How to Write An Eye Catching Press Release To Promote Your Business

article writing1Some people say that writing a press release is one of the most difficult things to write, because while it can be more promotional than a regular article or blog post, it shouldn’t be a blatant ad either.

A press release needs to be somewhere in between.

A press release has a more specific goal, so to speak, than a regular article, and if it’s not constructed correctly, your press release will not be noticed, read and acted upon.

In this post I wanted to help you create the perfect press release for your business or product so you can grab the reader’s attention, and eventually bring in more business because of it.

What are Press Releases?

A press release is a different type of article since it’s a written statement and an announcement at the same time.  You can use press releases to describe your services or business and give as many details as possible about who you are, what you offer, when you offer it, where you’re offering it, why you’re offering it, and how you offering it. This goes for online services as well, of course.

It’s vital for the success of your press release that such information appears within the first two paragraphs. Studies show that most people will read the first two paragraphs and then skip the middle and go to the end of your press release to find your links.

Two Main Factors why Press Releases are Disregarded

  1. No eye catching headline
  2. No eye catching opening

Have you ever sat in front of your TV with your remote control zapping channel after channel until you find that one image that will catch you eye, so you can stop zapping and watch already?

The exact same thing will happen with your press release.  You need to grab the press release zapper’s attention pretty fast with your headline, and the first couple sentences.

If it’s not there, your press release will be discarded.

Sad? Yes, but true.

Good bye your terrific press release, if you’ve not been able to catch the reader in the first two sentences.  Just keep this in mind.

Your Press Release Headline

Your headline should be eye catching, news worthy, and include the most important keywords of your message, but do not repeat your headline in the first sentence.

Make sure that your headline is short and to the point with upper case for each word.  A long headline with all lower case words, would be the anti-attention-grabbing type of headline you’d ever want to have.

Avoid this by all means.

When writing your headline, ask yourself these two key questions:

  1. What is my key message?
  2. Who is my target market?

Six Questions you Need to Answer in your Press Release

In a press release there are six basic questions that you need to answer for your audience. Remember that those questions should be answered in the first two paragraphs, while the following two or three paragraphs will be used to simply build on them for those who will read that far.

But before you even spread this vital information to the two first paragraphs, you actually need to answer such questions in the first couple lines and will see how below.

Those questions should be answered in this order (as much as possible).

  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you do?
  3. When do you do it?
  4. Where do you do it?
  5. Why do you do it?
  6. How do you do it?

Tell You Story in the 45-50 Opening Words

Unlike an article or a blog post, you do not want to keep the reader in suspense and make them guess what your press release is about.  This type of opening doesn’t work for press releases.

In a press release you need to be very shrewd to catch the busy eyes of your reader, and you need to grab their attention by giving them a mini story within the first 2 or 3 lines.  If  your first 2 or 3 lines are interesting enough you greatly improve your chances that they will read the rest.

Get into the habit of telling a story in 45 to 50 words and your press release will do well.

Here is an example:

Stress to  you and your pet can be reduced by 70% just by having the vet come to your home.  P-A-Y-D will come to you for your pet’s veterinary visits Monday through Saturday. Your veterinarian at your door step for a more pet friendly experience at about the same cost than regular vets.

In those two sentences I’ve introduced the who (P-A-Y-D),  the what (at home veterinary services), the when (Mon-Sat), the where (at your home), the why (less stress to your pet and to you, and the how (about same cost as regular vets).

That’s a lot of information for 50 words don’t you think?  About the size of tweet.  Not bad at all.

Now, with that attention grabbing opening where it tells it all, the interested person will want to know about this in more details. That’s when, and ONLY when the rest of your press release will actually be read.

How to Conclude your Press Release

Once you’ve created your perfect eye catching headline and perfect short 45-50 word story that are answering the vital press release questions of who, what, when, where, why and how, the rest is just building in more details around what you’ve already mentioned in these couple of attention-grabbing lines.

In the conclusion of your press release you should point to your website by including the whole URL with a call of action such as: Click Here to http://tomywebsite.com

It’s  up to you if you wish to include more information such as contact name, phone number, email, etc.

at the very end of your press release it’s common procedure to write the word “end” or include three ### (hash tags) to signal that your article is ending.

I hope this information was valuable to you if you are intending to write a press release in the near future.

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49 Comments

  • Toni Nelson says:

    Great post! I am gathering up all my infomation on Press Releases so I can craft the perfect one for the launch of my book. Thanks for these tips!

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Toni,

      I so glad this came at the right time for you. Thanks for coming. Always nice to see that someone appreciates the content 🙂

  • Carol LynnTwitter: carollynnrivera says:

    Wow, this was really thorough Sylviane. A press release has to be even more eye-catching than other types of content because they have to get past an editor who probably has a billion of them to look through. Plus they have to be really benefit driven because they’re not ads but they have to be interesting enough to make people want to find out more! I think writing a good press release that isn’t boring and makes someone want to know more is a big challenge. And the fact that it also has to be so short is a HUGE challenge! I’m not very good at that, lol.

    I like the way you laid out the steps here in a straightforward way for someone to follow. The 6 questions make it easy to check against whether you’ve included all the right information.

    I’ve always seen the ## marks at the end but never really understood why. I guess it’s just common? I wonder where that ever came from.

    Nice tutorial here and it makes press releases seem a lot less scary!
    Carol Lynn invites you to read..8 Things You Should Know Before Designing Your LogoMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Carol,

      Well, it means a lot to me if you enjoyed this information and if it was informative to someone like you 🙂 because I know that you’re a real pro.

      I had to gather as much information and education about press release, because I need to know what I’m doing when I’m paid to write one.

      Basically if your press release don’t include everything that’s been mentioned in my post, editors will pretty much ignore your it, that’s as simple as that. Yes, Editors want eye catching/interesting.

      For me too it’s always a challenge to say a lot in 300-400 words. In the past, though, I used to write articles that shorts, but now 300 words seems that’s it’s an introduction to me. It just requires more concentration to be able to condense lots of info in very few words.

      Thank you for coming, this morning and see you over at your blog.

  • Evan says:

    What great tips! Thanks a lot. Look like you combined at least 3 different posts in one, wellsctuctered it and published! Very great work. Many thanks!

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hello Evan,

      Not 100% sure you’ve read it, but if you did, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • Sonia says:

    I remember when I wrote my first Press release and it came out good. I didn’t know what I was doing, but once I got the layout down, it was so easy. I like adding quotes from others in the industry to validate credibility behind your message. I do feel that it doesn’t have to be too formal as I see most done. Professional yes, but a little personality in there doesn’t hurt either. Thanks for the reminder on the layout because there is always some key functions that many of us forget and you did that perfectly.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sonia,

      With this post I see that a lot of you know about press releases already. Yes, quotes work well in press releases and it’s a good move to add them if you have some available to you.

      I agree that once you have the correct layout it’s easy to do, but if you don’t that’s when you get stuck.

      Thank you for your feedback 🙂 and nice to see you back.

  • Donna MerrillTwitter: donna_tribe says:

    Hi Sylviane!

    I think Press Releases are one of the most difficult writing tasks. I have done them in the past when writing to TV and Radio. It took so much thought because you do have to have that “eye catching” title. Plus keeping a message short is a very difficult thing to do.
    I remember writing and re-writing several times to get the point across in a way that a person would read it. Wow what a job. You have given such valuable information here to follow.
    I talk sometimes to my husband and we remember the days when my entire business was hedged on a press release. We talk about how difficult it is to write. If not done well, it will be tossed away.
    I like the analogy you gave about the headline – looking at TV and something catches your eye. It is a lot of work, but it must be done for someone to take notice.
    That 45-50 word story can start out with 350 words and get it knocked down to size. That is a challenge.
    I am so glad you wrote about this because not many people know the correct way to do it and you have given the “answer” to a most important question.
    Donna
    Donna Merrill invites you to read..11 Limiting BeliefsMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Donna,

      Wow, that’s great. I didn’t know that you used to write press releases, Donna 🙂

      Yes, it’s not easy to do, but now that I have my techique which I learned and pretty much put down here on the post, I find it way easier. Also, with practice one can come up with pretty good pieces compared to a lot of press releases out there that are mediocre to say the least.

      Thank you for you input and have a great week!

  • LisaTwitter: Lisapatb says:

    Thanks Sylviane, I have a few to do soon and this will really help me. I must remember how important that headline can be in order for it to be shared. I never saw those hashtags before at the end. So good to know. Thank you again.
    Lisa invites you to read..Link Shy After The Latest Google Panda WorkingsMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Yes, the headline is really important. I see a lot of bloggers that don’t know how to turn a boring headline into something more eye catching, and that’s OK, I guess for them as they have regulars coming to them every week, but this is a no no when it come to press release.

      Thanks for coming and for your input.

  • AdrienneTwitter: adriennesmith40 says:

    Okay Sylviane, I have never written a press release and I’ll tell you why.

    I know that you said they shouldn’t be real professional but yet not like a blog post or article either. When I came online several years ago it was the big thing to do and they were very professionally written. I know there was no way I’d do it justice so I just didn’t.

    I was also doing the same thing as a lot of people and trust me, their press releases were so professionally written. I didn’t want to look or sound like an amateur so I never wrote one or had anyone write one for me.

    I will tell you though that with a product that I intend to create I probably will hire you to write one for me because I still don’t think I’d do it justice. Even with all these great tips I guess I just don’t trust myself. Silly, I know.

    Thanks though for sharing this and great job with telling us how it should be done.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne invites you to read..How To Impress Your Blog ReadersMy Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Adrienne

      You’re so funny. I totally believe that you could write a press release just fine, but if you want to hire me all the best to me right? 🙂

      That’s the goal of this blog. I’m giving tips, but hey for those who want me to it for them, that’s the goal. What you’re saying is good for my business and I appreciate that.

      Writing press releases is just like anything else, it’s practice, practice, practice. But I admit that’s not the easiest thing to write.

      Thank you for coming, Adrienne, and have a great week!

  • GladysTwitter: coachgladys says:

    Hello Sylviane
    What a wonderful post for those that have a goal to write a press release.
    You are so right… the headline has to be an eye catcher, because if it is not, i would just pass by it never to look at it again.
    You points are excellent, but like Adrienne I rather hire someone.
    Your layout to get your point across is great.
    Thank you for the valuable information.

    Gladys recently posted…Six Basic Measures to Start Personal Development
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Gladys,

      Indeed, a lot of people do not write their own press releases, to be sure. They actually hire someone that can do it better them they can. That’s when I come in 🙂

      Like, me, for example, there’s some things that I wouldn’t bother to even try myself, but rather hire someone who knows all about it to do it for me.

      Thanks for coming, Gladys.

  • Corina Ramos says:

    Wow Sylviane this is one great post! I’ve never written a press release before but judging by all the information you provided and how much creative thought should go into writing one I can only imagine how stressful it must be to get it just right.

    I’m definitely going to bookmark this one for future reference in case I ever write one. Thanks so much for giving us all these details. Hope you had a great day.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Corina,

      You’re so funny. At this point it’s not really stressful for me to write a press release, because I know that it’s just like a recipe to follow. If you follow the recipe, you know that you’ll be OK. Just like if you follow a cake recipe, most likly you’ll be able to make that cake.

      That’s what I did on this post. I’ve written the recipe down.

      I’m gald if this was helpful to you 🙂 and thanks for coming.

  • Sherman SmithTwitter: shermanksmith75 says:

    Hey Sylviane, don’t laugh, but as long as I have been a blogger, I didn’t have a great idea of what a press release was. Shame on me.

    But you really broke down quite well on what a press release is, how to make it eye catching, getting to the point, and the conclusion. It sounds similar to a blog that you want to monetize.

    Thanks for sharing and explaining it quite well!
    Sherman Smith invites you to read..Are You Learning More Than You Implement?My Profile

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sherman,

      No shame. Not everyone understands the difference between an article and a press release.

      The real difference is really in the format and following a few basic rules. Those rules are important, however, in order to make the press release work.

      Thanks for your input.

  • Sapna says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    You have updated me how press release has to be written and it appears to be a tough job now, but can you please enlighten me with – what actually is press release and what is the use of press release for blogger?
    The question appears to be stupid but I’m totally unaware of this concept.

    Thanks for this share.

    Sapna

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sapna,

      There are no stupid questions.

      A press release is a promotional article that informs your market of the existence of your product and/or services.

      It has to be written more like a newsletter (so to speak) than an ad. It shouldn’t sound like an ad at all actually, but it’s still a promotional/news written piece.

      If you Google “press releases” you’ll see some examples.

      As a blogger you can promote your blog or any service that you are promoting with your blog.

      Hope this helped 🙂 Tell me if you have any questions.

  • Lynne says:

    Thanks for the tips! Yes, press releases are hard to write and if you do not create a catchy headline your article can be dismissed and not be given a second look. One must catch the attention of the reader and keep him interested while reading. Thanks again!

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Yes, Lynne, and those two first paragraphs are the most important, since in many cases they are the only ones that will be read.

      Thanks for coming and for your feedback.

  • Barbara CharlesTwitter: BarbaraCharlesl says:

    Morning Sylviane,
    Great tips on how to write a great press release. That’s exactly what we need with the right amount of detail for anyone to get started. But I have a question. Where do you submit a press release?
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Barbara,

      Sorry for such late reply, but I’ve got caught up with many things again, and yesterday I was sick with a cold, and didn’t do much.

      You can post press releases on any press release sites. Just by Googling the word press release, you’ll see a bun of them.

      Some are paid sites and some are free. Of course there is an advantage to post on paid sites as they get more visitors and are often taken more seriously and seen as more “reputable”.

      Hope this help. If you want some specific names let me know 🙂

  • Neamat TawadrousTwitter: nkeriakos says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Great tips on the layout of a Press Release and how it should be eye-catching. I have to admit that I heard about Press Releases before but I never explore what they really are. So, thanks for making it clear through this post.

    I am very interested to see your answer to Barbara’s question: “Where do you submit a press release?” because if it will help my business, I might just give it a try and follow all the information and tips you provided here in this post.

    Thanks Sylviane for sharing and educating all of us.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Neamat,

      So sorry for dragging so long in replying to what you’ve been waiting for, but sometimes I do fall a bit behind and yesterday I wasn’t feeling very well 🙂

      As I was telling Barbara, there are a bunch of press release sites out there. Some free and some paid sites.

      However for more exposure I would advise to post on a paid press release, but doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try your hand on a couple of free ones first.

      As I was saying to Barbara, if you want some names I can give you some 🙂

      Thanks for coming by 🙂

  • prem pandit says:

    Hi,
    Sylviane

    When i am thoroughly gone through your post then i think you done a good job on how to write an eye catching press release to promote your business, Really In this post there is a perfect idea to create the nice press release for business or product, that can grab the reader’s attention, and gain more profitable from it.

    Thanks for revealing that great idea

  • Michael Buccilli says:

    Sylviane, this post is one that I needed to read and right on time. I now understand that there is a difference between the technical Press Releases that I had to write for my former employers and the personal Press Releases that I will eventually be writing form my Real Estate business, my writing and my blogging.

    I will have to work on this more and I see now that there has to be a fine line between blatant adds and a professional Press Release.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Michael,

      Yes, there is a difference between ads and press releases. A good press release should NOT sound like an ad at all. But apparently some people are not aware of that, and because of their ignorance they are shooting themselves in the foot.

      I’m glad this information could be of good use to you 🙂

  • Allie says:

    Sylviane,

    This could not have come at a better time. I am working on building my resumes of services online and I just got my first “client”, my husband. We are both excited about getting the family business listed online in searches and creating more of a presence online for our 12 year old business. And a press release is something I knew little about.

    Thanks so much for the help. I’ll be saving this in Evernote to refer back often. 🙂

    ~Allie

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Allie,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this press release tutorial and that it came at a perfect time for you.

      All the best on your new press releases and let me know how it goes 🙂

      Thank you for coming.

  • DeeAnn Rice says:

    Sylviane,

    I have written some press releases and I am positive that I did not do it right.

    You make it sound so simple and after reading your post I think I could do a whole lot better job of writing a press release.

    I wish I had had such a good explanation of how to write one when I did it the last time.

    Thank you for the great information.

    Dee Ann

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi DeeAnn,

      I’m so glad that it seems that my post was very helpful for those who either need to write a press release, had tried to, or were wondering how.

      When I wrote this, I didn’t realized that it would be that helpful, but nice to know.

      If you need any help, let me know 🙂 Sorry for the late reply, I’ve fallen a bit behind this week.

  • Desiree Ricks says:

    Hi Sylviane,
    I would say that, producing an eye catching opening and headline is one of the most difficult thing to do because that’s the beginning of your press release and without it, you can never come up with a great article. If it is written well right at the very beginning, you can surely create an effective press release.

    Anyway, thanks for these advice.

    Regards,
    Desiree

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Desiree and thank you for coming.

      The first few lines are the very most important part of the press release, and then comes the first two paragraphs.

      After that you can relax and expand on your writing, but that beginning is essential.

  • Lisa Magoulas says:

    Sylviane, very interesting. I haven’t even thought of writing a press release. However, I know I need to work on my eye catching headlines. I really like the six questions you mentioned. I think I can relate to those even writing my blog posts. Thanks for the lesson. Warmest regards, Lisa

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Catching headlines are important everywhere.

      I know some successful bloggers that are not looking at the catching headline because they’ve got such a huge following, but as for me, I don’t feel that I’m there yet, so even for my blog am still looking for attractive headlines.

      And yes, to a point these tips are good for blog posts as well.

      Thanks for coming, and have a great week end!

  • Sue Neal says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    I’ve never written a press release, but may need to do so in future, so this is definitely one for me to cut out and keep – and share, of course.

    A great ‘how to’ post full of useful, practical tips – many thanks!

    Sue

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Sue,

      I’m glad you enjoyed this post and shared it. Thanks for coming and have a great week end!

  • Radu says:

    Wow thanks Sylvyane, i know that i would sound like a little spammer but i really need these tips. I had wrote one press release for a guy with an english – romanian learning course and it was a disaster. But i hope, with your help that i will improve my skills and the way you presented you’ve made it really easy.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Radu,

      There is always a learning curve, you know. I’m glad if this blog post could help you improve your press releases.

      Thanks for coming and for your feedback.

  • MayuraTwitter: MayuraDeSilva says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Gosh… You’re the best! Awesome piece here.

    This is new for me and I’m not gonna write a press release (So how can it be an awesome piece? 😀 lol…), but there’s much needed information integrated for me. I can use ’em for my services page too 😉

    The example is simply fantastic 🙂 It really makes sense and shows off how effective the writing could be eventhough it’s concise. I believe, like me, all those who read this one can relate in some way and apply for their businesses to convince people.

    I didn’t know about three hash tags dear 🙂 Is it kind of a special message? I’ve seen three asterick at the end of novels though.

    Thanks for sharing wonderful information again Sylviane 🙂 I’m always learning something new here.

    Have a fabulous weekend ahead dear 😉 Me? Ugh… Gonna be busy 😀 lol…

    Cheers…
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Mayura,

      You are so funny, and sorry for such late reply but between being so busy with my three blogs and work, and being a bit sick yesterday, my blog comments just accumulated. Which is a good thing, tough 🙂

      I glad you can still use the info even though you might not write a press release. This can be used for other written pieces for sure.

      I’m not quite sure about the significance of the hash tags, it’s is just something that they’ve chosen to indicate the end of the article. Sometimes you can also see it like this: – end –

      Thanks for coming as always and have a great week end!

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  • David Tucker says:

    Hi Sylviane,
    Yes, sometimes feeling the thin line between shameless self-promotion and and effective press release can be pretty hard. However, your tips on layout and tone of press releases are really helpful. You’ve managed to give enough detail in such a clear and concise form. Thank you very much for sharing your valuable expertise.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi David,

      Thank you for coming and commenting here. I very much appreciate your feedback. Being clear while writing my posts has always been my goal, so it’s nice to hear when I’ve achieved that!

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