The press release is probably the most overused item in the tool box of most public relations agencies in Nigeria and indeed the world. Yet a great number of PR students and PR professionals still find it challenging writing compelling press releases that connect with both the media and the public.
As a business or PR pro, how do you catch the media’s attraction with your news release? It’s simple. Just follow these steps and format on how to write a great press release:
The press release format
The first paragraph is your most important first step in writing a great press release. This is a short (30-word) summary of your news. It should be self-contained and able to tell your story in full, on the off-chance people choose not to read further.
This first paragraph of your press release has to answer the “5 Ws” as concisely as possible.
- Who: Who’s involved in the news story? Which person or company is involved?
- What: What’s happening? What’s it about?
- When: When did this story or event happen? When is it going to happen?
- Where: Where did this story or event take place?
- Why: Why is this information relevant to a reader of these media outlets?
The second paragraph of the press release should give further details about the service, product or initiative you are announcing.
It should also contain a relevant quote from someone within your organization. This could be the CEO or other company expert or leader. This quote outlines the why of your product and service.
The third paragraph of your press release should feature your supporting data and some stats if available.
Use this section to provide product specs, usage data or outside feedback on your product and service. This can be expert data, customer quotes or both.
This paragraph of your press release is a short summary, outlining the key benefits and rationales of your offering.
Last paragraph (boiler plate): This section of the press release is your boiler plate. This is the profile and history of your company in two sentences plus contact details.
The guidelines above provides the answer to the question on how to write an amazing press release.
Top 10 tips for writing a great press release
- Grab attention with a killer headline.
- Get right to the point in the first paragraph.
- Include hard numbers and stats.
- Make it grammatically flawless: Proofread and edit like crazy.
- Include a few quotes:
- Make it two short quotes at the most. Too many quotes spoil the soup.
- Keep it short and sweet: One page is best. Also keep your paragraphs short.
- Follow the inverted pyramid style: After the lead paragraph, each remaining paragraph should be less important that the one preceding it.
- Tailor it to the media and your target audience.
- Provide contact details and access to more information.
- Bonus point. Add a high-definition photo to your press release, preferably horizontal landscape.
Press release samples
Here are two examples of writing a great press release following the guidelines provided.
Emirates opens new lounge for young flyers
Young travellers flying Emirates as unaccompanied minors can now relax and wait for their flight in a newly upgraded lounge dedicated for them at Dubai International Airport, located next to Emirates’ First Class Lounge in Concourse B.
Parents or guardians who have pre-booked Emirates’ Unaccompanied Minor service, can drop off their young flyers at Dubai Airport Terminal 3, where Emirates’ airport team will check them in for their flights in a special lounge area for unaccompanied minors. This facility is located in between the Economy and First/Business Class Check-in halls.
After check-in formalities are completed, one of Emirates’ friendly airport services team members will escort the young flyers through immigration and security, onward to their dedicated departure lounge in the airside concourse, and later, from the lounge to the boarding gate.
Young flyers enjoy priority boarding, and Emirates cabin crew will be waiting to welcome young flyers at the aircraft door, and help them to find their seats and settle in for their flight.
Onboard, young flyers can look forward to delicious meals and snacks designed for their palates, toys and activity packs, and kid-sized headsets to enjoy the selection of over 50 Disney movies and 130+ TV channels for young travellers.
Emirates’ services for unaccompanied minors must be booked in advance of travel and are available for children from 5 to 11 years of age, who are travelling without an adult. The service can also be booked for young travellers between 12 and 15 years old.
All-new MacBook Air takes flight
Apple today introduced an all-new MacBook Air, bringing a stunning 13-inch Retina display, Touch ID, the latest processors and an even more portable design to the world’s most loved notebook.
Delivering the all-day battery life it’s known for, the new MacBook Air is available in three gorgeous finishes – gold, space gray and silver.
The most affordable Retina-display Mac ever also includes an Apple-designed keyboard, a spacious Force Touch trackpad, faster SSDs, wide stereo sound, the Apple T2 Security Chip and Thunderbolt 3, making the new MacBook Air the perfect notebook to take with you everywhere you go.
“The first MacBook Air revolutionized Mac with its thin wedge-shaped aluminum design. It forever changed the entire industry for portable computers and became the world’s most loved notebook,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
He added that “redesigning MacBook Air started with a stunning Retina display and all-day battery life, and then we added Touch ID and the Apple T2 Security Chip, the latest processors, incredible sound, the third-generation keyboard and Force Touch trackpad, high speed Thunderbolt 3 ports, and of course macOS Mojave in a beautiful, thinner, lighter, all-aluminum design that a whole new generation of MacBook Air customers are going to love.”
Apple revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.
GTCO Plc releases Q1 2022 Unaudited Results
Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc (“GTCO Plc” or “the Group”) has released its Unaudited Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements for the period ended March 31, 2022, to the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) and London Stock Exchange (LSE).
The Group reported profit before tax of ₦54.3billion, representing an increase of 1.1% over ₦53.7billion recorded in the corresponding period March 2021. FX translation of the FCY loan book led to a drop in the Group’s net loans by 4.7% from ₦1.80trillion recorded as at December 2021 to ₦1.72trillion in March 2022.
The Group’s Balance Sheet remained well structured and resilient with Total Assets and Shareholders’ funds closing at ₦5.50trillion and ₦908.8billion, respectively.
Commenting on the results, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, said; “Our first quarter results show a decent improvement across key revenue lines as well as other financial metrics, which demonstrates our ability to effectively navigate the evolving business landscape anchored on our strong business fundamentals.”
He added that, “with this performance, we are optimistic about the rest of 2022 as we rapidly consolidate the gains of our new holding company structure to deliver superior Stakeholder value.”
GTCO Plc is a fully-fledged financial services group with banking operations across West and East Africa and the United Kingdom. With over 25 million customers and more than 10,000 employees, the Group remains one of the most profitable and best managed financial services companies out of Nigeria.