Follow These Best Practices For Press Releases

2019-09-12 by Ronn Torossian
Follow These Best Practices For Press Releases
Follow These Best Practices For Press Releases

The practice of publishing a press release is one as old as the industry itself. Pushing out a press release is a quick and effective way to put out information on a business, venture, new product, or event. But the downfall of the press release can also be the way public relations professionals and media members regard the sheer volume that inundates members of any industry.

What if there was a way to truly make press releases pop and grab attention? Is there any reason why they shouldn’t be appealing to read? Most press releases follow a similar formula: answer the “W” questions, who, what, when, where, and why. In most cases, as long as the release ticks all of these boxes then it’s considered ready to publish. But let’s take it a step further.

A press release should grab the attention of the reader from the first paragraph. A dry, hard-to-read first paragraph full of too many numbers and specifics can turn off readers, particularly media members who may simply be looking for a story angle. Shouldn’t a press release compel the reader to take action, whether it’s to purchase or explore the product or publish more press on it?

While a press release isn’t the same as a news article, the release can still share the element of “grabbing” the reader with strong and compelling language. Focus on being concise and appealing — no one wants to get bogged down in too many specifics, especially if they are unfamiliar with the business or the industry. In most cases, the appeal of a press release is to gain more interest from outside consumers, not alienate them with information above their pay grade.

Next, consider adding other elements to a press release. We live in modern times, where information is easily accessible and optimizing content for reader consumption is simpler than ever. So take advantage of this! Try sending out a press release that contains an embedded video, an infographic, or some other type of imagery that adds some color to the copy. Including other forms of media isn’t tacky or self-serving. If anything, this may make the press release more informative and engaging, which accomplishes the goal of generating some more buzz around the topic discussed. So don’t be afraid to experiment a little and put together a more dynamic, fresh type of press release.

Lastly, make it easy to find more information. Remember, a press release is only intended to cover pertinent information that piques readers’ interest and compels them to take action to learn more. For that reason, only including a media contact and email may not be sufficient.

What if the reader just wants to learn more about the brand? Include links to social media (hint: an electronically sent press release can have live links included inside it!), YouTube, and the website for the business. Make the information easily accessible. To take it one step further, the press release could potentially include a link to a designated landing page with more information specifically about the event, product, or service discussed in the release. Talk about making it easy!

Crafting the perfect press release can be formulaic, but exercising some creative thinking may have a wide-ranging effect on the results of putting information out to the public. Don’t feel as if your press releases have to look the same as everyone else’s. Up the ante a bit and set a new standard for public relations.

5W Public Relations CEO Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 250 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities