How to Write a Press Release – Ultimate Guide
How to Write a Press Release – Writing a great press release is essential for gaining traction on your latest product/release. As a music blog, we receive lots of press releases each month and how easy they are to read, and how they are formatted prove pivotal to their success. Whether you are writing a press release for a music release, product launch, event or book release, the principles you need remain the same.
What is a Press Release?
A press release is a compelling and concise news story that tells the recipient exactly what you are promoting. Moreover, it intends to grab the reader’s attention and give them all the essential information that they need to engage with your release.
The Small Business Encyclopedia defines press releases as, “Brief, printed statements that outline the major facts of a news story in a journalistic style.”
It sounds quite intimidating to write a press release, but by following the right template, it is easy to get it right the first time. We will help you to write an effective press release, and let you concentrate on other areas of your campaign.
(See below for our full guide on how to write the perfect Press Release)
Why would you send a press release?
Starts a Conversation
Sending a press release helps to build a relationship between you and a journalist. Connecting with a journalist on social media before sending a press release through can make your press release more appealing when your name pops up in their mailbox. So before you are ready to send the release through, introduce yourself to the recipient and start to build a relationship.
Creates a buzz
Creating a buzz around your product helps to raise awareness of your product and gets people as excited as you are about it. If you send a press release out before the release date, people can connect and build a buzz around your content. Be careful not to send it out too early, you don’t want a big spark and no bang!
Helps to create a brand
Creating a brand for your product is a great way of making your content stand out from the crowd. Making your press release look like your website, and social media profiles, ties all parts of your brand together. This makes your product instantly recognizable to journalists and website visitors. For example, you can create a brand by using the same set of photo’s for the release, the same font’s in the texts and the same logos.
Decide on Your Goals
Before you start your press release, make sure you have a clear idea in your mind as to what you would like to achieve from it.
For Example, if it is about a music release, do you want more traffic to stream your single? Do you want to boost your social media followers? Do you want to highlight gigs on an upcoming tour? Are you crowdfunding to fund a new release?
Depending on what your end goal is, keeping the goal at the forefront of your mind will help to keep you on track when writing your content. This way, you are less likely to stray when writing the body of your text, and it will make your content enjoyable.
Most important things to consider
- The most important things to consider when writing a press release are easily fixable. Make sure all of the information that you give is accurate, reads well and is grammatically correct. If a journalist receives a press release which is full of errors in the spelling or grammar, it does not look professional and can put the reader off working with you. If the basics are wrong, what quality will the product be?
We recommend using Grammarly to check your work and make sure that your press release is error-free. There is a free version that is the best tool to error-free writing that will give you the professional edge. It is available in US or UK English. There is also a Tone Detector in the software that will let you know how you sound. Whether it be formal, friendly or optimistic, Grammarly will make sure the tone you are trying to achieve is the tone that you get.
- Check all of the links in the piece and make sure that they work. This includes social media profiles. Journalists want all the information to hand without having to hunt for details which may lead them to pass on the piece altogether.
- Include high-quality images that represent the product. Please make sure they can be saved and used by the recipient right out of the box.
- DO NOT WAFFLE
How long should a press release be?
A great press release should be no longer than a side of an A4 sheet of paper. Rememer to add your contact details so if there is anything extra that the reader needs they can access you easily.
How to write a Press Release for an Event/Product
The format of the blog is essential. You want the pivotal items at the top of the article, and easy for the reader to see. In addition, having your information in the correct order is vital to keep the reader’s attention and made it easy for them to find information when writing about your project. Here are things to include, and the order in which they need to appear.
At the Top (for easy access)
*Name – Location – Date of release – For Immediate Release or Embargo*
*Contact number – Email Address – Social Media Links*
The headline is the most crucial detail on the press release. It needs to be catchy and enticing to make the reader want to know more. Try to use action verbs and be direct. Whatever your unique selling point is, include it in a few words here.
We mentioned this previously but to reiterate, use an image that is high quality and a good representation of the product. Also, a journalist may want multiple photos so make sure you include a link to where high res photos are, rather than spamming the inbox of the person you want to impress.
The body of the text is for you to go into more detail. It needs to be a couple of paragraphs long, and it is where you can elaborate on the release. Cover all of the bases, Who? What? Why? When? Where? And How?
Be passionate as this is where you are able to connect with the reader. Let them get to know more about your accomplishments in the past and what you have planned for the future. Please make sure you are clear and concise; it is where Grammarly will come into its own. Also, make sure you consider the tone you want to achieve. Be sure that you are sounding professional but also put some of your personality into it to make it stand out.
Creating an emotional connection with the reader here, is a great way to have them take an interest in your press release.
For Example, with a music single release, use the body to let the reader know what your song is about. If it is a love song, a breakup song, an activist song, let the journalist know, and it could strike a chord with them. However make sure you are honest and genuine in your content. The more people relate to your writing in the body of the press release, the better chance there is of them covering it.
We love having a quote from the artists about the release which we can directly use in our articles. Use quotation marks correctly, (again Grammarly will help with this), and keep it short and sweet.
Call to Action
Towards the end of the press release create a call to action for the reader, for example, ‘Listen Here Now’. Get the reader as excited as you are about your fantastic product. You can also let them know if you are open for interviews here too.
At the end of the press release, it is customary to add ‘###” to let everyone know that is the end.
Further things to consider
There is always an option to hire a copywriter to write a press release for you, but if you have multiple releases planned, taking some time to learn this skill yourself will really pay off. Follow the guidance above and rinse and repeat for future releases.
Spend some time researching who you are going to send your press release to. It is essential to make sure that your press release is the right fit for the site you would like it highlighting on. It saves your time and expectations of a reply, and also it saves wasting the time of the person who receives it.
Once you have sent the release, be careful when following up. Spamming a journalist is not a good idea to get them to work with you. We suggest sending no more than one follow up email. Attach your press release again and if you don’t hear anything, leave it there and move on!
Where does SEO come in?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is key to your Google ranking, which in turn will get you more traffic and conversions to sales for your product.
If you are unsure what Search Engine Optimisation is, it is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Organic traffic consists of people who come across your page when putting a search into google. It is the best form of traffic and does not cost a penny when done correctly.
For Example, if you are an indie band from Stockport, you want your website to be the number one result on google when someone types ‘indie band Stockport’ into google. They may never have heard of you before, but if you are number one on Google, they will be checking you out. This creates free traffic and a chance of converting into listeners/new fans.
In order to be number one on Google, you need to lace your website with keyword-rich content that people are searching for.
Using the practise of incorporating keywords into your press release will help your content to rank higher on google, and your popularity will shoot up. Also, if a journalist creates backlinks from your site to theirs, this will help your SEO too. Backlinks are another great way to get your content to the top of google where it can be seen and enjoyed.
We hope this blog helped you to gain some understanding at to what a press release needs to entail. It is genuinely where first impressions count so follow the steps laid out above, and make a great first impression. Journalists of all kinds get inundated with new music/products/books/events all day long, so think long and hard on what makes your latest project stand out from the crowd. Remember to keep to a structure, keeping to a template like the one we have outlined about will stop you going off on unnecessary tangents or worse, not having anything to write about.
If you are a solo artist or are in a band and have your killer press release written, make sure you send it through to us! We are always looking for new music to cover and we get excited when we are introduced to a banger of a Single/EP/Album.
We are waiting to hear from you!