How To Do a Press Release: 5 Steps to Success


It can take over five impressions in front of a customer before you start developing even a little brand awareness. Developing a strong digital marketing strategy can help you appear in front of customers at different touchpoints. For example, you can use press releases to gain media coverage this year.

Not sure how to do a press release? Here are the five essential steps you need to follow for online success. 

With these tips, you can learn how to gain the media coverage you need in order to generate brand awareness. You can reach your target audience and help them learn more about your business. Gaining media coverage could boost your brand’s credibility, too.

Learning how to use the correct press release format is essential if you want media outlets to publish your release, though.

Discover everything you need to know about gaining media coverage with press releases using this comprehensive guide today.

1. Develop a Media List

Before anything else, take the time to research your target audience.

Who are you trying to reach? Understanding your customers can help you develop a more effective press release. You can write your content as if you’re speaking with your target audience.

Determine who your customers are based on demographics and psychographics like:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Education
  • Language
  • Career
  • Household income
  • Marital status
  • Pain points
  • Buying behaviors
  • Interests
  • Hobbies

Consider gathering keyword research as well. What keywords do consumers use to find your product or service online? You can use tools like Keyword Planner, SEMRush, Ahrefs, or Answer the Public to get started.

Gathering keyword research will help you optimize your content for search engines.

When learning how to do a press release, it’s important to consider who you’re speaking to. You need to write your press release for customers and the media outlet.

Media outlets won’t pick up your release if it doesn’t appeal to their target audience. 

Meanwhile, about 74% of consumers get frustrated when content doesn’t appeal to their interests. Over 50% switch brands if companies don’t personalize communications.

Once you determine who you’re trying to reach, you can find media outlets that reach those consumers.

Start developing a list of publications and journalists that already reach your audience. Look for publications that fall within your niche. Reaching a more precise target audience can help you appeal to your ideal customers.

You’ll have an easier time encouraging media outlets to publish your press release, too.

Consider different media outlets you want to use, including:

  • Blogs
  • Newspapers and magazines
  • Radio broadcasts
  • Social media influencers

Start creating an Excel spreadsheet that lists the publication, press contact, and their information. 

Otherwise, consider working with a press release distribution company. They’ll make sure you get the right media coverage based on your target audience.

Check the Guidelines

Before learning how to do a press release, take a look at each publication on your list.

Each publication likely has its own submission guidelines. You’ll need to follow the requirements that are specific to the publication. Otherwise, they might decide not to publish your press release.

You could waste valuable time, money, and energy as a result.

Visit each publication’s contact page. Some websites have a dedicated submissions page, too. Read over their requirements carefully.

Not every publication has the same requirements. Check every publication’s requirements before writing your press release.

Their requirements might include a specific word count, topics, or file type. 

2. Create the Release

About 93% of marketers say content marketing generates more leads than traditional marketing strategies. In fact, about 93% of buying processes start with an online search. If consumers can’t find your business online, you could miss the chance to generate leads.

Learning how to do a press release can help you gain online media coverage. More people will have an easier time finding your business online.

Then, you can generate brand awareness, leads, and sales through your press release marketing strategy. 

You can combine your content creation strategy with search engine optimization (SEO) to appear in more relevant Google searches, too. Ranking at the top of a search page can boost your credibility as well. More consumers will feel inclined to trust your business as a result. 

Once you read each publication’s requirements, you can start creating your press release.

When learning how to do a press release, start with your news angle. What information do you want to convey? Consider the purpose of your press release.

Why should publications and consumers care about the information you’re providing?

Try to give your press release a singular purpose. For example, you might want to announce:

  • Adding a new business location
  • New products or services
  • Signing on a recognizable, large client
  • An important milestone/anniversary
  • An award or endorsement 
  • Starting a new sister company
  • An upcoming event you’re speaking at
  • Gaining new certifications or credentials
  • Rebranding the company
  • Redesigning your website
  • Hiring new executives
  • Changing ownership
  • Mergers, expansions, or acquisitions

Focus on the press release’s purpose throughout the entire release. Once you determine the news angle, you can start writing.

Consider Formatting

When learning how to do a press release, it’s important to consider the traditional news release structure. If you don’t follow the press release format, your release could get tossed out. Don’t risk it.

Instead, start by perfecting your headline.

Most journalists skim through headlines to determine if the news angle suits their target audience. You need to snag the reader’s attention with only a few clear, concise words. Otherwise, your release could get tossed out. 

Convey the press release’s purpose. Make sure to use a strong hook that features action-oriented words.

Make sure you’re talking to your target audience as you follow through these press release format tips. The proper format includes:

  • The headline
  • A short subheading
  • Your contact information
  • “For Immediate Release” or the release date
  • The lede
  • The boilerplate
  • “###” to indicate the end of the release

The lede paragraph should convey the article’s who, what, when, where, how, and why.

Consider adding imagery to your press release, too. Imagery could make it easier for you to draw the reader’s attention.

Otherwise, consider adding a quote from a shareholder or executive. Make sure the quote is relevant to the article’s topic.

As you write your press release, make sure you’re using the inverted pyramid writing style. Put the most important information at the top. If the journalist needs to trim the article down, they’ll start from the bottom.

Make sure to avoid unnecessary text and fluff. Instead, make sure the press release is clear and concise.

If you need help, consider hiring a press release writing company. They’ll make sure your release follows the proper press release format. They could increase your chances of getting published, too. 

Otherwise, use this press release sample to get started:

3. Write Your Pitch

Once you learn how to do a press release using the proper press release structure, you can work on your pitch.

Journalists likely won’t read the actual press release first. Instead, they’ll read your pitch email.

Your pitch email will quickly summarize the content within your press release. If your pitch email doesn’t entice the journalist, they’ll toss your release out.

Start by creating an attention-grabbing email subject line.

Make sure it’s short, sweet, and to the point. Convey the news angle you’re covering. Try to add exclusivity, too.

Journalists will want to publish your release if they know it’s exclusive and suitable for their target audience. 

You should note that journalists receive hundreds of press releases each day. You need to make sure your release is unique. 

Avoid Mistakes

There are a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid when creating your pitch email.

First, don’t add the press release as an attachment. Journalists are busy. They don’t want to waste time downloading anything.

Instead, add the press release to the body of the email. 

Keep it short. Make sure the email is easy to skim-read. Avoid anything that sounds too promotional, too. 

Make sure to proofread everything before sending the email. 

4. Follow Up

Once you send your pitch email, give it a few days. Remember, journalists receive hundreds of emails. Wait about a week.

If you don’t hear anything, follow up. 

5. Promote, Analyze, and Adjust

Once you gain media coverage, share your press release with the world.

Share a link to the press release on your blog and social media accounts. Generating more website traffic to the release can boost its search engine ranking. You can reach more customers and appear in front of your target audience.

After a few weeks, review the data from your press release.

Reviewing the analytics can help you make more informed decisions regarding your media coverage strategy in the future. 

How to Do a Press Release: 5 Steps for Successful Media Coverage

Learning how to do a press release can help you communicate with your target audience. You can generate brand awareness, website traffic, leads, and sales. Your credibility in the industry will rise, too.

Use these tips to start generating media coverage for your business today.

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