What are the Essential Elements of an Effective Press Release?

The tried-and-true press release is a tool any digital marketing agency can utilize to increase a client’s exposure. Press releases have been around for generations, and they work well when utilized appropriately. Therein lies the key. An effective press release contains a number of essential elements that set it apart from any other type of marketing content.

To be clear, press releases are not direct marketing tools. They are not intended to be. Yet they can act as indirect marketing tools if you know how to use them. It starts with knowing the essential elements and ends with appropriate distribution.

Here are the essential elements of an effective press release, compliments of Webtek Digital Marketing:

An Attention-Demanding Headline

Headlines are an essential element in any piece of content inasmuch as they tell search engines what the content is about. But in the press release arena, they are so much more important. Why? Because a headline often determines whether a press release gets any views.

You ideally want an attention-demanding headline. You want a headline that reaches out and grabs viewers who would otherwise pass on by. However, there is a caveat here: creating clickbait titles is bad news. Not only do they turn off readers, but they also upset search engines.

Informative Body Text

Several different schools of thought explain how press releases should be formatted. Though there are differences between them, the one thing they all agree on is the need for informative body text. Body text constitutes the main source of information you want readers to know and understand. The more informative, the better.

What many companies misunderstand is the purpose for the press release. By definition, a press release is not supposed to be sales oriented. Likewise, body text should not be sales oriented. If there are too many words associated with sales, a press release could be punished by search engine algorithms.

At Least One Quote

Press releases, by their nature, are designed to relay important company information to readers. Including at least one quote from a company representative adds legitimacy to that information. Two or three quotes are even better but press release writers should be careful to make the number of quotes commensurate with the total length of the piece.

For content marketing purposes, press releases are typically between 300 and 500 words. A single quote would be sufficient for a 300-word piece; two or three quotes would be more appropriate to a 500-word piece.

Relevant Company Information

Most press releases conclude with a paragraph or two describing the company behind the release. A typical digital marketing agency would include a single paragraph of between 50 and 100 words highlighting the most important things readers should know about the company.

In the event a press release discusses multiple companies – either working jointly or involved in the same newsworthy event – it is appropriate to present information about all of them. The more companies involved the less information is offered on each one.

Contact Information

Finally, it is important to provide contact information so that interested parties can follow up. Remember that the primary audience for a press release is the press. Follow-up is part of the game when interacting with them. Therefore, accurate contact information should be included on every press release.

With the most important elements, a completed press release heads to distribution. There are a number of distribution channels to work with, most of them with online options. It is the digital marketing agency’s job to figure out which channels are most appropriate for each press release.

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