Press Release

Structure Of A Press Release: Why It Is Important To Structure The PR In A Certain Format?

Structure of a press release

A press release is one of the most important tools when communicating any significant announcement or development at your startup/company. A good press release will help you garner the right kind of eyeballs, and help initiate conversations for your brand through various forms of the media. This in turn helps maximize visibility for your brand.

On the other hand, a poorly written press release can put the brand on the media back burner. This can happen because for 2 reasons – a badly written release without the key details does not hold the attention of the journalist, two- it may create an unfavourable image about your brand and it can result in minimum mileage for the announcement.

However, to avoid the above mistakes, learning to structure and write a press release becomes an important aspect. Sharing below a few Do’s & Don’ts’ while putting together a press release.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Cover the details of the event with the 5 Ws & 1 H.

In other words always outline the Who, What, Where, When, Why and How of the event in a press release. Cover the most important parts of the announcement right at the beginning so that you can capture the attention of the reader.

  • Always refer to a press release format to help you cover the important aspects

This will help give you an idea of what to cover, the order in which it can be covered and the layout you can use to put a format to it. You can also include contact details that you may want to share here.

  • Restrict it with a word count

Short and crisp press releases tend to gain more eyeballs, the reason being the important aspects will get covered to the point. Always limit the word count to 600-800 words covering all the important aspects.

  • Include information that is timely and backed by statistics

Timely events/news always has the tendency to get covered easily especially if it comprises accurate, relevant and interesting facts. Back these with data and it will immediately catch journalists’ attention.

  • Convey the most through the ‘Hook’

In a day and age when information is bombarded to journalists, always have a hook (in other words a catchy headline) that can catch their attention.

Different Types of Press Releases

types-of-press-releases

‘Press Release’ is often the most misunderstood and overused PR tool among all other PR techniques. Over the course of our work with startup founders and companies, we have noticed that most clients lean towards disseminating a press release. Be it a new website or a new product feature, there’s a misconception that every new development requires or rather deserves a press release. A press release without a newsworthy announcement is far from beneficial. So, the question to ask is ‘What counts as a newsworthy release?’.

A newsworthy announcement is any piece of new and timely information that is interesting to the media as well as to a larger audience. Here are a few examples of newsworthy announcements that work well as a press release.

Business Specific Press release

  1. Funding: One of the fastest ways to garner media attention is through a funding press release. It’s not only a major milestone for a startup but it also provides the required validation for the company. A funding announcement can provide immediate visibility.
  2. New Appointments: If you have a well-known industry leader joining the company as a board member/co-founder or as an advisor, it can make for a newsworthy announcement.
  3. Partnership with other businesses: A new partnership with another company that amplifies your current offering or adds a new dimension to your business can work well as a press release.
  4. Brand new product: If you have created a product that’s truly remarkable and has the potential to impact others, then you surely have a newsworthy product that deserves a press release.

Some of the other types of press releases are:

  • Awards and competitions: Won a prestigious award or a competition recently? Make sure you announce it to the world.
  • Event Specific Press Releases: If you are hosting an event that’s open to the general public, you can send out a press release with all the required information.
  • Survey related press release: A survey press release is a great opportunity to establish expert positioning for your brand. A survey with data, insights and interesting trends can tell a unique story.

There’s no doubt that a press release is an important and effective PR tool to garner attention. However, it’s important to note that not everything that your company does will make for good announcements. Journalists get a few hundred press releases every day. If you really want to get their attention, make sure your press release is timely, newsworthy and has an impact on a larger audience.

An Overview Of Press Release: Considerations and Goals

what is press release

What is a press release?

Many times the best way to highlight or create a buzz around products, partnerships or any noteworthy development is to send out a press release, a document that consists of all the facts. This in turn is sent to various media outlets and more often than not nudges the journalists to take note and cover a larger story that helps build trust for the brand and audience.

The press release/announcement on a development within the company is usually shared by the Public Relations or Communications department of an organisation.

A press release can be shared on a monthly/bi-monthly basis depending on the frequency of announcements. Since it’s a fact-based document, it should adhere to basic journalistic principles of objectivity.

What to consider while putting together a press release?

A press release is a fact-based news article usually distributed across by the Public Relations department of the organisation. The press release document should answer the 5 W’s & 1 H that addresses the main purpose of the announcement. In other words:

The press release should consist of the following:

  • What is the significance of the announcement/event?
  • Who is announcing or who is it being held for?
  • When/timelines of the event that is being announced
  • Where the location of the event is being held
  • Why is the event being held?
  • How it is being held/medium of interaction for the event (is it an online or physical event)

Goals of a press release

The main focus of an organisation issuing a press release is to gain instant exposure which helps them gain credibility while also helping them build trust with existing as well as prospective customers.

  • To keep the media abreast about all the developments and pique the media interest, organisations share relevant information through a press release
  • To promote more visibility for the announcement/development across the media universe
  • To amplify the announcement on various other platforms owned by the organisation (blogs, websites, and other social networking platforms)

A press release has its limitation and as a standalone PR tool, it may not result in the desired mileage for a brand. The press release is always limited to 800-1000 words and cannot be used for every elaborate piece of communication a brand plans to send out. However, it is a short yet effective tool to generate immediate buzz for a brand. Keeping in mind the above factors, the reach and use of a press release can be made effective.