What is the purpose of a press release?

Close up of vintage newspaper

When a company has something new and exciting happen, it’s natural to think that a press release may be the way to announce the change. But are your company updates news-worthy? How do you know? And after you release a press release, what is next? What can you hope will happen from your press release? Keep reading to find out the answers to all these questions.

What is a Press Release?

A press release is a short, compelling announcement, statement, or story delivered to the media in the hopes that they’ll run the story in their publication. A press release has a standard template that should be followed if you want it to be picked up by media sources.

What is the Purpose of a Press Release?

Companies write a press release in the hopes that the media picks up the story and publishes it. This will garner the company free media, increase brand awareness, and help spread the word about something the company is excited about. If a national or international publication picks up your press release, this could result in free press that reaches hundreds of thousands of people.

It should be noted that a press release is not an advertisement. You writing a press release doesn’t automatically guarantee that anyone will publish it. Reporters will review the information and decide if it’s valuable or relevant to their reader base. As a result, companies should craft press releases carefully to tell an exciting story.

What are the Benefits of a Press Release

If your story gets picked up, it can:

  1. Help to build credibility for your brand
  2. Help with your SEO as you get backlinks to your site
  3. Creates content that you can add to your site (many websites have a “Press” section)
  4. It helps to create momentum. For example, if you release a new product, a press release can help it get attention and sell out quickly.

Typical Reasons for Releasing a Press Release

Some of the most common reasons companies issue a press release are:

  • Company Announcements: When a company has new management, merges or acquires other companies, changes locations, or other notable changes. For example, when Facebook acquired Instagram, Facebook released a press release for the acquisition.
  • Product Announcements: When an organization releases a new product, such as when Tesla releases a new vehicle model.
  • Initiative Announcements: When a company takes on a new initiative, such as when UPS donated one million to India for COVID relief.
  • Employee Announcement: When an organization hires someone notable, such as when Goldman Sachs hired Uber executive Peeyush Nahar.
  • Honors or Awards: When a company wants to announce an award of honor they’ve been given, such as being in the top 50 employers in their city.
  • Research Results: When an organization wants to release the findings of a study or survey, such as when Pfizer released its vaccine effectiveness findings.

Important Press Release Statistics

  • The best day to put out a press release is Thursdays, as this day of the week has an open rate of 26%.
  • A survey of 1,300 reporters found that 63% said press releases were the “preferred vehicle of news conveyance.”
  • 44% of journalists trust press releases the most for brand-related information
  • 45% of reporters said that to make a press release more effective, companies should clearly state the news hook

A press release can be incredibly beneficial to an organization. The challenge comes in writing a good press release that will get people’s attention.

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