Whether you’re launching a new product or opening your latest store, it’s vital to accompany this debut with a press release. A press release is an official statement brands deliver to journalists and news outlets to ensure their latest business ventures reach the wider public.
In a crowded marketplace, media coverage plays a huge role in creating sales prospects. To catch the attention of over-worked journalists, your press release must be perfect.
Here are 5 must-have elements of an effective press release.
- A Strong Headline
Time poor journalists don’t have the luxury or patience to read through five paragraphs to determine whether your press release is the right fit for their target audience. A strong headline, like in this press release, will instantly separate your release from your competitors.
The most effective headlines include statistics. For example, consider these two headlines:
Green Garden Co Produces New Fertiliser.
New Green Garden Co Fertilizers Increases Crop Yield by 50%.
The first statement is factual but wholly unremarkable. The second headline both informs readers of the new product and illustrates HOW it can help consumers. Keep things short, sweet and highlight your unique selling point.
- A Clear Call-to-Action
The most important part of any press release is the call-to-action, or CTA. A CTA is a statement which asks the reader to undertake a particular action. It stimulates interest and motivation and can ultimately be the difference between a bounce and a sale.
When developing your CTA, you need to consider your immediate goal. Are you looking to build a relationship with your potential customers or simply generate a sale? Your answer will determine what kind of CTA you utilize.
For example, to cement a relationship with your reader, your CTA might be “sign up for our newsletter”. Conversely, if you’ve got instant sales on your mind, your CTA could read “click here to purchase x product before they all sell out!”
Effective CTAs provide a sense of urgency and immediacy to spur the reader into action. Consider using language such as ‘today’, ‘act now’ or ‘before it’s too late’.
Quotes are an opportunity for you to validate your product/service and brand to consumers. If you’ve got testimonials from real clients, especially influencers in the field, be sure to include them in your press release.
Where you don’t have any quotes about your brand specifically, you can lean on more general statements to lend credibility to your launch. For example, Green Garden Co could include a quote from a reputable publication, such as National Geographic, stating that fertilizers are responsible for producing better tasting vegetables.
- Appropriate Formatting
Though formatting can vary, the best press releases follow a similar template. They should begin with a concise headline, followed by a subline, then the date and location. Transition into the lead paragraph, which provides a snapshot of your offering. The body of your release will follow, complete with quotes where appropriate. Finish with your boilerplate and call to action. Clear formatting is vital. Use large font, plenty of spacing and split long paragraphs to combat reader fatigue.
- A Boilerplate
A boilerplate, in this context, is just another term for an ‘about us’ section. Generally sandwiched between the body of your release and your contact details, it’s a reusable paragraph that summarizes your company’s core objectives for both journalists and prospective customers. Use your boilerplate to illustrate what makes your business stand out from its competitors, e.g. a focus on environmental sustainability.
Producing a great press release is no mean feat. Check your next publication against the criteria above to ensure you include all the key elements required for true press release success.