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3 Key Components of a Successful Press Release

If you’re writing a press release for your business, it must have the three key components of any successful press release:

1. News

2. Hard facts

3. Quotes

News in a Press Release

Journalists are inundated with press releases that aren’t “newsy” enough. While something might feel like news to you, make sure it’s really newsworthy (read: it’s something that people would find interesting in a newspaper).

What’s newsworthy? Things such as:

  • Starting a new business
  • Launching a new product
  • Announcing a new company president
  • Opening new locations
  • Receiving an award
  • Donating time, services or products to charity
  • Launching a new website
  • Expanding your business, or partnering with another business or professional
  • Distributing results of a study or other research your company has conducted
  • Holding workshops, webinars or seminars
  • Sponsoring another brand or charity

Hard Facts in a Press Release

You have to provide evidence for your claims in a press release.

You can’t just say “Unique Web Copy was named Business of the Year” without giving who, what, where, when and why.

You can’t claim that 99 percent of people who use your product never buy your competitor’s product again unless you have the data to back it up. Press releases rely on hard data; that’s what makes them news pieces rather than opinion pieces.

Quotes in Press Releases

Quotes in a press release do something that nothing else — not even hard data — can do: they give it personality and authority. When you quote an expert, you’re showing readers, “Hey, somebody who knows this stuff is willing to attach his or her name to it. They’re standing behind it, and so should you.” When you quote the people your press release is about, you’re adding a spark of human interest and feeling.

Bonus Tip: The Inverted Pyramid IS the Right Way

Get to the point right away. Yes, you’ll need a snappy title that hints at what’s to come; after that, you’ll lose your readers if you try to meander to the main point. Knock out the news in the first paragraph and use the rest of your press release to provide support for it.

Make your announcement right away.

Keep it short and sweet, while you’re at it. Don’t aim for anything more than 700 words (and that might even be pushing it unless you have solid quotes to stand on).

About Angie Papple Johnston

Angie Papple Johnston was formally trained as a journalist by the U.S. Army and now makes her living writing engaging and informative B2B and B2C sales copy, website content, press releases and more. Connect with Angie on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.