They’re grabby (dare I say, click-friendly… not quite clickbait but close)
They’re succinct (not wordy or rambly)
They’re genuinely interesting (newsworthy)
At Hire a Writer, we’re really picky about what we write press releases about. And, to be honest, we do a lot of deterring. Because many companies want to post a press release about something that isn’t actually news to the general population. Others want to post a press release just for SEO (which is a real strategy, but not really about PR at all).
I’ll write about that second tactic sometime.
But for today, I want to run some examples of press releases by you.
These are illustrations of what constitutes a newsworthy, highly readable, highly shareable release to the press.
Press Release Example 1: Award Announcement
Industry awards, performance awards, accomplishments — these can be fodder for the news. IF they meet a couple of criteria:
The award is reasonably well known in the right circles
Winning it isn’t something you paid for
Pay to play is increasingly transparent to the press, by the way. You can post a press release for winning something from Forbes or similar (almost always pay to play) but members of the press will know you did it and probably not cover you.
But if you won an award for doing something great, it’s definitely worth releasing a notice about.
For example, we wrote a press release for AMBS Call Center because they won some industry awards. What we aimed to do, however, was move it away from being about the company and add in a lot of language about call centers in general.
This is dangerous ground. A lot of businesses think their new hires are a big deal. They may be or may not be.
It’s at least upper management but probably only executives
The individual hired has a strong reputation, name recognition, etc. - their move has to be noteworthy to somebody
You issue news like this sparingly (especially if you’re a startup) - people want to hear about it, but not a lot
One of these we did a while ago bundled the announcement, highlighting three people at the leadership level who were brought in to a B2B SaaS company. This amplified the news because each of these individuals had an impressive background and pedigree and some name recognition, making it more special and interesting.
Product launch, app launch, new service launch, new partnership, new co-sponsored product: all of this may feel very newsworthy, and sometimes it is.
Here are some important criteria:
The product or partnership is happening now - a six month runway doesn’t work for this kind of press; it needs to feel immanent
You have other digital properties set up to support cross-referencing - this is a key piece of advice for startups; if you don’t have a website, contact info, team pages, etc., journalists will ignore your press release
Ideally, this is done as part of a bigger and more comprehensive media comms plan
Press releases cross the path of journalists and the press at lightning pace. They don’t get linger time. Your news must be highly relevant, immediately interesting, and very timely.