Back to PR Basics: The Press Release

The press release in public relations is a titan, a bulwark, a cornerstone—even today, in the digital age. The release still has a crucial role to play, and not only for SEO purposes[1].

It’s a way to keep your brand top of mind and to share the stories and announcements that will delight both the media and your audience. With a well-crafted, strategic release, you can see press coverage as well as community engagement.

Success doesn’t demand running to the latest tech and tools, although they play a part in getting the message out there. Success starts with basics. Let’s review them, then add a few new ones that have arisen due to digital transformation.

Headlines matter.


Headlines have always mattered[2], and they matter more today, thanks to SEO and social. Google crawls, maybe, 70 characters of a headline. Use them wisely!

Social—think: Twitter—truncates messages. Plus, any social feed moves so fast that the headline has to capture attention immediately. “Press Release: XYZ” won’t do the trick. Also remember that Google is seeking quality content, so the “Press Release” title holds little sway, if any, with the Googlebots.

Use subheadings.

Google doesn’t guarantee crawling subheadings, but that doesn’t mean they’re a waste of time or space. Use subheadings to add context to the title. Another option is to turn the subheading into a short, succinct summary—a press release in miniature, if you will.

Get to the point immediately.

In traditional writing, you can lay out expectations in the introductory paragraph. Not so with the press release[3]; its introductory paragraph has to say all there is to say out of the gate.

Focus on answering the “who, what, when, where, why and how” in the paragraph. Pay special attention to the “why” and “what;” they’re the reasons people will or will not read your release. Why should people care about this story? What will they get out of knowing more about a product, service, event or other news about your brand?

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