What Makes a Successful Press Release?

Press releases are an excellent way to raise awareness of your brand by reporting something newsworthy and topical. Distribution of a company’s news can help to propel them from only being known by a niche market to reach a far wider audience.

So what kind of things should you be doing if you want to create a successful press release?

Ensure you have something original and newsworthy to report

THE most important aspect by far of launching a press release is ensuring that you have something worthwhile and newsworthy to report to the world. You need to think about this from the perspective of someone from outside your own business – what your company may deem as news internally may not be interesting to someone who has never heard of you or your product/service before. It helps if you have something completely original to report, e.g. You have carried out your own survey and want to report the most important finding from this.

Make an exciting, eye-catching headline

In a newsworthy piece the headline can make or break the release. The main hook or angle needs to be clear in the headline, and it needs to be powerful enough to draw people into wanting to read the rest of the release further. Think of how successful tabloid newspapers are at doing this with their front page headlines and you’ll get an idea of where you need to go with your own story.

Back this up with a great opening paragraph

The opening paragraph of a press release also needs to contain your news hook – it should basically be an extension of your headline, i.e. Saying the same thing but in slightly more detail. This is where, after you have managed to get someone to click onto your release, you will attempt to increase their interest (or ‘hook’ them into it) to get them to keep on reading it to the end.

Ensure the content covers the reader’s questions

As with anything journalistic, a news release should cover all of the main human instinctual questions, including the who, what, why etc. as early as possible into the piece. Ideally these should all be covered within a few lines of the introductory paragraph. If these are not answered, you will find people leaving the story, or feeling that they have not got everything they wanted to from reading it.

Don’t make it too long

A human’s attention span is very short, especially when it comes to news. This is why the most important facts and information need to come early on in the release. Ideally it should be no longer than 500 words at the very maximum, and ideally around 350-400 for the most successful length.

About the author

Craig Hampton is a PR and journalistic guru who advises businesses on creating exciting news content. His work with a PR company in London has won him great acclaim within the industry.