The Language of Press Releases
If you were invited to give a presentation about your business you would think carefully about the language you would use. You should pay no less attention to language when writing a press release. The wrong approach here can make potential clients feel advertised to. The right approach can create interest in your business.
We’re all aware of how valuable press releases can be for a business but it’s important to remember that press releases aren’t just about getting information out there but about getting it out in the right way. To achieve this, it’s important to ensure the language used in the press release conveys the right message. A press release that doesn’t use language correctly is likely to be ignored or may even put potential clients off if they feel advertised to. Below is a quick guide to how one should use language in a press release.
While press releases were traditionally aimed at the media, in the modern world they are also aimed directly at potential clients. Writing for two audiences may seem to present a challenge. However, I want to suggest that following one simple rule will allow you to write press releases that target both audiences. The rule is simply that a press release should read like it wouldn’t be out of place in a good quality newspaper.
Why does this work? Well the media is used to receiving releases like this, partly because they sometimes place a release in the paper with little alteration. Newspaper style writing will also appeal to potential clients as this will seem professional and objective rather than reading like a sales pitch.
So how do you write a newspaper style press release?
Remember 3rd person
Newspaper articles are written in third person and press releases should be treated the same. In other words, when writing a press release you don’t use the words “I” or “We” except in a quote. When in doubt, think of a newspaper story. A newspaper story would mention the company’s name and only use first person in quotes from a spokesperson. The same rules apply to press releases.
Obviously, press releases are all about generating interest in your company but that doesn’t mean they should read like that’s their purpose. Once again, think of a newspaper article. Obviously, newspaper articles sometimes generate positive buzz for a company but they read more like they’re providing information than selling a product. Try to emulate this in your media releases.
Following from the previous point, avoid words like “exceptional” or “outstanding”. These sorts of words will just make the press release sound like an advert. You can be excited about what you have to say without using words that sound like they’re from a sales pitch.
When you write a press release, do you ask yourself, “Would it seem out of place in a newspaper?”