June 04, 2018
Comms Best Practices
/ by Marisa Abeyta
Editor's Note: A version of this post first appeared on Beyond PR.
Although the press release is a tried-and-true tactic for brand communications, there’s much more to writing and distributing one than meets the eye.
From reaching media and industry influencers to driving search visibility and sales, there are so many things a press release can achieve for today’s PR and marketing pros. However, with all of the focus on storytelling and distribution (both very important things), it can be easy to forget other press release must-dos.
Using a press release template or checklist can give your writing process the consistency needed to ensure all essentials are included.
Over the years, press releases have generally followed a standard format, including the same basic pieces of important information. And despite other changes to best practices, every press release still must include the following:
In our Quick & Easy Guide to Sharing Your Press Release with the World, we provide tips on these and other press release nuts and bolts. But, while the basic bones of all releases should remain the same, each press release’s purpose will present key differences in the way it should be formatted.
As PR and marketing practices have evolved to meet audiences’ constantly shifting needs, so has the press release. When looking at the press releases distributed across Cision Distribution by PR Newswire day in and day out, we see an ever-growing variety and no “one-size-fits-all” method to writing them.
However, we do see some trends, which can be grouped into three main categories, or press release archetypes:
To help PR pros and content marketers craft releases that better fit their needs, we’ve designed the following three press release templates for news and content promotion.
These are the classic, time-honored press releases brands issue for personnel announcements, quarterly earnings, new product launches and other standard company or corporate communications.
It’s important with any release to ensure you’re writing for the appropriate audience, and straight news tends to be targeted toward business journalists, news editors, assignment editors and investors, as well as current and potential customers. For this reason, it’s important to focus on presenting your news in a straightforward and easy-to-read manner.
Now that news releases have a longer lifespan on the Internet, feature news releases have risen in popularity. These releases take a unique angle on a brand’s news and bring their message straight to consumer audiences in ways the audience will want to read and share.
The point of an evergreen release is to provide useful and interesting information that is, and will remain, relevant to your target audience. These releases give brands a chance to stretch their storytelling muscles. Be natural and focus on writing well in your evergreen release.
Content marketers have been turning to press releases as a way to promote their content. And why shouldn’t they? Release distribution allows you to reach a wide and often engaged audience through a trusted network of websites, and can drive traffic to owned media channels.
When writing a content release, it’s critical that you treat this type of release the same way you would treat other content marketing: by writing for your audience and telling a great story.
While you can use these releases to build buzz around your brand and establish yourself as a thought leader, this content is likely used to drive engagement, demand and leads. To that end, be sure to include a direct call-to-action to optimize potential for audience engagement. Adhere to SEO best practices to improve your press release.
The next time you’re tasked with promoting your brand’s news and content, use these templates to write a release that works, and then download Cision’s Quick & Easy Guide to Sharing Your Press Release with the World. This how-to walks through the steps to take when preparing your press releases for distribution.
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