A press release is an official statement by a business that is given to the press for public knowledge. Press releases are typically short and to the point, providing only the information necessary to communicate with the public about a product launch, business update, or other information pertaining to your business.
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What is the Purpose of a Press Release?
For many business owners, the purpose and definition of a press release are unclear. We’re here to help you develop your public relations strategy with what you need to know about press releases.
The key to an effective press release is to present information in the most objective way possible to appeal to readers and bring attention to your business. Next, you’ll distribute your press release to news outlets and journalists. However, that doesn’t mean they will use them. Your press release needs to be engaging and newsworthy to gain momentum.
Why Issue a Press Release?
Now that you know what a press release is you might be wondering why you should consider writing one for your business. There are many benefits to issuing a press release for your business; here are a few of the ways press releases can benefit your business:
- They’re an effective method of branding your business.
- They can increase foot traffic to your business.
- They effectively increase your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) and enhance your business’s online presence.
- They can generate more sales by announcing a new product or service launch.
- They can help gain momentum for an upcoming product release or business event.
- They can help you get ahead of bad press and manage a crisis affecting your business.
Types of Press Releases
There are several reasons for your business to issue a press release and while there isn’t a singular occasion that warrants a press release, there are a few circumstances where it might be appropriate. These are the most common types of press releases for small businesses:
- Product launches and updates
- New mergers and acquisitions
- New partnerships and collaborations
- Grand openings of new locations
- Awards or achievements
How to Write a Press Release
Press releases, generally, should be kept short and to the point. Utilizing the standard press release format increases the likelihood that journalists will take notice and use the information you’ve conveyed. There are a few elements that need to be included in a press release:
- A headline that is clear, direct, and attention-grabbing
- Your location and, if your press release is about an event, where it will be located
- Body content that is concise and to the point without sacrificing vital information
- Your business’s boilerplate, which discloses important information about your business briefly but effectively
- Your business’s press contact including their name, phone number, and physical address that the press can contact to get more information
To learn more about all you need to know to write an effective press release, read our guide on How to Write a Press Release.
How to Distribute a Press Release
Once you’ve written a press release, it’s time to distribute it to the media and generate traction. The first step is to identify where to distribute your press release:
- Find interested journalists and media outlets. This is the “boots-on-the-ground” approach to distributing your press releases. If you have the time to dedicate to reaching out to journalists and media outlets that you can share press releases with, it will save you the cost of hiring a professional service.
- Use a press release distribution service. Operating a small business is time-consuming enough without distributing press releases to multiple outlets. Hiring a press release distribution service to write and distribute a press release saves you valuable time, however, it is an additional expense.
What is a press release used for?
A press release is used for a few things. Generally, a press release is used to gain traction for your business by way of media coverage. These are the three circumstances press releases are used most often:
- To draw attention to an important event or an update to your business.
- As a method of marketing to encourage traction on social media, blogs, and websites.
- To interest reporters and news outlets to write about or report on the content to gain. traction in the community.
What’s included in a press release?
Press releases should include a brief but engaging overview of an event, update, or other information about your business as well as a press contact. To learn more about everything you need to know about writing a press release, read our guide on How to Write a Press Release.
What’s the difference between a news release and a press release?
The biggest difference between a press release and a news release is the connotation each carries. For example, a news release is typically seen as a type of communication with more gravity in tone and serious content.
On the other hand, a press release usually refers to a written or recorded communication to the press that is lighter or less serious. However, these terms are used interchangeably and don’t differ much in the definition.
Do you pay for press releases?
Writing a press release yourself costs nothing, however, if you plan to hire a skilled professional press release writer then you can expect to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars. To mitigate the costs of hiring a press release writer, you can keep one on retainer that will get to know your business and marketing strategy to write press releases more effectively.