If you want to submit a press release, you know all the reasons why it is important. However, before you can get your PR published and in the hands of journalists, bloggers, and clients, you need to know how to write a press release. The purpose of PR is to “sell” your ideas, but there’s a fine line between selling effectively and sounding like a sleazy used car salesman.
Stick to the facts.
A blatant sales pitch in a PR can immediately put readers off. Readers want to know the facts, and they don’t want to be told what to think. By providing readers with the facts of your announcement, you let them come to their own conclusions. This will help you keep your credibility and let people decide for themselves if your PR is newsworthy.
Don’t just tell your readers you’re the best; prove it!
When writing a release, the easiest way to prove you’re the best is to use attribution to back up any claims. For example, instead of writing that your company is the best in the business, use proof. If you’ve been named the best bakery in your city by a local publication, consider which of these sentences proves it:
Taste of Chicago Magazine named Karen’s Cupcakes the best bakery in Chicago.
“Come to Karen’s Cupcakes and taste the best cupcakes in Chicago.”
See how the second looks like an advertisement and not a news announcement? While there’s some news (Cupcakes By Karen has been voted Chicago’s Favorite Bakery), readers can’t immediately determine what it is. Readers should never have to read more than just the headline to find your PR’s news cron. It is easy to determine whether you need to back up your claims. If your statements leave readers asking, “Who says?” afterward, you need to add the proof.
Use quotes to inject opinions.
Even if you have news to report, the goal of many PRs is to sell! The place to sell your products and services is within the quotes. A quote does not follow the same rules as the rest of the PR. Since you’re attributing the comments to a real person in your company, you can say whatever you want! But even in the quote, it’s a good idea to let the readers know the why or the how. Consider these two quotes:
“We work hard to take care of our customers.”
“Every day we have customers who stop by and tell us how we’ve helped make their birthday party or other event a success. Whether you’re looking for a simple, delicious birthday cake or an elaborate, unique wedding cake, we’ll let you love to see what we can do. We consider our cakes to be works of art, and there is no better feeling than when a customer sees their cake for the first time and tells us how it is exactly what they envisioned.”
See the difference? Each says Cupcakes By Karen is focused on their customers, but the second really sells their business and lets customers know what to expect when working with the bakery.
Learning how to write a press release is an important business tool, and many companies don’t understand it. When submitting a press release to traditional media outlets or an online press release distribution site, you want to make sure you’re doing your very best. Don’t fall into the trap of sounding like a sleazy salesman. Your clients, journalists, and bloggers can easily spot the sleaze, so learn how to write a press release and put your best foot forward.