A press release is an official media statement issued by an organisation to be distributed to various news channels and media outlets. The crux in writing a press release is finding a suitable angle with an attention-grabbing headline to capture the eye of the reader — be it a reporter, investor or even the general public.
To create a newsworthy press article, it is critical to start by finding an interesting angle for the story. The key to finding the right angle for the press release is to focus on creating highly remarkable content. This means highlighting the focal points of the story, and explaining the value behind it.
To do so, dive deeper behind the story, and here are pointers to consider:
1. Valuable background information on the subject matter or the featured individual
For starters, answering the “who,” “what,”” “why” and “where” would give the reader a better understanding of the story. Keep in mind that this should be provided in a succinct and clear manner in the first paragraph of the press release. Critical information should be covered in the first few sections of the press release as reporters often do not have the time and capacity to sift through paragraphs of details and fluffy background information. As such, provide them with the key facts that will help them tell the story.
2. Spins to the story
There may be times when multiple press releases are curated for the same product launch or event inauguration. In which case, it is important to find ways to creatively draw out different spins on the story, so that it is worth reading to the public and reporters. Oftentimes, the reader may already have key details they need regarding the announcement. Offer details that can strengthen the narrative, like creative or noteworthy ways the company developed the project or product, or even provide insights on the future implications of the announcements, if applicable.
3. Quotables and notables
Use interviews and quotes from key stakeholders, such as your guest of honour, chair of a committee, a team leader, award recipient, project leads, or those directly impacted by the announcement. Pick one or two critical spokespeople and focus the quotes around their unique perspective on the product or event. By quoting and including key figures or statements within the press release, it further amplifies the importance of the story. The chosen quote should shape the narrative and emphasise the core of the announcement.
4. Headlines that grab attention
Has someone received a special award or certification which you can spotlight in the story? In such a situation, provide information about the prize awarded and why the recipient was given the award. If there is a specific piece of work or achievement attained by the awardee, display images or provide key details about it.
If not, find out if there is a new product launch that can entice the public’s eye. Press releases that feature a product launch are valuable to get the word out about the new solutions an organisation has developed. It should emphasise the product’s pricing, availability, specs and any other details that may be valuable to consumers.
Once an angle is set, work on creating a compelling headline for the story. With only one line to work with, consider the words carefully to make the headline captivating so that it can stand out among the thousands of other headlines a reporter may see in his mailbox. It should get the corporate message across and appeal to the readers, encouraging them to want to read more about the story. Avoid a statement that is an over-exaggeration and hyperbolic as it can be a huge turn off. A good headline is often concise, straightforward, catchy, and within 10 words — short yet powerful.
As with all writing, no small effort should be spared in crafting press releases. And if they are noticed and published in the papers, consider it a piece of work well-written.
Because it’s the thought that counts – Socium Thoughts bring together our thoughts and opinions on all things communication.
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