What are the critical elements and parts of a press release?
To help you write the most complete press release, we asked PR managers, journalists and reporters this question for their best insights. From the main points to contact information to the headline, there are several elements that are considered salient to a well-crafted press release.
Here are ten elements these professionals always include in their press releases:
- The Main Points
- The Introduction or Hook
- The Call-to-Action
- Unique Angle
- A Customer Testimonial
- Contact Information
- The Closing Symbol
- The Boilerplate
- The Headline
The Main Points
There is an old rule in journalism that you should never bury the lead, and is one element you should keep in mind when putting together the first paragraph of your press release. It is critical to remember that journalists read hundreds of press releases a week and if yours does not get to the point quickly, they will often disregard it as a matter of saving time.
Therefore, it is critical to remember to put the who, what, where, when and why in that opening paragraph, making sure you give the pertinent details of your core message clearly and concisely. In doing so, you will ensure that they have seen the main points you wished to convey and will be encouraged to read the entire piece. By not burying the lead in your press release, and getting to your main points at the beginning, you will make it more likely that your press release will end up being published instead of tossed.
Adelle Archer, Eterneva
As you draft a press release for your business, include quotes. The quote gives an essential human element and voice, communicating a strong message. It allows one to make a claim by giving it gravity that a neutral voice could not. When giving a quote, ensure the spokesperson displays a level of authenticity or thoughtfulness that resonates with your audience. The importance of including quotes in your press release cannot be understated, and while not all of them must be serious, they all need to be noteworthy.
Joshua Chin, Chronos
The Introduction or Hook
The most important element of a press release is the introduction, or the hook. Put yourself in the position of the people who most receive press releases, and how many they might see in a day. These individuals want to be sure that they are using their time wisely and are only press releases with the most promise. So it is imperative that your first few sentences really grab the reader, or hook them, so to speak. If the hook isn’t there, or isn’t impressive enough to keep someone reading, then all of the other elements of the press release are moot, because it has already been passed up. So, in order to write the most impressive press release, focus on how you plan to grab readers’ attention and keep them wanting to know more.
Karim Hachem, La Blanca
An essential element of a press release is a call to action at the end of the story. A call to action helps engage the readers, but also prevents them from digging for more information. Quality CTAs, in conjunction with a clear and concise press release, build intrigue, increase brand awareness, website traffic, and lead to more sales, followers, and eyes on a brand. Press releases are important marketing tools, so a call to action is one of the most important elements to a quality press release.
Datha Santomieri, Steadily
One element of a press release that is most important is the unique angle. A press release should have some sort of hook or angle that makes it stand out from other press releases about the same topic. In order for people to remember your press release, it needs to have something that makes it memorable.
This doesn’t mean you need to come up with something completely out of the left field.
The key is finding something that makes your company’s story different from everyone else’s – a unique angle that makes it newsworthy that will grab the attention of journalists and make them want to cover your story. If your story isn’t giving a new angle to something, then it’s not worth writing about.
Shaun Connell, Connell Media
A Customer Testimonial
A customer testimonial brings life to your company news. A press release is used to announce that you are bringing some sort of value to the world, and a customer quote is supplemental insight that reaffirms those sentiments; it crystalizes the story you are telling. A powerful customer testimonial is one element of a press release that transforms your message into a relatable story to make it more believable, shareable, and memorable.
Alex Wang, Ember Fund
Imagine this: you read a wonderful press release full of enticing information and you want to learn more. But upon further review of the press release, you realize that the press team information isn’t supplied for you to reach out to them. Remembering to head a press release correctly is paramount for this reason. A good press release is nothing without information on how to reach the press team to take the next step. Ensure that your press release includes information on how to reach the publicity or marketing team. This can be done at the top of the press release in a header, or following the sign-off at the bottom.
Chandler Rogers, Relay
The Closing Symbol
Elements of a press release can vary a bit depending on the type of press release you are making. If you submit a press release to print news outlets, it’s important to include an end or close to show the end of the official press release. Signify the end with three pound symbols (###) to signal the journalist not to wait or look for further information. It also prevents any extra text after the official end symbol from being accidentally published.
Ruth Novales, Fortis Medical Billing Professionals
The boilerplate is a short “about” section at the end of a press release that provides background information about the company issuing the news. In addition to providing facts about the company’s product, service, event, or brand featured, it also may contain compelling information on its’ mission and core values. In today’s digital age, boilerplates also contain hyperlinks to an entity’s website and/or social media profiles.
Natalia Morozova, Cohen, Tucker & Ades P.C.
Here’s my take on your query:One element of a press release is the headline. This is what readers will see first and it sets the tone for the rest of the piece. It should be short, catchy, and engaging.
A good headline can get people to read more, whereas an underwhelming one will deter them from even reading past it. The rest of the content should be able to support that headline in some way—it should be interesting, unique, and relevant to the story itself.
The main thing is that your press release should stand out from all other competitors’ releases on the same topic: if you have a press release with a great headline but mediocre content, nobody will care about reading it!
Elizabeth Hogan, Integrated Digital Strategies
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