PR ON THE GO July 27, 2022

The Role Of Press Releases In Public Relations

Why are press releases relevant?

We asked our PR and growth experts to advise business founders on the role of press releases in Public Relations. Find out why are press releases are relevant, learn more about the format of a press release and how to distribute it best.

See the best practices for achieving publications through a press release here.

Create Strategic Messaging.

Saurav Ahuja, Marketing Specialist at ExcelTrick

"A press release is an official, written communication from an organization to the public that is used in public relations. Press releases and news releases are two of the most prevalent forms of public relations communications. This strategy is used by organizations to provide a strategic message to media outlets such as newspapers, broadcast stations, and magazines that they hope to publish or broadcast. For the purpose of generating story ideas, public relations experts often provide press releases to media outlets. In the world of public relations, a press release is a brief, engaging news story created by a PR expert and disseminated to the media. Publishing a press release is meant to get the attention of a reporter or editor at some sort of newspaper."


Spread Real News.

Martin Diaz, Public Relations Account Manager at Roar Media

"A well-written press release is considered a cost-effective marketing tool to gain the media’s attention for a potential news story, an interview, and a great way to make an official announcement. It is critical that the press release has an alluring headline, exclusive data, and real news. Press releases are recommended for awards, new product launches, mergers and acquisitions, events, new partnerships, new hires, company announcements, the release of a study or report, rebranding, campaigns, etc"


Create Media Relations.

Joseph Harisson, Co-Founder of ITcompanies.net

"If you'd like to start a conversation with a reporter, consider issuing a press release. Every week, journalists receive dozens, if not hundreds, of pointless pitches and press releases. They will notice and appreciate the effort you put into a well-written press release if it's relevant to their area of expertise or field of work. There is a greater likelihood that they will employ your services in the future, even if they cannot cover the topic or product mentioned in your press release at this moment.

A press release is not the same as a pitch, so let's talk about it as well.) Pitch your story to the media as a tantalizing teaser. To pique their interest, provide them with just enough information about what's happening with your brand. Pitches can be used to announce new products or to establish an employee as a media specialist. Send it as an email attachment so it's easy to skim.

A press release, on the other hand, is a factual report of a newsworthy event. The who, what, where, when, and most importantly, why of your news should be included in your press release. Again, a well-written press release goes a long way toward building a relationship of trust with the media."


Share Significant Achievements.

Bethany Farmer, Head of Product Development at FATJOE

"Press releases are fantastic content assets for sharing significant achievements, events, or milestones with the public. Not only can a well-written release help to establish credibility and trust, but it can also help you to reach new audiences and gain natural mentions online. This can be especially beneficial for start-ups within competitive industries. For the best chances of success when distributing your release, it’s important to craft a compelling, newsworthy headline which is short and concise. You also need to include a summary paragraph to sit above the body of your press release. This should be no longer than one to two sentences long and clearly describe the content so journalists can quickly assess your story."


Increase Public Relations Activity.

Joanne King, Company Director at ICMP

"You can connect with journalists and numerous other media sources by sending out press releases. Your press release might be picked up by a news reporter or other people with an interest in the subject if it is timely and up to date. This presents a chance for further publicity through radio and television interviews, newspaper comments, and other PR activities. However, be sure to complete your homework! A well-written press release must include the who, what, where, when, and why of the story. Why would any media organization share something if it isn't true or interesting?"


Use Visual Materials.

Matt Weidle, Business Development Manager of Buyer's Guide

"Text is processed by the human brain 60,000 times slower than visuals. Take use of that in your press release. Visuals draw a reader's attention and make it easier for readers to understand what is being spoken. Use as many images as you can to tell your tale. Include infographics with important facts and figures, images of your product, or a video showing it in use. This enhances the impact of your press release and could influence a writer to choose your story over another."


Limit The Length Of Your Press Release.

Kavin Patel, Founder & CEO of Convrrt

"Avoid giving your reader too much information. The ideal word count according to me is between 300 and 500. Any more would be a waste of space. This shouldn't be a long essay or novella; instead, it should be as succinct and to the point as possible. Utilize whitespace as much as you can; viewers find big paragraphs to be overpowering. To make the material easier to understand, use bulleted lists."


Build Search Engine Ranking.

Matt Miller, Founder & CEO of Embroker

"Traditionally, press releases were seen as a way of simply notifying the public of business related news but today they also serve as a way of building SEO.. Press releases in print media were normally treated as another format of information, but with most publications now operating either with a partner website or solely on line, how it is crafted can be critical in triggering Google search engine algorithms.

A well crafted press release that uses keyword, long tail phrases, and allows Google crawl to seamlessly match and index your website, can have a dramatic impact on your overall SEO. In addition, this coupled with a backlink on a webpage with a high domain rating, drives authority, and further touches upon key Google algorithms. By looking at press releases as more than just PR, but search engine boosters, you can gain their full benefits, and drive business and interest long after it is released."


Deliver A Journalistic Tone.

Daniel Foley, Founder of Daniel Foley SEO

"Since a well-crafted press release may serve as a potent promotional tool for any company, PR experts should be well-versed in its strategic deployment. A press release is an abridged article that emphasises an important or intriguing development within a firm or organisation. It has the journalistic tone of a news article. A press release's content needs to be engaging in order to be effective. It is important to think about the desired results and desired activities of a press release."


Establish Trust.

Adam Wood, Co-Founder of RevenueGeeks

"According to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report, the majority of consumers believe that a company's trustworthiness is vital to making a purchase. By delivering correct press releases on a regular basis, you may establish your company's trust among journalists and current and potential clients alike.. Small businesses, particularly those just getting off the ground, benefit greatly from spreading goodwill about their brand."


Earn Credibility.

Joe Troyer, CEO & Growth Advisor of ReviewGrower

"A press release can be a great method to engage a reporter in conversation. Each week, journalists get dozens, sometimes even hundreds, of pointless pitches and press releases. They will notice and appreciate it if you contact a writer with a well-written press release that is pertinent to their field or beat. Even if they are unable to cover the subject or item your press release is about at the moment, they are more willing to collaborate with you in the future because of your credibility."


Get Factual And Non-Promotional.

Sally Lechin, Director Marketing & Communications at Iapetus Holdings

"The role of a press release is to inform the public of factual, non-promotional, newsworthy information related to your business. Keep in mind, what journalists look for in a story: (a) newsworthy items, recency (b) value and relevance (c) proximity (d) celebrity, notoriety (e) scandal. They follow an official format and can be widely distributed via a service for which you pay a fee (the largest are CISION/PRNewswire, BusinessWire, Globe Newswire) and also to journalists covering specific beats or topics. These can be targeted through the services mentioned above or via MuckRack or Prowly. You can also build your own list and find out who to go after for specific news or industries. It is highly recommended to include multimedia (photos, videos, infographics) for best performance."


Put The Most Important Information At The Top.

Farzad Rashidi, Co-Founder at Respona

"A press release is a short, usually one page, description of an event or product that is distributed to the media to encourage coverage. They are most commonly used by businesses, but individuals can also use them to generate media interest.

There are a few different formats that a press release can take, but the most common is the inverted pyramid. This format starts with the most important information at the top, and then goes into less and less important details as you read down the page. This is so that if a journalist is only able to read the first few paragraphs, they will still get the most important information.

The best way to distribute a press release is to send it to journalists who are likely to be interested in the story. This can be done by finding the contact information for journalists who cover similar stories and sending them the press release directly. Another option is to submit the press release to a free press release distribution service, which will then send it out to journalists on your behalf.

There are a few things you can do to increase the chances of your press release being published. First, make sure the story is newsworthy and relevant to the journalist's beat. Second, write a catchy headline that will grab their attention. Third, keep the press release short and to the point. And finally, include quotes from people involved in the story to make it more interesting."


Deliver Stories.

Natalia Brzezinska, Marketing & Outreach Manager at PhotoAiD

"From the viewpoint of a business owner, press releases are a way to catch the journalist’s attention and get publication. However, to appeal to journalists, you don’t offer them products - journalists want stories. So, a press release should be an insightful source of information about the latest improvements of your product or outstanding company events..

When writing a pitch with a press release, go straight to the point. Journalists prefer emails that are short and catchy. To get published, forget about flowery language and promotional speech. Instead, focus on facts that are worth mentioning."


Focus in 400 words.

Kristen Skladd, Owner at KMS Group

"While some may consider press releases to be obsolete, they are absolutely still relevant in being able to present a bigger picture that’s far beyond just the pitch. While a press release should be catchy, it also should list the focus front and center without making a journalist have to reread over and over to understand what it’s about. A simple format is under 400 words (approximately one page) – title, subtitle, intro paragraph, secondary paragraph, quote, wrap-up, boilerplate. It’s best to usually include the release in a Dropbox with photos and include the link with a note for more details in the pitch itself. "


Fulfill Informational Needs.

JJ Nelson, Director of Brand Communications at Bergmeyer

"In my experience a press release serves as the universally authoritative host of any and all pertinent facts and detailed information for journalists, team-members, partners, etc. to access and use as needed. The press release is more critical than ever in the age of mis-information sharing, and journalists especially appreciate when PR pros provide a formal press release in addition to any pitch outreach to refer back to for key information or to fact-check when writing their story. If you think of it this way, journalists can have a multitude of stories “in process" at any given point with variable time-sensitive deadlines associated with each article. Many journalists I know often file stories in folders associated to each news announcement to access later when they’ve started to draft their article, and having the press release as a reference to source facts and key information from is crucial for saving them time and energy from having to go back and forth over email or phone to get what they need. There are many journalists who won’t even consider your pitch without a formal release attached because their time is limited and precious at baseline. Beyond the press release’s informational benefits, consider the value they provide your relationship with the journalist by making their day-to-day work that much easier, and reassuring them of your professional credibility.

Ultimately I utilize a press release as the supplementary appendix to my pitch whenever I am reaching out to the journalist. Having it accompany your abbreviated pitch as FYI should be considered a best practice for PR pros at all costs when communicating with journalists, and from your team’s perspective, the press release helps unify and align all parties with a one-stop-shop sharable resource for messaging and informational needs. The less places people have to pull information from, the more confident you are that your narrative is consistent no matter who is telling it."


Generate Free Publicity.

Henry Miller, Co-Founder at Starregister.org

"While the term "press release" may conjure up images of reporters and photographers crowded around a podium, in reality, most press releases these days never see the light of day in print. Instead, they exist primarily online as a way for businesses to control the narrative around their products, services, and events.

Despite their modern incarnation as digital content, the basic principles behind press releases remain the same: they are intended to generate free publicity for businesses by piquing the interest of reporters and influencers who can help spread the word. In order to be successful, a press release must be newsworthy, well-written, and timely. It should also include relevant contact information so that interested parties can follow up for more information.

While some business owners write their own press releases (and with a little practice, it's not difficult to get pretty good at it), many others choose to outsource this task to a public relations or marketing agency. There are a few key benefits to working with professionals on your press releases: first and foremost, they have extensive experience crafting stories that are likely to capture media attention; secondly, they likely already have established relationships with members of the media which can give your release a leg up over those sent cold; finally, they can help you navigate any industry-specific jargon or insider knowledge that might trip you up."


Push To Want To Learn More

Chandler Rogers, Co-Founder & CEO of Relay

"A press release is the best medium for sharing information with journalists as well as industry professionals and new and old customers alike. Press releases should be concise and strategically written for their audience, which usually means about a page long. Press releases can be sent directly to contacts with a summary of the content so that readers know exactly what to expect. In order to secure coverage from a press release, it is imperative that it be written with correct information and with a compelling push to want to learn more. This is how you will hook the media and drive interest forward."


Email Your Release To Journalists Individually.

Jane Griffin, Owner of Positive Story

"I tend to use press releases for launches of companies, products and services, as well as for announcements about new projects and investment. Distribution can be tricky as blanket emails can be rejected by the media outlet's server, so I usually email my release to journalists individually, link to it on social media and add it to the client's website. One press release I did earlier this year about a luxury redevelopment in Chelsea for an investment client in the UAE, resulted in 25 pieces of global coverage in the client's target media, including the Evening Standard and Property Week."


Employ Hyperlinks.

Yasmine Jarkass, PR specialist at Pearl Lemon PR

"A corporate logo, a paragraph explaining the announcement, a headline, and an attention-grabbing viewpoint would all be included in the structure of a press release that I would say I utilize. A press release is typically easily shared and made accessible through the creation of internet linkages; as a result, you employ hyperlinks, social media links, quotes from well-known persons to connect to them, and multimedia sourcing. The greatest way to make it accessible to both readers and journalists is by using this method."


Repurpose Your Press Release.

Cayla Thurman, Business Reputation Consultant at Rize Reviews

"Press releases matter because they are part of the news cycle. Additionally, press releases can be repurposed in multiple ways, such as leveraging them for sales, creating a blog post about them, and even publishing them in your newsletter."




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