Beginners Guide On Writing Press Release For Your Small Business

What Is a Press Release? 

Press Release is also known as “news release” or “media release”. 

It is a piece of written or recorded content specifically designed to release information to the media about any recent updates of an organization. 

A regular release of informational news about a company given to the media to build a connection with media organizations and journalists over time. 

The aim of a press release is to make the company stand out and build communication to the world through media. 

small business press release guide

Companies make their official announcements through press releases issuing the message to the public and media. 

When To Put Out A Press Release? 

One thing is for sure, small businesses or any company for that matter, should not keep putting out Press releases like it is daily news or blogs. 

You have to really examine the potential of your company news, and whether it should make it in a press release or not. 

If you want to put out a Press Release, it must be something you as a company want to express, inform, reveal or announce. 

best time send press release

Any decision that mostly has a direct impact on your consumers, stakeholders or to the world, can be put in a Press Release. 

Whether it is launching a new product, staff development, product update or merger, you have something to tell the world regarding the changes that yet to come. 

The key is to be honest about whether it is newsworthy or not. Then, you are just good to go. 

Why Should Small Businesses Send Press Releases? 

why businesses send press release

Not just small businesses, but companies of all sizes send press releases to attain different sets of goals. 

Here are different set of objectives that your small business can achieve :  

Press Release help you get media coverage 

Whenever your company releases a new product or updates a product, you need media exposure to get the word out. 

Press releases can actually help your product gain attention from media and print houses to get it published for millions of readers to read. 

Press Release Helps You To Build Brand Reputation

Brand reputation is something that takes time to build. It is so abstract that it is hard to really track the reputation of your brand. 

Press releases make it easy as you help you build the reputation for your brand. 

Also, if you are re-branding or changing things within your company, it helps to bring things in a positive light.

Press Releases Helps In Crisis Management

When things go south in your company, it is essential to tell the story from your perspective. 

Also, it is better if things come out from your side, so people can understand your side of the story. It even put you in the right spot in the midst of all the mess. 

When top-notch media houses publish your press releases including your product or website links. 

It can really work when you are selling a new e-book, online product, services or blog. So you can get reputed sources to link your URLs helping your website rank. 

Different Types of Press Releases 

types of press release

Product Updates 

One of the most common changes a brand goes through is updating their products or services over time. 

These changes might be minor or major, but it is significant for the people to know. So companies often do their product updates in their press releases. 

It is essential for companies to keep updating their products through which they are connected with their consumers as well. 

These press releases also explain what changes are made, why it was necessary to do and what benefits consumers will get from it. 

Sometimes product updates can also be about discontinuation, re-branding or any other such crucial information that needs to reach the consumer. 

Grand Openings 

Grand openings happen when you open a new office, remodel the old office or relocate. 

You have to announce the details of this new office, opening dates, location of the grand opening and so on. It also features who will be attending the opening. 

You also do these when you extend a new franchise or new branch or expand your company to another city or country. 

Such press releases are to announce the successes of your brand and extend gratitude to people who helped to make it possible. 

If it is about relocating or starting a new office, you can also pass on more information about what consumers or clients can expect. 

Mergers & Acquisitions

Any changes within the organization is also crucial to be public and make it a significant press release for the media.

It becomes more significant if it is addressing the changes for your current as well as upcoming stakeholders regarding the trajectory of your brand. 

So mergers and acquisitions need to be extensive in information about all the details such as involved organizations and  merger &  acquisitions terms. 

You also need to add quotes from all the decision-makers in the company including the primary members of the leadership team. 

The aim is to update the public, stakeholders, market, media and consumers about your organization change and how it impacts everything. 

Rebranding 

Rebranding is a challenge for any company to execute it successfully on the ground level without creating any confusion or awkwardness. 

To make this transition smooth, a press release is one of the best solutions. You can just announce your rebranding transition. 

You can rebrand through sending out press releases including all the details about the changes. 

In this press release, you also mention the reason for the rebranding, dates from when these changes will come to effect and quotes. 

Website Redesign 

Website redesign can be the part of the rebranding process or maybe you are just updating some identity-driven changes. 

You may be just bringing some navigational changes on your website along with including new options which a consumer must be aware of. 

Especially if you are an online business, website redesign necessarily calls for announcing it through press releases to prevent any confusion. 

How To Write A Press Release For Your Small Business? 

Decide Your Angle To The Story 

Image Source: Prowly

Press Release is about writing a news story. So selecting what story to tell and what to not is a crucial part of writing a Press Release. 

Because if you are writing or writing it at a particular whether or whether you are not supposed to, it won’t be heard. 

So since deciding what is newsworthy regarding your small business is important, it is necessary to examine that through an angle. 

If you are able to find an angle to a story, then it might pass the first test. However, that alone isn’t enough. 

But if you have already decided the story, the next thing you need is the angle. It is basically finding a perspective to your story. 

It will make your story more meaty and relative to understand, and hence grab attention to the journalists and media houses. 

Here are some common angle to a story to explore 

Inform : How a major change happened in a company or organization can be explained. 

Drama:  You can try to evoke some kind of emotional response or relatability amongst the readers. 

Conflict:  You can tell the other side of the story to bring a conflict in the existing scene. 

Growth: Highlighting the development, growth and progress towards a problem, issue or an organization. 

You just need to take care of different elements while attending any angle. These elements will be Who, What, When, Why and Where of the story. 

Write A Headline That Is Irresistible

formula creating press release headline

You already know what announcement you are going to make through the press release. 

Just like any blog, you need a compelling title, the success of a press release also starts from an irresistible headline. 

You need to make this one line captivating and interesting enough to make people read it. 

Remember, small businesses do not have the kind of dominance or brand value as large corporations have.  

So very often to grab attention, you have to make it something click worthy or read worthy. 

Reporters receive  hundreds of press releases on a daily basis, so you really need to make the headline impressive enough to get attention.  

So invest a good amount of time writing just the headline of the press release. 

Make It A valuable Piece of News 

You need to remember that press release is essentially a news piece, focus should be to give it a news value. 

It should meet the standards of an informational news so reports, influencers and other media persons will be more likely to share it. 

The announcement part of your press release must be loud and clear. It should appear upfront making it valid to circulate. 

The first para of your press release should include : 

  • Who 
  • What 
  • Why 
  • Where 
  • How 

It must be factually accurate, detailed and verified. Reports or media persons won’t entertain any fluff information or any background details in a press release. 

Media organizations need to know whether your information is verified from the authoritarian position of your company or not. 

Press releases also tend to feature brand stories told  from their perspective with an authoritarian ground. 

Putting Effective Quote 

With the first paragraph, you have established the event that is taking place on a certain date involving specific people and so on. 

Once you set the scene, you need to bring more details in to give this information more context. Here you will be demonstrating the story around your announcement with all facts. 

To make it happen, quotes from the leadership or decision-making positions need to be inserted in your press release. 

You can also include the quotes of the executive team, administration team and those who are directly impacted from this change in or by the company. 

tips use perfect quotes

It is very essential to quote all the key participants and authoritarian voices to emphasize this development. 

Bring people who have distinctive perspectives on this announcement and add value to your press release. 

Providing The Required Background Information On The Subject 

So you have put across all the factual information in the first paragraph and build more to the announcement through the quotes. 

Now in this last paragraph, you need to keep in mind the reader already has all the essential information about the announcement. 

They can very well extend the information or share the story around with this much of the data. 

You might be tempted to provide extra facts and information about the development or just your company, which is not recommended. 

You need to make your press release communicative, helpful and concise. 

Image Source: Hubspot Blog

You need to make your press release communicative, helpful and concise. 

What you need to do is add something meaningful and strengthening to this already set narrative. 

The statements could be something about the development of the project or commenting on the future implication of this announcement. 

The “Effect” of the announcement, or moreover benefit that people will gain through it, will be a great element to add. 

You can also utilize newsjacking to add value here in the last para of your press release. 

Now, newsjacking is simply relating your development or announcement to something currently going on, and how it will make better. 

Summarizing the bottomline 

Public or media isn’t very good with people or companies who fail to clearly indicate what their company does or what the announcement was actually about. 

So overthrowing a press release often ends up making a joke of the press release in the world. 

Your goal should be to really steer away with very precise and accurate information towards the end of your press release. 

After reading it, a reader must know in clear and simple words, what it was all about, even if there is much more to it. 

Image Source: Express Writers

So first of all, make sure you have described what your company does clearly, and best in plan English along with the link to your website. 

To really get whether your press release is working through a common reader or not, just ask a colleague or friend to read it without any context. 

Any layman should be able to highlight what was the announcement and what your company is all about, if not more. 

If you are not getting easy answers from your friends or colleague, you need to re-work your press release. 

Tips For Writing A Press Release 

Define Your Goals For Press Release 

When you are sending press releases to journalists or media houses, you need to define your goals even before starting to write your press release. 

You need to ask yourself – What you are trying to achieve with this press release? 

What goals do you want to achieve here ? 

  • You want to boost your social media following
  • You want to increase brand awareness
  • You want to promote your product 
  • You want to update about a product 

You just have to be specific about the goal you want to achieve with the press release. Then, it will be easy to craft the story and write the press release accordingly. 

Give It A Proper Format 

Even if the format won’t be the first thing a media house or journalist notices in your Press Release, they definitely will notice if it is not done correctly. 

Journalists are very clear about selecting the Press Release for the publications. They are just one step away to put your email in trash. 

So it’s better you don’t give them a reason to. Formatting your Press Release with the standards accepted in the industry must be religiously followed. 

It is very clear to follow one of those accepted ideal Press Release templates available on the web, and follow through. 

Once you obey the format, now you can just focus on writing an amazing Press Release. 

Put Yourself In The Journalist’s Shoes 

You are writing the press release to submit it to journalists and media houses to get approval for publishing. 

Make sure you write your press release thinking like a journalist. Put yourself in their shoes to understand what they expect. 

Pitch your story that grabs their attention and add value to their publication but to ensure  journalists attend your press release, here are few tips

  • Keep your press release short and sweet. Respect the time for your journalists and not waste their time with extra fluff content.
  • Make sure the information is easy to find. Just tell the information right away.
  • Do not overdo. If you try to add too much in the press release, it might overwhelm the journalist or the readers. 

Grabbing Attention Through Captivating Headline 

Title of your Press Release should be complete and informative on its own.

 It should communicate the primary messaging of the Press Release or the essence of what a reader is going to read in it. 

Your headline should be in the centre of the document. Make sure you don’t add too much verbal clutter to make it passive in read. 

Image Source: Honey Web Solution

The headline should stand out from the body to give a striking context to the rest of the information. 

But don’t try to put everything in the headline and make it stuffy to read. 

Don’t go for descriptive but make sure it is direct and communicates the “announcement” of the company. 

Keep your title within 20 words, and not more than that. Remember, you don’t need to take the pressure of bringing it all in from the actual message. 

It should be just sufficient enough to pull people in with the best part of information in your Press Release being in title itself. 

Don’t Build The Story, Just Tell It  

Lot of writers decide to flow their creative juices in the Press Release only. They try to make it a narrative slowly-building suspense story. 

Well, you need to really ditch this “novel” attitude for writing Press Releases. It should be succinct and to-the-point. 

You don’t want to put a cliffhanger here or build the story to give out information bits by bits. 

Just give all the crucial information right away with the first paragraph of the press releasing. 

Furthermore you will add more to the story to give it a context along with quotes and commentary on the effect of this announcement in different avenues.

If you play around too much, you will be out from the inbox of those media houses or journalists. 

Finding An Interesting Angle

You know the content very well. It is all information and facts right there to your face. 

Then, there is a story about why it is done or will be done, what it includes, what will happen and much more. 

But All this doesn’t bring the interesting aspect of the story. If you want to say something about something, you need an angle to approach. 

Image Source: Backlinko

And you better find an interesting one, to really make it more readable and accessible to people. 

It is about where you are coming from when you are communicating this information or story. 

You have to take a ground to stand on what you’re offering. 

For Example, If your company is launching an eco-friendly bike, you might announce how your company decided to participate in saving the environment with your product. 

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