press release best practicesEven in our digital media world, the traditional press release can still be an effective way to grab attention for your brand. However, a poorly written press release can reflect negatively on your business.

If you would like to ensure you make the most of your next announcement, check out the following five press release best practices—formulated by experienced content writers and editors:

1. Lead with the story, not your brand

Your business itself is not the story—at least not a story that’s going to get covered. Lead with why your content is important or relevant to the publication’s target audience. This mindset will immediately set you apart from the other corporate-speak press releases in a reporter’s inbox.

2. Use as many words as you need to tell your story, and not one more

Resist the urge to pack your press release with other information that distracts from your main message. If you truly have multiple announcements, use more than one press release to get the messages across. Trying to communicate too much at once is a clear violation of commonly accepted press release best practices.

3. Pay attention to how your press release looks

Make your press release easy to read and scan. Use subheadings, bold text and bullets to call attention to your main points. Remember, the reporters who might cover your story don’t have time to spend more than a few seconds looking at your press release. They should be able to understand what it’s all about quickly.

4. Think like a web content writer

The audience for the modern press release has grown beyond the main newspaper and television stations in your market. Your media list probably includes bloggers and social media influencers, so make your content easy to share and attractive for the web.

If it adds to the content, embed videos or use infographics to enhance your press release. And don’t forget about search engine optimization when writing your headline and sub-headlines.

5. Make it easy to learn more

List a real person as your contact—not a generic info email or 800-number. Include links to your website, social media profiles and other information that supports your story, such as download link for a research report.

Remember that press releases are not just for journalists anymore. They can also be resources for customers looking for more information on your products and services. Work with a professional content writer if you have any questions about press release best practices you need assistance drafting a high-impact release.