Press Release Template and Best Practices
Should you be sending press releases? The answer: maybe. For the times when you really need one, here are some whats, whys, and wherefores, along with a press release template to make your life a little easier.
Why Send a Press Release?
- New Product or Service
- New Corporate Partnership/Merger/Acquisition
- Major Customer Acquisition
- Fundraising Announcement
- Company Milestone/Achievement/Community Effort/Award
Now, some argue that press releases bolster SEO by providing important backlinks to your site. Others argue that press releases are a waste of time where SEO is concerned. As the press release SEO debate rages on, why not do double duty and send high-value press releases that have the potential to strengthen your Google showing? Win-win.
Press Release Best Practices
- Create a headline. It can include up to 120 characters, though ideally it should include 80 or fewer characters.
- Create a subtitle that builds on the headline. It can include up to 160 characters.
- Start off with a concise intro paragraph – clarify the key announcement and reason you’re releasing the press release. Get straight to the point.
- Include at least one quote from an executive or someone directly involved in the story. If another party or company is involved, try to source a quote from them as well.
- Use a bulleted list to break up takeaways and key points whenever possible.
- Embed images and/or video if possible. Make sure the images and video relate to your company and to the topic you’re promoting.
- Keep the press release brief, but be sure to include keyword anchor links to your company, your products, or your blog page for more information.
- Choose your distribution countries and channels. Here are a few examples: Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals Industry, Food & Beverage Industry, and Consumer Goods.
- Distribute the press release using an online news distribution service like EINPresswire or eReleases.
- Forward the release to major industry publications, send it to your industry contacts, and share it on your social media channels.
Press Release Template
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (DATE)
Organization (Agency or Company)
City, State: Your announcement starts here and should lead with a strong first paragraph that clarifies what you’re announcing and its relevance to your industry. Don’t bury the lead: doing so makes it harder on reporters to find the information they need most.
The second paragraph is the best spot for quotes, but choose your quotes carefully. No reporter likes reading from a sea of people saying the same boring thing. Leverage quotes to build the importance of your story but also to shape your core messages. Whenever and wherever possible, include quotes from customers or partners who will benefit from the news, and avoid extreme exaggeration: having your CEO say that your product is the next best thing to a rocket ship is a bad idea unless you’re Elon Musk.
In the third and subsequent paragraphs, it’s often tempting to add fluff that doesn’t need to be there. It’s also often extremely tempting to bleed over to a second page by bolstering the third paragraph with company history, lore, and supporting expert opinions. Keep in mind that the goal of the press release is to provide clear, concise context on the story—you can always including more detail or links to additional testimonials in your pitch emails or on your blog. Some additional words of wisdom:
- Nobody likes long blocks of content, so use bullets to your advantage to break up the text.
- Use language people can actually understand: if you had to use thesaurus.com to find it, delete it.
- During your final edit, be honest with yourself on whether or not you are truly focused on what is newsworthy about this announcement. If not, revise accordingly.
About Your Company: This is a placeholder for a short, 3-4 sentence description of your company along with a link to your homepage. Double check to ensure the first sentence accurately and clearly describes your business in a manner that could easily be lifted and translated by a reporter.
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