Press release [free template].

Digital Marketing

With the digital revolution and the rise of online platforms, the media has become more widespread. This has meant greater accessibility and flexibility when disseminating information, telling a story, or spreading a message. Therefore, implementing tools such as press releases is an effective vehicle for companies to enhance brand recognition. Press releases have great relevance in marketing and advertising strategies because they increase visibility, improve positioning, and generate media impact.

Press releases are one of the most traditional communication resources, so you have surely found several of them in print and digital media. But, punctually, what is a press release? What are its characteristics? How do you write a press release? Calm down! In this guide, we answer all these questions. Also, we include some topics and examples to provide a more complete understanding of the functionality and importance of this tool.

What is the structure of a press release?

All press releases must follow a basic structure to be published in the media, regardless of the message they want to convey. So let’s see in detail what a press release should have and how this document should be presented:

1. Header

This is the upper part of the document, where the company’s logo is inserted together with the graphic design elements that identify the brand. This is to emphasize who the issuer of the press release is.

2. Headline

It refers to the highlighted phrase that synthesizes strikingly and is the most important part of the content. Therefore, it should be short (no more than two lines), direct, and descriptive so that it immediately captures the attention of journalists, media, and readers. Let’s not forget that press releases are informative, so the headline should not include commercial phrases or advertising slogans.

Likewise, it can be accompanied by a title (located above to contextualize the reader) and a subtitle (located below to complement the information with bullet points). Regarding style, it is recommended that the headline be bold, centered, and in a larger font size than the rest of the text.

3. Place and date

This section lists the place and date of the press release. These are included to help the reader verify the validity of the information and locate its source. In addition, they give greater credibility.

4. Lead

The introductory paragraph is an essential part of the structure of a press release that summarizes the content and expands on the information in the headline. Therefore, it must include relevant details and give rise to the development of information. For this purpose, it is advisable to resort to the Five W’s of Journalism:

  • What? The message to be conveyed, including the events, actions, and ideas that constitute the press release.
  • When? At what moment in time (date and time) do they take place, indicating their duration and their end?
  • Who? Who are the protagonists?
  • Where? The space or place.
  • Why? The reasons why the event occurs.

The idea is to answer these questions precisely in a few lines so that the reader gets a quick idea of what the article is about. Certainly, it is very difficult to answer all the questions without extending the paragraph, so prioritize the ones you consider most important and answer the others in the body.

5. Body

press release-inverted pyramid

This is the most robust section of a press release since it is where the content is developed in detail. Therefore, it is possible to expose the information extensively while keeping short, clear, and concise sentences. Similarly, paragraphs should be short and not exceed 6 lines.

Here, it is recommended to use the inverted pyramid structure to give a logical order to the content, presenting the information according to its relevance. In other words, the content should be developed gradually, starting with the most important, particular, and noteworthy information and ending with the least relevant. Also, the body can include statistics, testimonials, quotes, or sources that support the authenticity of the information, as well as annexes, photographs, videos, and other material that adds value and enriches the press release.

Remember, the objective is to communicate assertively and inform efficiently, so the content must attract and maintain the reader’s attention. Therefore, you should avoid repetition, rambling, and detours.

6. Boilerplate

The closing of the press releases is done with a boilerplate, that is, a paragraph that includes basic data and information about the company. This paragraph should not exceed 10 lines and is written in the third person. Its purpose is to familiarize the reader with what the company does, its characteristics, differential, and other relevant details that deserve to be highlighted. Therefore, it includes the following:

  • Company name
  • Sector
  • Main Activity
  • Business lines
  • Year founded, trajectory
  • Mission, vision, objectives, values

The key when writing the boilerplate is to briefly state all the information you want to convey about the company. Therefore, it is not necessary to extend the paragraph with extravagant words without providing any value. Remember that press releases are an informative resource, so the boilerplate is an opportunity to make the company known to the media.

7. Contact information

In the footer of the document, contact information is provided so that the media, if needed, can provide further information. To do so, include the phrase, “For further information, please contact,” followed by the following data:

  • Name and surname of the person responsible
  • Position and area of work
  • E-mail address
  • Telephone
  • Company website
  • The company’s social networks

Press release template

Writing a press release seems to be a complicated task, but being faithful to the structure of the press release can produce good results. To achieve this, it is necessary to follow all the recommendations, research, have references in mind, and have a base. For this reason, here we share a press release template with its structure in Word downloadable so you can thoroughly understand how it works. Remember to make a copy of the document!

Download free sample press release

What is a press release?

A press release is a written document containing information, news, or news about a brand, product, or service. Such a document is newsworthy and is addressed to the media to be published. Therefore, its objective is to obtain visibility and promote a brand, project, or idea in the different channels of diffusion.

As mentioned, press releases are a traditional tool that works to publicize a company’s actions. In other words, they provide media coverage to events, product launches, recognitions, new services, etc. Likewise, they are a powerful technique to enhance digital marketing and branding strategies, which is why they are used for other purposes such as:

  • Increase relevance on the internet and viral content in digital media.
  • Build a brand reputation with relevant information that captures the attention of the target audience.
  • Improve organic SEO positioning through link-building actions. Many media outlets include outbound links
  • in their publications outbound links to the website of the company in question.
  • Make a space in the media without investing large amounts of money.

Characteristics of a press release

There is no doubt about the importance of press releases as a tool to communicate a message or transmit information related to a brand. Now, let’s see what are its main characteristics:

  • It is a versatile document that can be distributed both in offline media (newspapers, magazines, television, radio) and online media (social networks, websites, blogs, information platforms).
  • It responds to a current event, so it has a very short shelf life.
  • The information contained therein must be concise and concrete. That is, it should not include irrelevant or redundant data.
  • They are informative, so the use of commercial language and sales intent should be avoided.
  • They provide valuable information in a way that is understandable and accessible to the reader.
  • Their length should be between 1 and 3 pages.
  • They should announce something newsworthy and be based on a newsworthy fact.
  • They support the information with verifiable data, quotations, references, and reliable sources.

Difference between statement and press release

Generally, the terms press release and statement are often used synonymously; however, there are key differences between the two.

First, let’s talk about the definition of a press release: an official document issued by companies, corporations, and institutions referring to a specific topic. Its purpose is to publicly show the position or opinion regarding a specific situation, whether or not it is related to the company. For example, moments of crisis, controversies, changes within the organization, recommendations to the public, and more are all topics mentioned in press releases.

In this sense, the press release focuses more on clarifying and giving a position than on gaining visibility or announcing a news item in the media. So, let’s look at some of the differences between the two terms:

  • The information presented in a press release is concise and objective. While a statement shows an opinion subjectively.
  • The press release is related to the company’s values and philosophy. The press release focuses on presenting a newsworthy fact about a brand or project.
  • Press releases can be implemented in businesses of all sizes, from start-ups to large companies. On the other hand, statements are used more in robust corporations or public institutions.

Types of press releases

press release-event

It is well known that all press releases, regardless of their content, are informative and communicate the news of a business to the media. Even so, there are different types depending on the objectives, the intention, the message, and the needs of the issuer. Let’s look at each one in detail:

1. Press release for events

One of the most important factors when organizing an event, whether paid or free, is diffusion. In this sense, press releases are an infallible dissemination resource within promotional strategies and actions. They inform about the details of the event in the different media. Therefore, they can be used to promote congresses, seminars, conferences, fairs, initiatives, celebrations, festivities, etc.

With all this, you may be wondering how to write a press release for an event; well, the structure is the same as seen previously. The only difference here is that the main content is the reason for the event, the date, and the place. Also, the participants, the itinerary, the registration process, and other relevant information should be mentioned.

2. Press releases for products or services

This is the tool by which a new product or service is presented in the media. Its purpose is to gain visibility, capture the attention of potential customers, and increase brand recognition. Therefore, the content should be as descriptive as possible regarding the characteristics, benefits, and differences of the product or service. It should also include information about when and where it will be available in the market.

It is also recommended to include attachments (photos or videos) that show how it works, as the case may be, and testimonials or statistical data that provide reputability and credibility. This type of press release usually has a great repercussion in the media, especially if they are innovative creations.

3. Press releases for companies or projects

This is a format used when a new company, organization, project, or idea is launched to the market. It also works as a strategy to create brand recall and gain ground in the sector of interest. Here, neutral and formal language is used without using qualifiers since the idea is to make known and inform about the new brand or project.

Topics for a press release

The main types of press releases give rise to a series of topics that a company can report. However, not everything that a company considers newsworthy is perceived in the same way by the media and the target audience. Of the endless amount of information that circulates and is sent to the media, only that which adds value and content of interest is published.

For this reason, we have compiled a list of topics for press releases that arouse the interest of readers and increase the chances of publication:

  • Financial results such as turnover figures, sales growth, investments, etc.
  • Market studies, research, and surveys showing relevant data on consumer habits, market penetration, etc.
  • Expansion of a company, the opening of new premises, offices, factories, or warehouses.
  • Strategic alliances with other companies
  • Launch of innovative products and/or services
  • Local, national, international, or sectorial awards and recognitions.
  • Birth of new businesses
  • Technological innovations such as the launch of a platform, mobile applications, or software.
  • Events, celebrations, and commemorations
  • Social initiatives or charity events
  • Seasonal launches (Christmas, winter, thanksgiving, easter, easter, easter, etc.)

How to make a press release?

press release

After delving into the definition, characteristics, and structure of a press release, it is time to talk about how to make it successful. For this purpose, we have compiled a series of key steps that can guide you in its preparation. This way, you will avoid making common mistakes, and you will be more confident in implementing this strategy. If you are also looking to create an article in the media to get quality backlinks, a press release can be a good option; however, you have to make sure that the digital media adds the links at the time of publication. Now, let’s go to the key points:

1. Define the media

Selecting the media to disseminate the press release is perhaps the most important step. Here, we have endless possibilities thanks to the Internet and digital channels. These have allowed a more fluid and barrier-free exchange of information, in addition to providing access to the traditional press (newspapers, magazines, television, radio) through online platforms.

This selection should be based on a strategic planning and research process, with which it is possible to build a database. Thus, it will be possible to define which types of digital media are appropriate to disseminate the note. This takes into account the field of action of the brand or project, market, target public, etc, as well as a series of factors that determine the quality and effectiveness of the media, such as:

  • Country and language: Of course, the media outlet must operate in the same country and speak the same language as the issuer of the note and its target audience.
  • Authority and credibility: It is important to analyze the level of reliability, authenticity, and authority it possesses. That is to say, if it is a prestigious media, a reference in its sector, and trustworthy.
  • Frequency of publication: An active media that publishes frequently is a media committed to its readers and its task of informing.
  • Quality of content: There is no point in publishing an infinite amount of content if it is not high quality. Therefore, it is essential to do a informed reading exercise and objectively analyze if the information offered provides value.
  • Followers and interaction: Check the popularity of the medium on the network and its number of followers. Likewise, observe how much interaction it has with its audience.

Once the research and database construction is completed, the dissemination strategy is planned. This includes categorizing the media according to their characteristics, preparing a schedule, and customizing the press release, among others.

2. Taking care of the wording

Here, we face a common question: how to write a press release properly so as not to make mistakes when presenting the information. First, it is essential to follow grammatical rules and not make spelling errors. To do so, you can ask a proofreader to review it.

On the other hand, the language must be clear and objective, avoiding technicalities unless the information is addressed to experts in the field. Likewise, the note should be written, as far as possible, from a journalistic point of view, using the third person singular and in a neutral tone.

It must not be forgotten that this is content for the press, so the writing must be serious and professional. There is no place for the use of adjectives, commercial language, or persuasive copywriting techniques.

3. Use quotations and reliable sources

At this point, it is clear that press releases respond to newsworthy facts that provide information of interest to the media and the public. That is why it is important to incorporate data, statements, quotes, and useful sources to verify the accuracy of the content, as well as to support the information and make it more understandable. For this purpose, sources such as research, books, doctoral theses, reports, documentaries, etc, can be used.

4. Attach supporting files

Occasionally, press releases require supporting material to make their dissemination more efficient. Such material can be audiovisual, text, images, documents, etc., and must meet the needs of each medium. Likewise, it should be consistent with the information mentioned in the release and should be attached only if it complements the content.

In this sense, it is necessary to make a careful selection of the supporting material and its respective formats. In this way, you will be able to integrate only the right amount without saturating the press release.

5. Choose the right timing

It may seem obvious, but press releases should be written and sent to the media only if necessary. That is when something is interesting to tell, a novelty, or an event that generates interest and deserves to be published. In addition, it should be done at a convenient time for the brand or project, for example, special dates, events, holidays, or specific times of the year. In addition, the results of choosing the right moment will be reflected in the Press Clipping, where you will see how effective your campaign was at that moment.

6. Complement the dissemination strategy

The success of press releases does not only depend on whether or not they are published by the media contacted. It is also essential to implement other strategies to enhance their dissemination and generate media impact. While it is true that space in the press gives credibility, taking advantage of the benefits of digital marketing and online channels is very beneficial. Therefore, it is advisable to plan and implement other types of actions to disseminate your information. Here are some examples:

  • Email marketing: Email is the perfect way to disseminate information about your brand, as it is one of the most direct communication channels. Therefore, a well-directed strategy can help you build customer loyalty, keep them informed, and generate new business opportunities.
  • Publication on your website: If the website of your brand or project has a good flow of visitors and is positioned in Google, use that visibility to disseminate the note.
  • Dissemination in blogs: Research blogs related to your sector and those who may be interested in publishing your information.
  • Promotion with influencers, YouTubers, or bloggers.
  • Publication on specialized platforms: There are countless platforms, directories, and paid and free websites available on the web to publish press releases.
  • Lean on Getlinko: Create your profile to advertise for free and find relevant and authoritative media to boost your brand’s visibility.

Example of a press release and structure

Just as theory is essential to implement this communication strategy, so are examples. That is why, before finishing this article, we would like to show you two real press releases prepared by well-known companies. This is to provide a better understanding of the structure, writing style, and type of information.

1. Press release for an event

To begin with, we have the example of a press release issued by ANATO, the Colombian Association of Travel and Tourism Agencies. It informs about the realization of its annual event Vitrina Turística, for the year 2021. The first paragraph mentions the dates, place, and reason for the event. Then, the rest of the content is followed by relevant information and a quote from the president of the association. Finally, contact information is provided, and the press release closes.

Clearly, this example shows us in a very precise way how the content should be presented in this type of release. Moreover, it is faithful to the structure and makes use of neutral and understandable language that provides concise data.

Press release [free template]. 4

2. Press release for a product launching

As an example of a press release for a product launch, we have Coca-Cola. On this occasion, the industry giant presents a new flavor for its Frugos Fresh line in the Peruvian market. The content includes information about the most important characteristics of the new product and its benefits. It also describes its different presentations and mentions the points of sale where it will be available.

Regarding the structure, Coca-Cola’s press release fully complies with all the elements: headline, subtitle, lead-in, body, boilerplate, and contact. In addition, it complements the information with a testimonial from its brand manager.

Press release [free template]. 6
Press release [free template]. 8

Closing Remarks

Companies, projects, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and public figures can disseminate their information through press releases. There is no doubt that, besides being infallible communication tools, they work to enhance digital marketing strategies. This is thanks to their informative nature and focus on arousing the interest of the media and the audience by providing relevant and valuable content.

Now that you have a complete idea of what a press release is and you have seen some references, you can elaborate on one of your own. So, if you have something important to tell, don’t hesitate to use our downloadable template and start working on it with your marketing team.

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Veruschcka Herrera
Escritora y Copywriter SEO. Key Account Manager en Getlinko.
Published: 26 March, 2024