Press releases are a powerful and versatile marketing tool. No longer confined to print or broadcast media, press releases can be used on and shared across a wide range of platforms, including websites, newsletters, emails, and social media.
Writing a good press release is a skill. Get it right, and you'll find it's a cost-effective way to build your brand and credibility, launch a new product, promote a service, or publicise a report.
Get it wrong, though, and it will end up in the publication's rubbish bin.
The basics of a good B2B press release
Here are my simple tips for writing an effective press release for the trade press:
Is it newsworthy? - Don't write for the sake of it. A press release isn't an ego trip for you, your company, or your CEO who wants to see their name in print. If the subject matter isn't newsworthy, it won't be used.
Compelling headline – This is your sales pitch to the journalist. Gimmicky headlines rarely work in B2B press releases. Trade journalists receive hundreds of releases daily, so you have seconds to grab their attention. If they can't understand the release in the headline, they won't read further. Headlines should be clear and concise and make them want to find out more.
It's all in the first paragraph - The first paragraph is your story and should answer the essential questions of "who, what, when, where, why, and how?" Make sure you provide all the critical information in your opening paragraph, as some trade press will only use this section.
Body paragraphs - These are where you tell the story in more detail with supporting information. Keep the paragraphs simple. People tend to skim through releases, so use short sentences and stick to the facts.
Share statistics and data – If you're launching a new product, share market research findings or include statistics such as workplace health & safety data to show how the product improves safety or helps a company.
Include a quote - Quotes from product developers, customers, and industry leaders are great, but only if they add value. A weak quote will stick out like a sore thumb and won't be used.
Write for the audience - People turn off when they see corporate jargon, long-winded explanations, or technical speak, so use the language of your target audience.
Write for the industry - Gone are the days of the blanket press release. There's no point sending journalists a release on power tools if they write about floor coverings. If you have a product that can be used in various environments, tailor your copy for the individual sector and publication.
It pays to get it right
Trade journalists are busy people. Following these simple tips can help you write a press release that tells a story that is newsworthy and relevant to the publication and its readers.
If you can do this, journalists will look at future releases favourably. You could also become their 'go-to' company or person for industry insights and views.
Need help with your PR copywriting, press releases, or case studies? Get in touch; I'm here to help you.