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How to write a press release

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

There are many ways you can tell the world about exciting updates at your company. If you’re looking to create awareness with local media outlets, issuing a press release can be a great way to achieve that exposure. Once you’ve determined this is the right way to share your news, make sure your press release includes each of the following elements:

  1. Headline and subhead
  2. Informative opening paragraph
  3. A compelling quote
  4. Additional details
  5. Boilerplate
  6. Contact information

Here, we’ll use a fictional restaurant, ‘Blake’s Fresh Catch’, to demonstrate how to write a press release. Examples of each section of the press release will appear in blue boxes… and we’ll put it all together at the end.

1

Attention-grabbing headline and subheadline

This is the most important part of your press release and it cannot be overlooked. It’s at this point that the editor or reporter will decide whether to continue reading or not. While you want your headline to grab attention, it’s important that it does so while also explaining exactly what your announcement is about. This isn’t the time to be overly creative or vague. Your headline should appear in bold followed by a subheadline in italics.

Blake’s Fresh Catch reopens with a new look

A local favourite is back with complimentary starters to celebrate

2

Informative first paragraph

This section should answer the five Ws and one H: Who, What, Where, Why, When and How. Essentially, this ensures that if the reader were to stop here, they would already have read all the necessary information you’re trying to communicate.

Inverness – 17th August 2020: Blake’s Fresh Catch, an Inverness seafood restaurant, announced that they will reopen on Friday, 21st August following a renovation that began in January. They’re opening for dinner service with a new dining room and an updated menu.

3

Compelling quote

Your press release should include a quote from whoever is the most relevant spokesperson. As a small business owner, it’s most likely to be you! This is a great opportunity to comment on your announcement in a different way to the facts presented throughout the release, and share any pertinent key messages about your business. It’s possible your quote will be pulled and used directly by the media in an article, so take the time to make it clear and concise while communicating your main point.

“This year, further investment was made into the restaurant giving it a new look and feel, a brand new website and a new dining room,” said Tom Blake, Managing Director of Blake’s Fresh Catch. “We know the challenges the restaurant trade has been faced with only too well, but we’ve been incredibly lucky to enjoy solid local loyalty from the greater Inverness community for over 40 years and we are hugely appreciative for this. We’re delighted to have been able to upgrade the restaurant and our brand to continue our commitment to the community and to Inverness as a tourist destination.”

4

Additional details

Robert Crosland, a Senior Public Relations Specialist at Vistaprint, says it’s important to add supporting details once you’ve hooked your reader. “Typically, Vistaprint press releases have about four paragraphs in total, including the opener and quote. In this case, we use these additional paragraphs to talk in more detail.” In the case of our example business, Blake’s Fresh Catch could use this extra paragraph to expand on their new look and updated menu in more depth.

Blake’s worked with a local marketing agency to revamp their logo and marketing materials and also with a nearby interior design firm to reconfigure the restaurant’s layout. In addition to fresh take on classic seafood dishes, you can expect on-trend offerings (including a gluten-free section), craft cocktails and an Instagram-ready backdrop.

5

Boilerplate

This is a paragraph containing essential background information about your company which will appear at the end of your press release. Robert says, “think of the boilerplate as your elevator pitch, or a shorter version of your ‘About Us’ page.” Make sure it includes a link to your website.

Blake’s Fresh Catch is a seafood restaurant based in Inverness. Founded in 1975, the restaurant has been run by the Blake family since its opening and has been a local favourite for nearly half a century. It was voted Best Seafood Restaurant by Platerate.com in 2016 and Family-Run Business of the Year in 2015 by the Inverness Gazette. Visit www.blakesfreshcatch.com for more details.

VISTAPRINT TIP

The boilerplate should be the same for every press release you issue, so don’t feel you need to update it each time.

6

Contact information

Don’t forget to include your contact details for the media! If they have additional questions, they’ll know exactly whom to contact. And they’ll (hopefully) let you know when your story has been published and will send you a link.

CONTACT:

Tom Blake, General Manager
Tel: 01463 128 388
Tom@blakesfreshcatch.web

VISTAPRINT TIP

A general rule of thumb when crafting a press release is to keep it concise. If you can, try to fit it on one page, but definitely no more than two. Bear in mind that if a journalist is interested in the story, they can always follow up with questions if they need more information.

Here’s what the press release for Blake’s Fresh Catch looks like when we add all the essential components together:

PRESS RELEASE

  1. Blake’s Fresh Catch reopens with a new lookA local favourite is back with complimentary starters to celebrate
  2. Inverness – 17th August 2020: Blake’s Fresh Catch, an Inverness seafood restaurant announced that they will reopen on Friday, 24th November following renovations that began in August. Opening for dinner service, the restaurant will unveil a new dining room and an updated menu.Blake’s Fresh Catch first opened in 1975 and has been a family favourite in the Inverness area for over 40 years. A popular spot for special occasions, generations have celebrated birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and promotions in the friendly surroundings created by the Blake family. The owners felt it was time for a revamp and took the difficult decision to put service on hold to carry out a full refurbishment of the kitchen and dining room.
  3. “This year, further investment was made into the restaurant giving it a new look and feel, a brand new website and a new dining room,” said Managing Director of Blake’s Fresh Catch, Tom Blake. “We know the challenges the restaurant trade has been faced with only too well, but we’ve been incredibly lucky to enjoy solid local loyalty from the greater Inverness community for over 40 years and we are hugely appreciative for this. We’re delighted to have been able to upgrade the restaurant and our brand to continue our commitment to the community and to Inverness as a tourist destination.”Guests who make reservations at Blake’s Fresh Catch on 24th November will be treated to a complimentary calamari starter – one of the restaurant’s signature dishes.
  4. Blake’s worked with a local marketing agency to revamp their logo and marketing materials and also with a nearby interior design firm to reconfigure the restaurant’s layout. In addition to its fresh take on classic seafood dishes, you can expect on-trend offerings (including a gluten-free section), craft cocktails and an Instagram-ready backdrop.
  5. About Blake’s Fresh CatchBlake’s Fresh Catch is a seafood restaurant based in Inverness. Founded in 1975, the restaurant has been run by the Blake family since it opened and has been a local favourite for nearly half a century. It was voted Best Seafood Restaurant by Platerate.com in 2016 and Family-Run Business of the Year in 2015 by the Inverness Gazette.Visit www.blakesfreshcatch.web for more details.
  6. CONTACT:Tom Blake, General ManagerTel: 01463 128 388Tom@blakesfreshcatch.web