delve deeper into the to-dos regarding each and every element of writing a compelling press release.

Press Release Headline

The press release headline summarizes the brief of the news that you are covering in the press release. This will be the outline to attract the attention of your audience and, most importantly, the journalists, so take care while writing them.

A press release headline should specifically highlight the key points of the release and knock your customers’ socks off.

A few points to remember here are,

  • The headline should be in the active voice.
  • You should add supporting data where it’s required.
  • The press release must answer readers’ questions and emotionally stir them up quickly.
  • Newsjacking – Oppose, question, doubt, or make use of a trending topic intelligently and cautiously.
  • Use power words like How-to, Now, New, Free, Guarantee, Secret, etc.
  • Watch your headline punctuation and formatting. Follow the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Ideally, it should be between 70 to 100 characters.
  • Make it easily sharable on social media sites.
  • Don’t ignore the SEO of the press release headline.

Press Release Subheading

PR subheading is the italicized text that comes right below the press release headline. It is a 120 characters long text that briefs the release and helps you attract the audience and reporters.

Press Release Dateline

Press release dateline is the place where you provide your release date. Sometimes it may also include the origin city or state of a press release.

The release date can be an immediate one, meaning the day you are posting. So, if you want your PR to be published right on the same day, don’t forget to mention “For Immediate Release” at the top of the release.

Else, it can be a later date (than the date it is sent to the journalist) for posting, giving you the power of deciding when you want the press release to become public. And in that case, in the top left-hand corner of the PR, you should include “Embargoed for Release”. And right after that, mention the date you want the press release to be aired.

Besides, you should follow the AP Style format for the PR dateline as most of the journalists follow it.

Press Release Bullet Points

Here you have to condense everything that you are trying to tell in the press release, in precise points for better understanding. It should exactly give out the information about what you are offering.

Press Release Introduction

This is the first paragraph of the press release where you should include the basic answers regarding Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why of the release.

PR introduction is the place where you should mention all of the essential facts, figures, and key points that support your story and also help journalists to tell it to others.

You have only 30 to 50 words and even lesser time than that to convince the journalists to stay on and go through the rest of the release. So be to the point, answer the important questions succinctly, and don’t be sales-pitchy.

Press Release Detailed Body

The second paragraph of the press release body should elaborate on the solution that you are providing through your news release. It should be specific about how it will solve a particular problem, improve the customers’ life, and empower them.

This paragraph ideally should be within 200-300 words.

press release writing style

You can also introduce a third paragraph for additional information; you want your audience to know. It can be the venue of the event that you are announcing, or the timing when you are conducting your free webinar, etc.

The URL of your business needs to be included here and not anywhere else in the press release. But make sure that the link anchor-text is a branded or naked anchor-text, and never a keyword. If you include a keyword here, there won’t be any problem in the distribution of your press release, but in terms of SEO, this may cause a lot of damage to the website.

So, for your website URL, you can use a branded link anchor-text like “PromozSEO.com”, and to link a specific page of your website from the press release, use a naked link anchor text like “https://www.promozseo.com/kolkata-courses/digital-marketing-training-kolkata/”.

Additionally, here you may also include a quote that adds another perspective to the press release and helps reporters understand your story campaign even better. Quotes can be simply a testimonial from one of your happy customers, or a relevant statement from one of the company stakeholders, or also can be a few words of appreciation you received from one of the niche influencers.

Press Release Boilerplate of your Organization

Press release boilerplate is the ‘about’ section of the company that is releasing the press release. This is the section where you have to highlight who you are, what you offer, how your products or services add value to your customers’ life and empowers them, etc.

For example, all press releases published by PromozSEO will be: “PromozSEO is a leading digital marketing academy in India, which offers advanced internet marketing courses to individuals, working professionals, self-employed experts, and corporate clients. The course is designed to help you build a successful internet business and allow you to live a laptop lifestyle.”

You may additionally link to your brand’s social media channels though you have to be very careful while linking. It’s advisable to mention the channels without linking to it. Else it may get seen as “spammy” by search engines.

A few essential points about the press release boilerplate,

  • This will be a fixed section for every press release. So, simply copy and paste it every time you publish a press release.
  • Press release boilerplate shouldn’t be more than 100 words.
  • Contextually use one or two relevant keywords.
  • Add a link to your website’s home page.
  • You may also consider including a Call to Action link (however, be careful about the link anchor-text phrase).
  • Adding a few stats, certifications, and awards may also catch the eye of the journalist and your target audiences.

Press Release Contact Info

The four things that you have to include in the press release contact info are:

  • Name of your company.
  • Name of the POC (point of contact).
  • The official email address of your company.
  • Official phone no of your company.

You can also include your business’s physical address here.

Press Release Distribution Using PR Distribution Websites and Services

Now that you have completed writing the copy of your press release, you have to publish it and distribute it through various PR websites and channels.

There are many high-quality press release distribution websites available online, for example, PRLOG, Cision, PRWeb, PRgloo, Newswire, etc.

For posting a press release on any of the above platforms, first, you need to create an account using your company’s official email address. Once you are done, you are ready to publish a press release online.

There are a few points to keep in mind while distributing a press release.

  • Most, if not all, of the PR distribution websites, have a “free press release distribution” option for PR posting, but it has limited usage. So, check their premium press release distribution pricing and decide on one which will be optimal for your business goals and your budget.
  • If you are opting for the free deal, you will be limited on the number of PRs you can publish. Also, the PR will be published only on that single website and won’t be circulated on other PR sites like in the premium packages. In that case, you should not post the same copy of press release on multiple distribution services under their free deals, because that will create duplicate copies online, which is bad for the website’s SEO.
  • The formats of the PR distribution websites sometimes may vary. So, be careful while filling them out, especially if you are using free press release websites to distribute your PRs.
  • Better create different copies manually of the same press release, and then publish them on various websites. It will be time-consuming but will be free and SEO-safe.
  • If you go for the premium press release services, then a single copy of the PR will work. Once you post it on the website, your work is done. The site will then be responsible for distributing your press release to other PR websites simultaneously. It will provide more exposure in less time but will cost you money.

Pitching Your Press Release Directly to the Journalists

Apart from using the PR distribution services, you may also contact a list of journalists directly though you have to be very careful here. Don’t go for a mass-email kind of service.

The key to success here is the personalization of your emails and contacting the right journalist at the right time.

A few important points to remember

  • Find the journalists who publish similar stories like yours, collect their contact information, engage with them on Twitter, and build a healthy professional relationship with them.

build relationship with journalists

  • Prepare a powerful pitch that you will email to the selected journalists.
  • Be respectful and to the point while pitching your press release.
  • Make it personalized. Don’t start your email like “Hi there” or “Hello dear”. This not looks ugly, but journalists hate these the most. Instead, address them with their name (full name).
  • Mention and appreciate their previous work to show them that you are involved and did your homework quite well.
  • Proofread the press release as well as the email body.
  • Create a killer email subject line.
  • Pitch your story at the right time.

press release calendar

  • Finally, follow up a couple of times, with a few days spread apart between, but don’t bombard them. Trust me; following up is an equally important job when you are outreaching a journalist or an influencer. Remember, they are very busy professionals; hence, you should respect their time more than anything and never pound on them even if they don’t respond to your emails.

Conclusion

A press release has always been one of the most important and powerful tools for marketing. It helps you distribute your brand-story to the online media to get featured and covered on big news websites. As a result, PR allows you to expand your brand’s visibility and market your products and services to a much larger customer base.

Now, let us know what do you think about a press release? Have you ever used press releases before? Do you have a PR distribution blueprint for shooting and skyrocketing your PR success? What else will you do to get the media coverage and to increase the sales numbers using press releases?

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Soumya Roy

Founder, CEO at PromozSEO
Soumya Roy is the Founder, CEO of PromozSEO Web Marketing Academy, a leading digital marketing course in Kolkata, India. He is a seasoned digital marketer and coach with over 11 years of extensive experience under his belt. In his long years of experience, Mr. Roy has worked with 100s of brands of different sizes, and mentored and trained more than 2500 professionals and corporate clients.
Being an entrepreneur and digital marketer, he loves to share his knowledge and experience in topics related to internet marketing, SEO, SEM, social media, content marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, and many more.
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