How to Write a Unique Press Release that Captures Attention
In today’s crowded media landscape, sending out a generic press release is the equivalent of throwing a message in a bottle into the ocean and hoping someone finds it. To capture attention and achieve the desired impact, your press release needs to be unique, concise, and compelling.
What is a Press Release?
A press release is an official statement or announcement that is sent to the media. The purpose is to gain coverage across various platforms like newspapers, magazines, blogs, podcasts, and broadcast channels. Despite the advent of social media and other communication channels, the press release remains a reliable tool for public relations (PR) professionals.
The Anatomy of a Press Release
- Headline: A catchy title that encapsulates the essence of the news.
- Subheadline: Optional, but helpful for elaborating the headline.
- Dateline: The release date and location.
- Introduction: The “who, what, when, where, why, and how” of your news.
- Body: Additional details, quotes, and background information.
- Boilerplate: A short paragraph about the company or individual issuing the release.
- Contact Information: For media inquiries.
Steps to Write a Unique Press Release
Understand the “Why”
Before typing the first word, understand why you’re sending out a press release. Is it a product launch? An important update? Knowing the purpose will guide the tone and content.
Do Your Homework
Research your audience and the kind of publications you’re targeting. If your news is tech-related, but you’re pitching to a health-focused outlet, you’re wasting everyone’s time.
Craft a Compelling Headline
The headline is the first impression. Make it impactful, precise, and relevant. For added uniqueness, could you turn it into a question or add an element of surprise?
Start with a Strong Lead
Journalists sift through dozens or even hundreds of press releases daily. Your first paragraph should instantly convey why your news is important.
What makes your press release stand out is how you tell the story. Use descriptive language, real-world applications, or even anecdotes to highlight the significance.
Quotes add a human element to your story. They can be from the CEO, a customer, or anyone directly affected by the news. However, ensure the quotes are authentic and add value to the press release.
Provide Value-Added Elements
Incorporate multimedia elements like images, videos, or infographics. These elements not only make the press release more appealing but also provide additional information that words alone can’t convey.
Use Data Wisely
Numbers can lend credibility to your release, but use them sparingly and strategically. Too many statistics can overwhelm the reader and dilute the message.
Close with a CTA (Call to Action)
What do you want the reader to do after reading your press release? Visit a website? Attend an event? Make this clear but not too salesy.
Review and Edit
A press release with typos or grammatical errors undermines credibility. Always proofread multiple times and, if possible, have someone else look at it too.
A unique press release is not just about following a format; it’s about creating a narrative that stands out. By investing effort in understanding your audience, crafting compelling headlines, and integrating storytelling elements, you can create a press release that not only captures but retains attention.