With the advent of social media, it is only normal for people to conclude that press releases have become an antiquated and archaic method of getting a piece of news across an audience. However, nothing can be further from the truth. With the development of technology, the modes of distributing and delivering PRs have also moved to online platforms where they can be read by millions of people, as Press Releases to this day remain one of the most relied-upon sources of information for people.
Introduction of Press Releases in the Content Universe
Ivy Lee, also known as the father of modern public relations, was the first person to introduce the concept of a Press Release in 1906 when a train wreck involving the Pennsylvania Railroad led to the death of 50 people. Ivy Lee, who was at that time the publicity expert for the company, issued a press release documenting the accident, which then came to be known as the ‘Atlantic City train wreck’. This statement released by Lee on behalf of the company is believed to be the first of its kind and garnered so much publicity that it was published by The New York Times, and reportedly, exactly as it had been written. When Lee was accused of trying to manipulate the Press with a biased statement, he published a “Declaration of Principles”, and his words were so impactful and precise that they led to the foundations of journalistic integrity. This new movement of publishing company news led to the growth of what is known as press release distribution companies today.
Drafting a Strong Press Release in the New Age
Creating an impactful press release in this era of globalization with the unhindered flow and availability of content on numerous platforms can turn out to be a real challenge. Therefore crafting a perfect Press Release that would compel readers to dig further can take years of extensive research and expertise. While composing a press release, a few things must be borne in mind:
- Prioritize the Brand Story Rather Than the Brand
Although the first and foremost reason a business releases a Press Release is to promote itself among target audiences, it must not just be a flattering piece of work that keeps on praising the company. The content of the PR must deal with the brand’s story and convey a piece of information that readers can find interest in.
- A Solid, Catchy Headline with Readable Content
The headline of the PR must inform and attract the reader. Try to keep it crisp and limited to 75-90 characters. Avoid using extremely flowery or bombastic words in the body of the content. One might introduce industrial jargon as it enables readers to know that the person writing the piece knows what they are talking about and sends out a clear idea of whom the article is meant for.
Writers and editors of a press release must aim at enhancing readability. Using proper spacing between the words and the lines, an appropriate font, and adding bullet points to the article ensure that what it wishes to convey is visible to the readers upfront.
- Subheading and Boilerplate
The importance of adding a subheading for the press release is to provide it with a contest for the readers by elaborating a little on the heading. Along with that, writers must add a boilerplate paragraph, which enables the press release to maintain its objective outlook. It includes a date and includes contact information for media inquiries. The headline and the boilerplate paragraph must sum up what the story wishes to convey.
Press releases help companies establish amicable relationships with the media, establish credibility, control narrative, increase customer engagement and thereby build SEO traffic. This is why press releases remain an effective marketing and promotional strategy, especially for new enterprises to this day.