So you need to write a press release, but you don’t know where to start. That’s okay! Press release writing leaves a lot of people scratching their heads. It’s very different than a typical blog post or crafting website content, requiring specific structures, lengths, and tones. On top of all that, press releases don’t usually reach your expected audience (this is a good thing, we’ll get to that), so you’re writing for a clientele that you don’t already know.
It can be confusing, but we’ll help you understand just how writing press release differs from other styles. We’ll also give you a few tips along the way!
Structure and Length
Writing press releases requires a specific structure and character counts. There are three main pieces of information to include:
- Title: 65 characters
- Body: 300 – 400 words ideally (can be longer)
- Summary: 150-200 characters
The title should be no longer than 65 characters. After 65 characters, search engines will cut off the title, and your audience won’t see it, which can impact your ranking. It’s also important to fit as much as you can (including SEO keywords) into that tiny space. It’s a challenge, but it can be done!
The body of your press release should include the information you want and should also:
- Be short and concise — ideally, no more than 400 words. A press release is more like a news item, but if the topic demands a longer piece, that’s okay.
- Include a professional, informative tone — unlike blog posts, which are more friendly and relaxed. Although, you can still use causal language to relate to your readers.
- Be specific and solve a problem — choose an audience and a particular issue your business can solve. A press release will reach a broad audience, but you should specify the customer you’re hoping to attract.
Lastly, the summary is what the publisher will use at the start of your press release. Not everyone reads through an entire press release, so this component allows you to paraphrase your message, short and sweet, while still including keywords.
Press Release Writing Isn’t Just for Events
Many people assume writing press releases is just for the press — i.e., big events, new businesses opening, promotions, etc. That’s not the case! You can use a press release to highlight any services. Use these opportunities to target a specific customer base or a particular municipality while getting your business in front of a broad audience.
Ideas for Press Releases
To get you started, here are some ideas on what to include in your press release:
- Seasonal products or solutions
- Services aligning with holidays or local events
- Updated services or products
- Targeted areas (a specific town, city, community, county)
- Targeted audiences (families, seniors, business owners)
It’s best to narrow your focus and appeal to a specific audience in a particular area with a distinct product or service. For example, maybe you offer landscaping services in a big city. Write a press release focusing on a handful of suburbs specific to a problem (summer weed control) for a particular audience (business owners).
Outsourcing Press Release Writing
Because of the specifics and level of creativity needed, many businesses opt to use marketing agencies to write content like press releases. At Helianthus Advising, we know it’s challenging for a busy business owner to tackle a press release strategy. Our writers have mastered these distinct little pieces and can help you build an entire plan and content calendar around press releases. Let us know if you need some help!