How to Write a Press Release That Works Like Magic

Illustration of cute woman character waving a wand and holding a document that says "Press Release." The illustration of the woman has a label underneath that reads, "Magician."
Go ahead. Make magic happen with your press release.

Small and large businesses alike dream of getting covered by a major news outlet. One good story can strengthen your brand and add a lot to the bottom line.

And it’s not only businesses that benefit from press releases—nonprofits use them too. That’s why press releases are such an important tool in any public relations strategy.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that journalists are busy. They may not even care about your business. They care about your press release only insofar as it helps make their job easier.

Some businesses forget this, so they create a press release that just boasts about their own company. Then they’re confused when it doesn’t get picked up anywhere.

Everything in the press release should be tailored so that it’s more likely to pique a journalist’s interest and turn into a story. It’s easier said than done, but just realizing this will help put you in the right frame of mind.

There’s nothing you can do to guarantee that your press release will get turned into a big story. But there are many things you can do to increase the odds of magic happening.

Make It Newsworthy

Whatever you’re writing the press release about should be newsworthy. For example, maybe you developed a new product or recently won an award.

Again, though—journalists, publications, and their readers don’t necessarily care that you developed a new product or won an award. So you have to make it relevant.

  • Does the new product save lives or shake up an old industry?
  • Does the award reflect a growing business trend?

Those topics are interesting to readers.

If it’s not a recent event, you can still make it timely. For example, the Veteran-Owned Business Achievement Award is given out by the Small Business Administration (SBA). If a business won this award five years ago, it doesn’t mean they can’t continue to use it in their press releases. Veterans Day and Memorial Day are two holidays that make that award timely no matter how long ago a business won it.

So they could put out a press release around both of these holidays that mentions winning the award in the past and why they were chosen.

Holidays are just one example of making a story timely. There are other news stories, upcoming conferences, etc.

Sometimes it takes a little creativity to make a past event timely, but it’s essential for press releases.

Don’t Miss: 5 Sure-Fire Tips for Writing a Press Release That Gets Results

Grab Your Readers’ Attention Early

You need two things to grab and hold their attention early:

  1. A powerful headline. This should offer a clue about the contents of the press release, while also grabbing the readers’ interest.
  2. A strong opening paragraph. Get right to the point about what the press release is about and why it’s important.

Be Concise

Again, journalists are busy, so you have to ask yourself:

  • What’s in it for them?
  • Why should a journalist even read my press release and turn it into a story?

The answer is because you’re making their life easier. By helping them find a story quickly, you’re saving them time on brainstorming and research.

When you put yourself in the shoes of typical journalists, you can imagine how they’d rather read a concise press release over a wordy one.

So be succinct, clear, and straightforward—they’ll appreciate it.

We’re Your Press Release Copy Editing Team

At Super Copy Editors, we understand what it takes to write an effective press release.

Contact us now to find out how we can help make your press release one that works like magic.

Dave Baker

View posts by Dave Baker
Hi, I'm Dave Baker, founder and copy chief of Super Copy Editors. I have more than two decades of professional proofreading and copy editing experience, including work for The Nation magazine, The New York Times, and The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, where I shared two staff Pulitzer Prizes after Hurricane Katrina. Today, I have put together a hand-picked team of copy editors, and we especially love working with ad agencies, marketing departments, and education companies to make their text as polished as possible. Learn more here.

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