A press release is one of the most valuable pieces of content a B2B company can create. Perhaps even more than B2C customers, your B2B clients want to know exactly what’s going on in your company at all times. This means you need to be committed to keeping everyone up-to-date with riveting news and useful insights.
A killer B2B press release helps you to strengthen your position as a transparent, trustworthy brand. It’s also a great way to capture the attention of popular media sites keen to give you coverage. Unfortunately, countless companies have no idea how to use their press releases correctly.
While anyone can fill in the blanks of a basic corporate template, it takes something special if you want every PR opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your audience, generate loyalty, and inspire new sales opportunities.
So, how do you get started?
Step 1: Consider Your Target Audience
To write a phenomenal press release, you need to do some planning. Just like any piece of content, a press release is better when it’s strategic, specific, and relevant to your chosen audience. Before you can create a sensational release, you’re going to need to know who you’re writing for.
If you don’t have one yet, start by creating a user persona to help you understand who you’re writing for. Consider your audience’s industry, business size, common pain points, and concerns. The following questions should help:
- Why is this story relevant to your audience? What’s important about this story for your target audience? What facts are going to matter most to them?
- What kind of questions will they have? When reading this story, which questions will come to mind for your audience. Try to answer them in the copy.
- Why would someone want to publish this press release? What makes this content appealing to your preferred media outlets? Is the information you’re sharing genuinely valuable, newsworthy, or interesting?
Step 2: Know Your Outlets
The end customer reading your press release isn’t the only person you need to consider when assessing your audience. You’re also going to need to make your press release attractive to your chosen media outlets.
If you have a select group of publishers in mind you’re hoping to work with, check their PR guidelines before you start writing. Most companies will have specific rules you need to follow about the kind of information you can share, and how to format your content.
Copy the style of the publication you’re interested in as closely as possible, so it’s easy for them to craft a story for their website.
It’s also worth remembering the average news outlet gets hundreds of suggested stories and PRs submitted to them every day. If you want something to grab their attention, make sure you put the most interesting point of the story in the headline, and at the top of the document.
Step 3: Get the Tone Right
If you’ve ever read a press release before, you’ll know it’s not the same as a blog post or article. This isn’t your opportunity to show your skill with metaphors and poetic language. Instead, your focus should be on getting important information across fast.
Write like a journalist, speaking about your company in the third person. For instance, rather than saying “we’re delighted to announce”, say “[Company] has announced”. Most press releases will also write in the past tense, referencing things that have already happened.
Sentences should be short and sweet – easy for any reader to understand. Most press releases are also short overall. You don’t need to repeat the same important announcement over and over again. Share everything your audience needs to know and forget the fluff.
Step 4: Make the Most of Quotes
Throughout your press release, you’ll use most of your word count explaining the details of your story in clear, concise facts. Remember, press release content needs to be objective. This means you need to keep hyperbole and adjectives to a minimum.
Since you can’t share a lot of emotion in the main body of your press release, quotes are an excellent way to add a bit more humanity to the content. A quote is a chance for you to share how your company really feels. You can make the person you’re quoting sound as human as possible (and remember to give them their full job title).
Use your quote to talk about how your business feels about the recent development, and address what you plan on doing next. Try to avoid the most cliché words like “delighted” and “prestigious” or even “unprecedented”.
Step 5: Remember the Little Details
While little things like adding the date to your press release might not seem like a big deal at first, forgetting them creates more work for your publisher. With this in mind, make sure you include the following details:
- The date and when your publisher is allowed to release the information
- A headline including as much as you can say about the story in as few words as possible. Use the present tense here, such as: [Company] nominated for [specific name] marketing award after recent record-breaking campaign.
- A “nutshell” paragraph. The first sentence of your press release should cover what it’s about. Outline exactly what you’re announcing as clearly as possible.
- A “wrap-up” to close the press release. Finish the content with any takeaway points crucial to your audience, and information about how people can get in touch if they want to know more.
- Accompanying resources such as pictures of the people you’re quoting or an image of your logo for the release.
If you’re not sure whether anything else needs to be included with your press release, check the instructions provided by the publisher.
Master your B2B Press Release
A press release is often overlooked as a commonplace piece of marketing material, but it can have a lot of power when used correctly. The right press release draws attention to your brand and gets people excited about what’s happening with your company. Don’t underestimate the potential of writing a great release.