Press Releases for Your Business: Best Practices

Press releases are a valuable tool for businesses. Learning how to write and distribute excellent press releases can help you leverage your company news into customer awareness and, ultimately, increased conversions. Learn what a press release is, understand what topics are good for a press release, review examples of good press releases, know how press releases work, read advice for writing effective press releases and see answers to frequently asked questions about press releases. 

 

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What is a public relations press release?

A public relations press release, or a press release, is a document a company, or a company’s external public relations manager, sends to news media. It contains facts and information about a new product, event, company change or other news. Press releases are a useful way of sharing information with the general public and helping your company’s message reach potential customers outside of your normal marketing channels. 

 

Related: Press Release Archive

 

What topics are good for press releases?

Almost always, press releases share a specific, and often time-bound, piece of information with the public to entice the reader or viewer to make a purchase. These particular topics are commonly used for press releases:

 

Product launches

A press release about a new product launch includes details regarding the product’s purpose, design and cost. It’s not an advertisement but instead presents a newsworthy angle, such as filling a common urgent need, for the product to entice viewers to make a purchase.

 

Company mergers and acquisitions

Some companies share information with the public about major changes to their organization, particularly if the changes impact investors or other stakeholders. Include information about all the organizations involved in the shift and the timing of the changes. 

 

Product changes

Like new products, if your company is introducing a redesigned product, a press release with a newsworthy angle details the specific changes to the product, additional functionality and pricing information. 

 

Events

Share details about public events your company is hosting or attending through a press release. Provide event details like pricing and dress code. 

 

Grand openings

If you’re opening a new retail location, you can announce the details of the launch through a press release. Share information about your company and the types of products you sell besides the specific details of the grand opening and subsequent store hours after the grand opening ends. 

 

Business partnerships

Business partnerships often share similarities to mergers and acquisitions but may have less of a dramatic impact on current or future investors or stakeholders. Share the details of the partnership and how the change in the organization impacts both companies and stakeholders. 

 

Rebranding

If you’re making major changes to your company’s image and introducing an entirely new brand, a press release is a strategy for sharing the details and reasons for the rebranding. Include information on when the people can expect to see the rebranding emerge. 

 

Leadership changes

Write a press release for top-level executive leadership changes. Often, CEOs are the face of the company, so announcing a new CEO — or CFO or COO — is a wise strategy. Include a professional portrait and a biography about their past work experience. 

 

Awards

Press releases are one way to share news about any awards your company has earned. Whether they’re industry-specific, local or national, include the details of who the award is from, the criteria for winning and any other relevant information. 

 

Crisis management

Use press releases to help take control of crisis situations. If your company is in the midst of a challenging situation, use a press release to help share your company’s awareness of the situation, action plan and any other important details for the public. 

 

Examples of good press releases

To best understand how press releases differ from marketing materials, review outstanding examples from other companies. These press releases from Indeed illustrate how you can best structure and phrase press releases about various topics: 

 

 

How press releases work

Follow these steps to help structure and distribute your press release: 

 

1. Write your press release

Press releases often follow a standard template for easy parsing. Some news organizations print the press release in its entirety, while others glean the most important details from the release and write their own article. In most cases, you’ll include the following in your press release: 

 

  • Contact information: Include contact information for the press person at your company. 
  • Headline: This is the title of your piece and must grab the attention of the reader. 
  • Summary: After the headline is a brief summary of the press release. 
  • Intro: The introduction of the press release should include all the most important information.
  • Body: The body of the press release elaborates on the key facts and often includes relevant quotes.
  • Boilerplate: Toward the end of the press release, include a boilerplate description of your company. 
  • Call to action: Conclude the press release with a call to action for the reader.

 

2. Distribute your press release 

Once you’ve written your press release, send it out to local or national news organizations. You can choose which specific organizations to share it with or send it to multiple groups at once. 

 

3. Follow up 

Follow up as needed to ensure the news organization has all the information they need to share your press release with the public. 

 

Advice for writing effective press releases

Use these tips to help you write an excellent press release: 

 

  • Write in the third person (“The company,” and “They…”).
  • Include your location and date below the headline. 
  • Use engaging language. 
  • Include interesting quotes.
  • Send your press release to journalists at least a day before you want to see it published. 
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Frequently asked questions about press releases

How do you write a press release?

Most organizations use a standard template to help structure their press releases. Focus on including facts and education rather than selling your product or service. Include these elements in your press release: 

 

  • Contact information
  • Headline
  • Summary
  • Introduction paragraph
  • Body paragraphs
  • Boilerplate
  • Call to action

What is PR distribution? 

PR distribution is the act of sending your press release to media outlets, journalists and editors in the hopes they’ll share the information with their readers and viewers. 

What does ### mean in a press release?

Three consecutive pound (or hashtag) symbols (###) indicate “This is the end of the press release.” Sometimes you may see -30- which also means the end of the press release. Anything included below that symbol is not part of the messaging and shouldn’t be included in the publication. 

 

Press releases can help your company build brand awareness and a positive reputation. Consider when to use press releases and how to best structure them for maximum impact.

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