When to write a press release and how to get it published

Kim Morrison
Kim Morrison

A press release is more than an announcement about what is happening in your business. It is a sales tool, and works especially well if there is a newsworthy story behind it.

You should write your press release as if you’re an outside reporter, provide some good quotes and information from top movers and shakers either within your company, customers, or business sector. Then you need to figure out who to send it to in order to make it worthwhile.

The set-up of a press release is standard throughout the industry. You need to write it this way in order for any news organisation to take it seriously.

HEADLINE

There is a right way and a wrong way to write a headline for a press release. They need to be in bold font, with the first word capitalized, carry the right keywords, and grab the attention of your audience as well as the gatekeeper.

Body Copy

You need to put the name of your town and county, as well as the date, on the first line. Then include an attention-grabbing first sentence that leads the reader to want to read more about the story. You want to avoid using filler words and make the body copy as compact as possible. State only facts, and save the smoke and fluff for other marketing copy.

Who, What, When, Why, Where and How

As you write, try to answer the five w’s and the h too. This will help you keep your copy short and to the point. You want to put the most newsworthy information at the front and at the end of the press release.

Make It Press Ready

Remember that no one is going to edit your press release for you; it needs to be ready to print and be edited. Double check your spelling and fact check the information you include in the press release.

Give Them More

At the end you can include links that direct people to more information about your event or business. Providing that little bit of extra information can be the difference of getting your press release published or not.

Send It to the Right People

One huge key to getting your press release published is that you send it to the right people. So many press release companies are disingenuous when it comes to this part. They blanket out the press release without any regard to where it’s going. Don’t do that; send it to the right people. That means you will need to do some research first.

You can draft a press release that gets results if you follow these rules. Write it in the third person, include just the facts, provide contact information, and send it to the right people so that it will get the attention it deserves.

BREAKING NEWS

Facebook Messenger Releases New Customer Service Tools for Websites: With the launch of Messenger Platform 2.3, Facebook rolled out several new tools that will make customer interactions on websites more seamless, intuitive, and enjoyable than ever before. These updates include quick replies for requesting users’ email addresses or phone numbers, new message tags, and two new Messaging Insights API metrics. Facebook also expanded the customer chat plugin capabilities to include an easy setup tool, persistent menu support, in-browser user notifications, and much more.

Facebook Tests Messenger Chatbot Alternative: Facebook is testing a new self-serve sponsored messaging tool targeted to small businesses that are not ready for, nor interested in, building a chatbot. A prototype of this new tool, called Messenger Broadcasts, was spotted in late November 2017. TechCrunch reports that a Messenger Broadcast Composer, which allows companies to blast a message to anyone who’s already started a conversation with them within Messenger, is now being tested among a small percentage of pages in the U.S., Mexico, and Thailand. The tool is free to use, but will eventually evolve into a paid product and limit the number of messages that can be broadcast to deter spam.

Facebook Introduces Video Chat to Messenger Lite: Facebook added video chat to Messenger Lite, the simpler version of Messenger for Android on older phones and slower Internet connections. Messenger Lite offers core messaging capabilities like sending text, photos, links, and audio calls to people with either Messenger Lite or Messenger and now offers users the ability to have face-to-face conversations.

Facebook Adds Boost Button to Group Posts: The Boost Post button has arrived on Facebook Groups. With this new tool, group admins get three targeting options for link posts inside a group: generate more clicks; attract more engagement with likes, shares, and comments; or prioritize potential customers. Admins may also integrate a WhatsApp number, change the call-to-action button, gather insights on reach, and more.

Instagram Reportedly Preparing to Release In-App Video, Voice Calling, and Other New Features: TechCrunch reports that files “buried” in the Instagram and Instagram Direct stand-alone app’s Android Application Packages (APKs) reveal files and icons for Call and Video Call features. Because APKs “often show files for unreleased features that are lying dormant in an app waiting to be surfaced when the company is ready to launch them,” it’s widely speculated that Instagram will soon roll out the ability to make voice and video calls through the app.

Instagram Tests New Ways to Save and Bookmark Posts, Data, and Chats: The Next Web reports that Instagram is currently experimenting with new ways to organize, bookmark, and save your content and data. One such feature is the ability to “star” a chat, which marks it as a favourite and makes it easy to reference in the future. Another is the ability to download all of your data from Instagram’s servers. This data includes all of your photos, the information you’ve added to your profile, and more.

Twitter Introduces Bookmarks and Other New Sharing Tools: Twitter added a new share icon on every tweet with three new ways to share content and save things you want to explore later. Twitter rolled out Bookmarks, which provides a discreet alternative to using the Favourite button. Twitter also added the option to share a tweet via Direct Message or share off of Twitter any number of ways. Bookmarks are now available globally on Twitter for iOS and Android, Twitter Lite, and mobile.twitter.com.

Twitter Notifies Users Mentioned in Group Direct Messages: Twitter announced that participants in group direct messages will receive notifications if they’re mentioned during the conversation. This update is available now in the mobile apps and is coming soon to Twitter Lite and the web version.

YouTube Adds New Live-Streaming Tools and Features: YouTube introduced “more ways to watch live videos and interact with your community in real time.” YouTube is starting to roll out a new chat replay feature, which appears alongside the video and unfolds exactly as it did when the video was live-streaming. YouTube also announced automatic captioning for broadcasts in English, location tags for mobile live streams and video uploads, and the ability to set up Super Chats for channels using IFTTT.

YouTube Rolls Out Updated YouTube Studio: YouTube has been beta testing and experimenting with the new YouTube Studio, an updated version of Creator Studio where users can upload videos, manage their channel, and grow their community, since June 2017. This week, YouTube announced plans to make YouTube Studio the default experience for many creators “over the coming weeks.” It will include three new YouTube Analytics metrics and a new dashboard that provides insights on your latest upload, personalized recommendations, and instant updates on the latest news from across YouTube.