In technical terms, a press release should be written in the third person, in a news-writing style, reporting on people, services, products or events that are newsworthy. However, plenty more goes into making a press release interesting and engaging.
There are five main attributes a press release must have in order to be effective. These are all discussed below.
Client quotes are very important to press releases. By adding client quotes to a press release, you instantly add value and solidity to what you are writing about because it is someone’s opinion and therefore you are not plucking a story out of the sky.
Adding a date, time and location to your press release allows the reader to know when and where something is happening. This allows journalists to see whether the release is relevant to them in terms of geography, it also gives the release more depth.
Sometimes an effective press release may not be one that is engaging or exciting- it may be that the story is bland, however, if it is targeted to the right journalist, the release will more likely see the inside of a magazine or newspaper. If a release is irrelevant to a journalist, he or she will pay no attention to it. However, if for example, the release is about meetings or conferences, it should be sent to journalist in the business or events sector. If it were sent to a journalist who wrote about fashion, the story would most likely, be moved into the ‘trash’ folder in their email.
The pyramid effect is the shape in which your press release should form. The point of the pyramid, so the top, is the opening sentence which explains what the press release is about in general terms. Then, as the press release is written, the amount of information should gradually become more in- depth. The idea is that the most important information is at the top of the release so that editors and journalists will see this first of all and then if interested, will read on.
The title and opening sentence are the most important parts of any press release. They inform the reader about what it is the story is about. In the best case, this title and sentence will include the main points of the entire release, be engaging, and include as much information as possible.
By using all of this information to create a press release you will be making it more attractive to the reader, the press release can then earn space in online content, on blogs, social media and on paper in magazines and newspapers.
An example of an effective press release is the story Soaring Worldwide wrote about a Zen temple and the potential for meditation to improve meetings in Kyoto, Japan. Presenting this story to the business meetings and events industry should most likely have proved quite difficult because it is more of a travel piece. However, after a lot of research, and by sending the story out to those journalists whom we thought would be interested in the press release, we received an astounding amount of feedback, magazine and newspaper coverage. The release actually accumulated more than 43 cuttings, including national press, trade press and international titles.
The Kyoto meditation press release followed all of the attributes that are stated above and was definitely for us, an example of an effective press release.
See the full release: http://www.soaringww.com/swwblog/2011/04/meditation-improves-meetings-by-12-5/