As the illustration shows, the first four components all communicate
your message long before the actual “guts” of the release appear.
Readers need to know who is sending the information (brand). They want
to know, specifically, who can explain things if necessary (contact
info). It has to grab attention (headline). It then needs to cement
their decision to read more (lede).
All of this must happen before the rest of the release matters because,
if it doesn’t, the rest of the release (the body and boiler) won’t
As you navigate through this writing process, keep a couple of general
rules of engagement in mind. First, grammar and punctuation are
non-negotiable. Nothing kills credibility faster than spelling and
sentence errors. Next, avoid hype. This means no using exclamation
points – no matter how exciting you believe your news is. It screams
amateurism. Lastly, as you see in the example, keep paragraphs short.
This keeps your release looking clean and limits the chance that a
reader gets lost or confused in the middle.
Press Release Step 2: Write Place
Targeting is everything. Remember, you control, at least initially, who
sees this information. Hopefully, you have good data that tells you
where sending this release will result in the most reads or whatever
else your stated goal is.
If you need help in building a media list – a good resource is
easymedialist.com. There are fees for the lists (the more you need, the
more expensive it will be), but they aren’t bad and it sure beats having
to look up local, regional, or national lists manually. Time is money,
Past all of that, remember if you really want to control things, you
should also consider publishing the release first on your website and
then pushing out the link through your distribution channels.
Press Release Step 3: Write Time
Now that your release is written and your targets have been established,
when is the best time to publish and/or distribute? The answer again
lies in your data.
Depending on how you will distribute your information, determine when
your audience opens email most frequently or visits particular social
media sites. Or, if you’re a little more advanced as an Owned Media
source and have developed a consumer expectancy for when new items will
be published, stick to that.
The takeaway here is to do what works best in individual situations until you develop some distribution patterns.
Ready to write your own? Get your NAA Press Release template here! Download, fill in your
information, and share your news! (Don’t see what you need? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.