Join Lorrie Thomas Ross for an in-depth discussion in this video What are press releases?, part of Writing Press Releases.
A press release is a specifically formatted communication piece written to share newsworthy information with a target market. Press releases share details, or reflecting sentiment, opinions, and quotes from leaders at the organization, to help convey a meaningful message. Press releases are a succinct way to relay information, specifically who, what, when, where, why, how and most importantly, who cares. Press releases were originally designed to provide the press with a short pre-approved company message, so journalists could quickly and accurately write new stories or follow-up pieces to existing news.
Historically, companies used press releases to have better control over their media communications, and journalists liked the just for facts short format. Press releases still work to feed the media new story ideas and company statements, but they are not just for the press anymore, and they are not just written by companies. Press releases are written by both non profit and for profit organizations. They are written by large and small companies. Entrepreneurs and solopreneurs. Press releases help feed the media content, but today they are written specifically for customers, prospective customers, donors, investors, and business partners.
Press releases can be sent directly to the media, and they can also be shared on websites, blogs, and through online press release distribution channels. Most press releases are around one page long. But unlike the old rules that forced a one-page release, releases today can be a little longer if there is important information that supports the overall marketing message. Learning how to articulate a marketing message in proper press release format is a powerful communication skill that will help you boost your credibility, visibility and sellability.
Press releases can help you get your news in the news, but they can also help you focus your message to better connect with target markets to promote events, share information, educate, give customer service news, attract new customers, and build connections with existing contacts.
- Picking a topic
- Defining your who, what, where, when, and how
- Writing a title
- Writing a quote
- Writing the body copy
- Distributing a press release