Press releases are one of the most effective ways to communicate your brand’s news, achievements, and stories to the media. They can help you generate buzz, increase visibility, and establish credibility for your brand. But how do you write a press release that stands and grabs the attention of journalists and influencers?
To help answer these questions, we’ve pulled together a little press release 101 guide, where we’ll cover everything you need to know about releases and how they can be a valuable tool for your brand. We’ll explain what press releases are, why they matter, how to write them, how to distribute them, and how to track their results. Whether you are a brand owner, a PR professional, or a marketer, this blog post will help you master the art and science of press releases and create an attention-grabbing release that will stand out from the competition 🚀
First of all – what is a press release?
By definition, a press release is an official statement (written or recorded) that an organisation issues to the news media and beyond. These can be written in a variety of formats (email, letter, fax, etc.) and the main purpose of any release is to inform the public about something important or exciting that is happening in your company or organisation. Think new collaborations, brand expansion, product launches, major events and milestones, etc.
What should you include in a press release?
Journalists can receive hundreds of emails a day, so it’s important that you present your content in a way that stands out, is relevant, and shares your information in a clean, easy-to-understand style to avoid your release being overlooked.
Releases will typically contain a combination of the following elements:
- A catchy headline that summarises the main point of the news
- The headline of your press release email is arguably the most important component as this is what will initially capture a journalist’s attention and encourage them to read further. It should be between 5 and 10 words long, and include keywords like new, launch, product name/type, and any relevant trends or seasons to hook them in. If your brand name is well-known, use it in the title, otherwise, skip it. The main thing to remember is to be clear and concise, not too creative or waffly.
- A lead paragraph that answers the who, what, why, and where questions
- This acts a nice little summary to give journalists all the answers they need quickly so they can gauge whether the release and the topic it covers is relevant to their upcoming articles
- A body paragraph that provides more details and context
- This offers a little more insight into the topic. For product-focused releases, this might include the design process, how it differs from other similar products on the market, the materials used, when its will launch (if it hasn’t already), etc.
- Images to showcase the products or brand news the release is highlighting
- While the headline is what peaks their curiosity, the images are what will hook them in and keep their attention. As we’ve said before, journalists have very little time to spare and cannot read the full details of every release they receive, so let your images do the talking! With good-quality images, the media will be able to take one look and decide if your products match the topics they’ll be covering before they’ve even read a single word.
- A quote from a spokesperson or a key stakeholder
- This isn’t essential but can be a great way to offer more insight from the people behind the brand, especially as there are journalists who may be looking to hear directly from brands as part of their next article.
- A footer that gives some background information about the organisation and contact information so media can reach you for more details or interviews
- If they loved what they’ve seen so far and want to know more, make sure they have all the info they need to do so!
Remember, journalists need you! They have a set number of articles to publish, and you are making their job easier if you present a great press release they can use.
When should you send your press release out?
This is where understanding lead times is crucial.
For reference, a lead time is the difference between when a journalist starts working on their article and the date the article is published. If you are wanting to feature your products in seasonal publications or gift guides for certain occasions you need to be aware of the lead times your target publications are working with. Send your press release late and you might easily miss your once-a-year chance of getting press coverage when it matters the most!
We generally divide publications into two categories: long lead and short lead. Keep in mind that these are not written in stone and certain news outlets or journalists might work with different lead times to what is listed here.
- Long lead date: Quarterly, bi-monthly and monthly glossy magazines which typically work between 2-5 months ahead of key seasonal events. It’s important to have your high-res seasonal images available for journalists to download as early as possible so that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to be featured in publications such as Livingetc, House Beautiful, ELLE Decoration and more.
- Short lead date: These tend to be the weekly magazines, daily newspapers and online publications like Metro, Good Homes (online) and The Sunday Times. To secure a spot within these publications, we recommend having your images available and getting your press releases sent between one week to two months ahead of the specific season or event.
Why use Press Loft to send press releases out?
If you are trying to send out press releases on your own, the normal workflow looks something like this:
- find the right publication
- find journalist
- discover email address
- write press release
- send an email and high-res images
- hire a media monitoring agency to let you know if you have had press coverage (or manually search yourself)
When you are using our service, Press Loft does everything on the list but writing the press release itself (though with our new AI press release tool we basically tick that box too!). This way, you can focus on what you know the best: your products. We take care of the rest.
We also offer international distribution if you are looking to get featured in other markets as well.
Want to learn more?
Our founder Nikki did a whole video workshop on the Dos and Don’ts of press release writing to help you get started. Tune in to see some examples from the platform!
What is Press Loft?
Press Loft is a PR platform specialising in the home, gift and lifestyle sectors that helps thousands of brands to get their products into the press. Our PR tools allow brands to easily secure press coverage and quality backlinks for SEO by connecting them with our network of 25,000+ journalists, bloggers and influencers.
Did you know that we offer a FREE trial of our PR tools (including press release distribution) for new brands? Click here to start your free trial and join over 1,000 brands already using Press Loft to boost their brand!