What you’ll learn
All press is good press, right? Or, at least, that’s what they say on Entourage. What they don’t say is that media coverage doesn’t just magically happen.
Today, consumers turn to the internet and social media to catch up on what’s trending more than ever. Newspapers and billboards? They’re practically obsolete. Now, it’s all about online buzz. One way to stir up the right kind of talk? Master how to write a press release that puts your brand in the virtual spotlight.
In this article, Lyon Content delivers an in-depth guide on how to write a press release that builds backlinks, drives traffic, and boosts visibility.
From what it is and what to say to customizable templates and tips for how to send your press releases out into the world—keep reading.
What is a Press Release?
A press release, or news release, is a written (or recorded) statement your business issues to the press and beyond updating the public on news, upcoming events, or breaking information.
The goal? To inform audiences and media about something noteworthy or of material significance, specifically relating to your brand. This can range from product launches, partnerships, and awards to news stories, exposés, and event press releases.
As for how a press release can help your business, the perks (when done right) are tenfold:
- Enhances brand awareness
- Ramps up sales potential
- Gives you thought leader status
- Ideal for cross-channel marketing
- Fosters a list of media contacts
- Offers cost-effective marketing
- Builds backlinks
- Boosts website traffic
- Enables social sharing
- Perfect for crisis management
- Bolsters your SEO strategy
- Keeps your audience informed
- Keeps your brand top of mind
Press releases are so much more than a fast pass to media attention. In reality, they’re just as valuable a piece of marketing content as your ad campaigns and social media posts.
You came here to learn how to write a press release. We’re glad you asked. 😉
How to Write a Press Release that Makes Waves
Many brand owners and newbie marketers struggle with writing a press release because it calls for you to scrap your usual content creation playbook. Press releases have their own distinct set of rules—tone, structure, formatting, style—-it’s a whole new ball game.
Unlike your fun, playful Instagram captions and juicy, long-form blog articles, press releases are more newsy and straightforward. You have to approach them in the same way a journalist or news reporter would relay information.
That means putting aside your punchy, iconic brand voice and channeling your inner fact-centric, Lois Lane.
Here are eight basic elements you’ll need to incorporate when learning how to write a press release:
According to Semrush, press releases boost search engine optimization (SEO) efforts by promoting content marketing discovery, building citations for local SEO, and preserving your online rep.
To bolster your press release SEO, you’ll want to include:
- An SEO title tag (around 50-60 characters long)
- A meta description (around 150-160 characters long)
2. News release date
Next, you’ll need a date of release. This is usually the date you want your press release to be, well, released into the world. It can also be the date of the event you’re writing about, if applicable.
Make this bold and separate from the details that follow.
3. Contact information
Right under your release date, you’ll want to include your contact information.
This includes the:
- Company name
- Contact person’s name
- Phone number
- Physical address (if applicable)
- Email address
Next comes your primary press release headline. You want this to be captivating yet clear and to the point as to the message you’re trying to convey.
Optimal press release headlines are:
- Loaded with action verbs
- Specific and factual
- Easy to read
- Never long winded
- Clear of clickbait (false or misleading headlines)
Pro-tip: Peep some of the headlines of articles in the publications you’re writing to. Use those insights to guide your headline creation when learning how to write a press release.
5. The nitty-gritty
Storytelling, overt sales pitches, and cute spins? All of that goes out the window here. This is your time to stick to the facts, keeping it short, simple, and sweet when perfecting how to write a press release.
With journalists perusing endless piles of press releases regularly, you want yours to satiate their appetite for facts quickly.
Do this by using the inverted pyramid formula, which means starting with the most important information and working your way down to the least.
Other rules of thumb to keep in mind:
- Answer the who, what, when, where, and why
- Avoid strong, biased emotions
- Bring details to life with strong quotes
- Avoid technical jargon
- Sprinkle in some keywords
- Be as specific as possible
- Give valuable background information (e.g., use newsjacking to relate your press release to a current event)
- Write from a third-person perspective (no personal pronouns such as I, we, us)
- Keep it one to two pages long, three tops
6. A sign-off
Make it easy for other publications and journalists to find you by including your name and contact information. This makes scheduling an interview or requesting additional materials much more seamless.
At the end of your press release, add your brand’s boilerplate. This brief blurb highlights your company and what it’s all about. You can also include your logo, website, and social media channels.
8. # # #
Three pound symbols. or hashtag symbols: (###) signal to reporters and journalists that they’ve reached the end of your press release.
This goes at the very end of the document, right after your boilerplate.
Apply these elements, and what do you get? A top-tier press release template that makes media outreach easy, breezy.
Press Release Templates
Alright, we’ve broken down how to write a press release. Wish you had a template for press releases that slay? Say no more:
Press release template 1
Press release template 2
Press release template 3
Press Release Examples
Tips and templates are a great starting point, but when it comes to knowing how to write a press release, it helps to learn from the best.
Here are some notable press release examples to fuel your inspiration:
Press release example 1: Rare Beauty’s Philanthropic Efforts
Let’s start with our MVP for celebrity beauty brand marketing, Rare Beauty.
In this press release, they share how their sales are fueling their mission on World Mental Health Day:
Press release example 2: Adobe and Figma Merger Termination
In this example of how to write a press release, Adobe announces the end of a partnership with the Figma web design app:
Press release example 3: Daniel Alain
Finally, we have our client Daniel Alain putting our tips into practice as they share their breakthrough results of the Minoxidil Response Test for effective hair loss treatment:
Next, how to send a press release to media outlets.
How to Send a Press Release
Now that you’ve got a press release primed, proofed, and ready for distribution, let’s talk about how to get it out into the world.
How to Distribute Your Own Press Releases
First, where the heck do you go to find journalists?
You’ll want to start by narrowing down which publications, news outlets, and audiences would be most interested in your announcement.
That said, press releases are also meant to cast a wide net—be careful not to limit yourself too much, either.
After you’ve got your list, you’ll have to do some sleuthing to find the email addresses of the right contact persons. This is where tools like Hunter.io are invaluable for sourcing email addresses for different sites.
Email list? Check. Now, here’s what you’re not going to do: blind-copy all those contacts and pump out your press release in a mass email.
Instead, you’re going to spin your announcement into a short, breezy pitch, tailoring it to each publication or news outlet (just like you would a sales pitch to a potential client).
Don’t forget to include a relevant, attention-grabbing subject. Then send each pitch one by one.
Lastly, don’t underestimate your timing.
When it comes to an event or product launch, it’s best to distribute your press release at least a week or two before. This way, news outlets have time to process and act on your announcement.
Keep the news cycle in mind, too. For example, announcing a Swiftie-inspired makeup collection a few days after Tay-Tay rocked the music world with a new album drop will probably increase its likelihood of being run.
Invest in Press Release Distribution Services
Rather skip the media outreach altogether? Here are some of HubSpot’s go-to press release distribution services that do all the legwork for you:
- EIN Presswire
- PR Distribution
- PR Newswire
- 24-7 Press Release
- PR Web
- Response Source
- PR Fire
- Business Wire
These companies have access to exclusive, up-to-date media databases, various distribution channels, and the marketing know-how to stretch your message as far and wide as you want.
But if it’s writing your press release that’s making your palms clammy, we’ve got the perfect solution.
Lyon Content: More Headlines, Less Headaches
Like all content creation, learning how to write a press release is more of an art than a science. These insights might get your name and message out there, but is it enough to shake sh*t up and keep your competitors quaking?
If you truly want your brand to lead the pack, you need to partner with a content agency that’s
king QUEEN of the digital marketing jungle.👑
With a decade of content marketing experience, our team knows how to blend creativity with strategy (and killer instinct) to craft content that delivers unparalleled results.
Natalie is a beauty and lifestyle writer at Lyon Content, born and raised in sunny Miami, Florida. She’s passionate about crafting personality-driven copy that helps brands build a ride-or-die following with their audiences! Like a true Cuban, she runs on XL cafe-con-leches and loves horror movies, houseplants, exploring new places, and snuggling up with her SO and fur babies.