A press release is a written or recorded communication that is aimed at news media staff members or organizations. Usually, press releases are mailed, faxed, or emailed. These days, many companies or persons issue press releases online, and then promote their published press releases via their company websites, social networking profiles and other online web pages or platforms. Traditional press releases are directed at the editors of newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations and/or TV networks.
Typical press releases will detail relevant news about a company or person. Examples of events that warrant press releases include the appointment of new staff members, the launch of new products, or the scheduling of special events that pertain to a person or business. The goal of online press releases is to make news and special events more visible to those who surf the World Wide Web.
Press releases are often drafted, refined and published by public relations professionals. However, principal members of companies may also create press releases. For example, online entrepreneurs who work independently may create these releases in order to promote their efforts.
Press releases are generated in order to cast companies or persons in a positive light. By attracting the attention of the media, these press releases create interest and “buzz”. Therefore, press releases are widely used as a form of free advertising. Specific examples of topics covered in press releases include scheduled events, personal promotions, awards, current products and services, financial reporting for companies or accomplishments.
The scope of press releases is vast, and these communications serve a range of purposes. However, the overarching goal of press releases is to drum up positive publicity that will help a person or company to carve out a niche and build a brand.
Press Releases or Press Statements?
A press statement is intended only for reporters. This type of announcement is a news story that is created for dissemination to newspapers and other news organizations. Therefore, a classic press release is not technically a press statement.
Press releases should follow certain guidelines. The goal is to present information clearly, without overhyped marketing statements. Telling a story without hyperbole is the secret of relating information in a purely professional, press release style. Avoid exaggerations and sales pitches to get the right tone and effect.
A headline will be an important aspect of an effective press release. Therefore, time should be spent on crafting a headline that relates all important information in a concise, yet interesting manner. Keeping the tone businesslike will ensure that you get your point across, without offending readers. Since hard-sell headlines tend to turn off those who read press releases, a more low-key approach will be best.
Many online press release websites, such as Prweb.com, offer visitors access to sample press releases that are useful templates. When you choose to work from a sample, you’ll have a better chance of having your press release accepted when you submit it. The body of press releases generally features the date of the announcement, where the press release came from (city, country) and a few paragraphs of data about the announcement and the company or person who is producing it. Simple and straightforward press releases will be more likely to get positive attention online.
To add interest to your press release, make it factual. Adding statistics or relevant facts and resources that underscore the value of your announcement will be a smart strategy. Quotes from CEOs or other important company staff members may also be used to add relevance and resonance to press releases.
Finally, up-to-the-minute contact information should be included at the bottom of every press release. This should include a contact person and his or her telephone number, email and/or fax number. The company’s public relations liaison will typically be listed as the contact person, as he or she is the one who will field media inquiries. The company’s address may also be listed, in order to facilitate contact with readers.
Now that you know more about press releases, you’ll be ready to create a perfect press release that shines a light on your newest product, service, special event or accomplishment. Promote your work at social networking platforms, in order to get a wider audience for your finished press releases or press releases.