Press Release 101: Why is It Important for a Brand?

Press releases remain an integral part of a brand's public relations and marketing strategy, and doing it incorrectly can create a number of issues.

Depending on planning and execution, press releases can make or break a brand.

According to data from Early Stage Marketing, 84% of businesses believe that a press release is a powerful tool that can be used to share company news. In fact, one out of four businesses ends up sharing more than 10 press releases in a year. 

Press releases, however, are not mere random statements about anything and everything about a brand. How they are written and even when they are released all require careful thought and consideration. When done wrong, a press release can be a marketing and public relations nightmare. 

In order to get it right, it is crucial to first understand what exactly a press release is and what it’s not. It is also important to have an understanding of what should be in it and when its contents should be shared with the press. 

What It Is, What It’s Not

Essentially, a press release shares important news and information from a brand through media channels, including broadcast channels, print, and social platforms. Examples of important news and information include new products or services, upcoming events, business launches, awards received, and even mergers and acquisitions. 

What should be highlighted here is that a press release is shared with members of the media. Therefore, this means that press releases are not the same as news releases. Canva notes that a news release, in contrast, is written for all audiences. 

Press releases are likewise not the same as advertisements. Advertisements are created when there is a product or service that the brand wants to sell directly to customers. On the other hand, press releases are typically used to create brand awareness and receive interest from the public. 

Why Press Releases are Important  

Press releases continue to be an integral part of public relations for different reasons. As previously mentioned, press releases help establish brand awareness and identity. In fact, Early Stage Marketing notes that 68% of businesses have reported an increase in brand and product visibility due to the publication of a press release. 

Press releases likewise give a brand control over what information is released to the public. Releasing relevant and accurate updates through well-known media channels helps establish a brand’s credibility among the audience, making the brand more trustworthy. 

Second, press releases are a way to gain free publicity once they are selected by a journalist to be written about. Given the popularity of online platforms, published press releases can now reach a wider audience. This can also help a brand reach new audiences that can be converted into potential customers. 

Lastly, press releases help establish and grow relationships with members of the press. Maintaining a good and respectful relationship with members of different media channels allows a brand to have many options when it comes to future media partnerships and press releases. 

What Should Be in a Press Release 

Given the definition and importance of press releases that have just been discussed, it is crucial that the creation of a press release is done correctly. Therefore, the writer of a press release should know by heart what should be present. 

The first thing to get right is the headline. A journalist may only opt to read the headline of a press release before determining if it’s newsworthy. Therefore, it is important for the headline to be attention-grabbing and compelling enough for the journalist to continue reading. 

The content of the press release should be able to answer what is referred to as the 5Ws of news reporting. The 5Ws are who, what, when, where, and why. Which of these 5Ws need to be answered depends on the nature and subject of the press release. A press release on a new product endorser, for example, answers the question of who. 

If possible, a press release should also contain quotations from people who are relevant to the brand or the subject of the press release itself. Using the previous example, a quote from the new product endorser should ideally be included in the press release. 

It is likewise important to note that a short section on the company, its history, mission statement, and contact details should be included towards the end of a press release. This is what is known as the boilerplate. 

Lastly, the contact details of the employee in charge of the distribution of the press release should likewise be included. This is so journalists have a point person to contact for any questions and clarifications. 

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