Press Release Writing Made Easy from Endurance Sportswire
Endurance Sportswire wants to make sure that your press releases are interesting and useful to any reporter or industry influencer who reads it. As such, we’ve put together an easy-to-follow press release template that includes some valuable tips and examples to help you write press releases that stand out from the crowd.
Let’s get started!
The headline or title is the first thing, and sometimes the only thing, a reporter may read, so it is imperative that it be as descriptive and interesting as possible. A good press release title will catch the eye of someone who may not even be familiar with your company or product.
At Endurance Sportswire, we see many press releases in which a company will announce the launch of a new product or event, but they fail to say what their company does (or even the name of the company/event in some cases), why their product or event is unique, and why a reporter should be interested in it.
- Bad Example: ABC Company Announces New Mobile App
- Good Example: ABC Company Takes the Pain Out of Marathon Training with Interactive Mobile Application for Runners
- Bad Example: ABC Company Hires New VP Sales
- Good Example: ABC Company Hires IRONMAN Veteran John Doe to Drive Growth Strategy Worldwide
The title of your press release should be in bold, centered and a bit larger in text size than the rest of the press release. While we tend to avoid all caps, make sure and capitalize all key words as noted in the above sample.
The subtitle is your opportunity to prominently highlight another key message or secondary message of your announcement. Using a previous example, the subtitle might say, “ABC Product, created in conjunction with Olympic coach, includes a personalized training tracker and more than 50 workouts for first time marathoners.”
So you’ve grabbed the attention of the reporter with your headline. The purpose of the first paragraph is to clearly and succinctly summarize (who, what, where, when, why and how) the news you are trying to communicate to your key audiences in two to three sentences.
The first paragraph should begin with the city and state of the company making the announcement or the location of the event you are announcing, followed by the date of your announcement. Double check to make sure the date of your release matches the day your announcement is going out. Endurance Sportswire has received press releases that are a week old and a year old according to the release date.
Typically, the first sentence begins with the name of the company (include a hyperlink to your website here) followed by a very short description of what the company does.
San Diego, Calif. (March 13, 2017) – ABC Company, makers of award-winning mobile fitness tools…
PR Tip 1 – Don’t start off an announcement by saying your company is “excited” or “thrilled” to announce XYZ news. These words do not make your announcement more newsworthy and are distracting to reporters.
PR Tip 2 – Pick up a paper to find great examples of how reporters summarize their news stories in the first two to three sentences.
PR Tip 3 – The first sentence of your paragraph should not be exactly the same as the title of your press release. Expand upon it.
BODY OF RELEASE
The second and third paragraph of your press release should include supporting facts or statements that solidify why your news is important, and a quote from the CEO or executive of the company.
Examples of Supporting Facts:
- According to industry organization Running USA, nearly 42 million Americans are considered runners with the Millennial generation representing the largest age group.
- ABC Company’s fitness mobile apps have been downloaded more than one million times.
- ABC Marathon sold out 15,000 spots in a record two hours and 15 minutes.
PR Tip 4 – Third party factoids and statistics should only be included if they have been approved for use by the source.
Quotes are one of the most underutilized areas of the press release. Most quotes you see in a press release essentially reiterate what has been said elsewhere in the announcement. Get original! Quotes provide the opportunity for the spokesperson to provide context and say something attention-getting, unique and assumptive based on opinion rather than fact.
Instead of commenting about how excited you are about the launch of your new product and how it will benefit customers, spokesperson quotes are an opportunity to hit home with a statement or opinion that would not normally be expressed in the general body of your press release.
“After interviewing thousands of runners, we realized there was a crucial missing link between mobile apps and traditional marathon training plans,” said John Smith, president of ABC Company. “ABC Company has the most popular fitness apps available today because we are the only company with direct expertise in mobile technology and 20 plus years training endurance athletes.”
If you’re making an announcement with a customer or partner, it is appropriate to include a short quote from them as well.
PR Tip 5 – Quotes should be short (one to two sentences; less than 50 words), conversational and free of corporate jargon (avoid words like synergize, cutting-edge, leverage).
PR Tip 6 – One of the best ways to get an excellent customer or partner quote is to draft a placeholder for them. This gives you the opportunity to express what you would like them to convey about your partnership and include your key messages. Most partners or customers are grateful that you’ve taken the time to draft something on their behalf, and nine times out of 10 they will keep the quote as it is written or make minor edits.
The last paragraph of your press release should include any additional information/key messages that are important to convey about your product or company. This might include bulleted key features, pricing, promotions and more.
The boilerplate is a short paragraph about your company. It typically starts out as, “About ABC Company.” It should no longer than paragraph and provide informative information about the company, what service it provides and how to reach them. In addition to a url to the company’s website, many organizations will also include links to their social media pages.
If you’re making an announcement with a customer or partner, the person putting out the press release should have the boilerplate at the bottom and the partner should have their boilerplate just above.
Include a symbol at the end of your press release to let the reader know there is no more to follow. Common symbols include: # # # or – end -.
Don’t forget to include contact information so the reporter can easily reach you: contact name, company, phone and email address. This should be located in the top right, top left or at the bottom of the press release.