Hook ’em — Unlock the Secrets to a Compelling Press Release

Posted on: November 22nd, 2016

how to write a press release

A press release is the very first tool in a business’ arsenal when it comes to getting its information to the media. Why is utilizing the press release such an essential and universal strategy? Because the initial press release is the only opportunity you have to completely control how a story is framed; if a company wants the news media to report something in a certain way, then a press release is the only way to stay ahead of the initial news coverage. How, then, can you ensure your press release isn’t ignored—or worse, deleted—amidst all the other content the media outlets receive each day?

­­­­The Hook

The most essential factor for making sure your press release gets read is going to be your hook. The hook consists of everything seen right away by your readers. The first part of your hook is always the subject line, and it needs to be concise and direct. The subject line is where the majority of recipients will decide if your outreach is worth their time, so you want it to quickly get the main idea of your press release across. You don’t want readers bailing on your release before they even know what you’re telling them about.

Here’s an example of a title that’s too long:

A&B Tech Solutions unveils hot new device that will revolutionize mobile communication across all industries

What if that same subject was shorter?

First look at A&B Tech Solutions’ all-new mobile communication device

The second line has a few differences that immediately make it more effective than the first. The latter version is only one line long; a subject line extending beyond than is an immediate turn-off. Having an extra-long subject line also points to a few other problems as well, like too much descriptive “fluff”. Words like “hot” and phrases like “revolutionizing mobile communication” should be left for the journalists to use in their articles, not a press release. At the same time, it still utilizes attention-grabbers like “first look” and “all-new”. Stick to the facts and be confident—if your press release is truly noteworthy it won’t need extra linguistic filler to make it stand out.

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

Images and photos are the next ingredient that can help take your press releases to the next level. Visuals are media’s most powerful attention-grabber, and, when properly implemented, they will hook readers and guarantee your press release gets read. Text-only releases are not only boring to look at, but they offer no material for journalists to use if they do pick up your release. You’ll often notice it’s an uphill battle to get a journalist to use your press release at all, so you want to make it as easy as possible for them to convert it into an article. Help your audience help you.

The Real Secret

The truth? Most companies are not writing their own press releases, their marketing agencies are. Clever subject lines, eye-catching photos and emphasis on the facts will help your press release stand out from the rest, but really maximizing your open rates requires a lot more. Marketers have access to the data and techniques that help perfect release timing, they have the most influential contacts to leverage for exposure and the experience to craft the flawless copy needed to win over any journalist. They know how press release formats can vary across industries, and can tailor your material to appeal to any audience. Also, they are available to the media outlets to answer questions and provide more information if needed.

Work with the most savvy, impactful marketers that will make the most of your company’s voice. Appleton Creative is an award-winning, full-service marketing agency located in Orlando, Florida. Appleton works with local, national and international clients to engage, inform and persuade target audiences of all demographics, types and sizes. Through strategic planning, media advisories, press releases, events and reputation management, Appleton can publicize and manage your company’s products, events and achievements. Your PR goals are worth a conversation: contact us at 407-246-0092 or info@appletoncreative.com.