How Does a Press Release Work?

When you're trying to market your business, then you'll undoubtedly hear someone say something about a press release. If you've never heard of a press release or aren't sure of what a press release is, then you probably went to Google and searched for a press release template or guide. In this short blog post, I'll tell you the truth about how press releases really work, and you'll understand why a template might not be an option.

Seeing a press release and understanding how press releases work are two different things, and that's probably why you're here.

I was in your shoes about 7 years ago. I was working with a company that recommended I write a press release. I had no clue what a press release was, so I searched online and found a template. It was very cut and dry, and I think I actually just entered a few basic details and called it a day.

Fast forward a few years later, and I'm working as a copywriter. A client asked me to write a press release, and I knew the template wasn't going to cut it. I read about press releases and then I actually read a lot of press releases to get an idea of what I was doing. Before I knew it, I was writing press releases for a living. Believe me, that's the short version of how it really happened. There were a lot of workdays that ended at 2AM.

Today, I work with a lot of clients who've never written a press release or started to write one but need a little help (thankfully, I don't stay up until 2AM working anymore!). Their number one question: "How does a press release work?".

It's a great question, because it tells me you already understand that a press release is more than just a piece of content - it's a process.

Writing your press release is step one. Getting the tone and verbiage right is part of that step. Properly formatting and optimizing your press release is also part of step one. Once your press release is perfect, then you can move on to step two.

Step two of the press release process is distribution. As with any piece of content, you've got to share your press release. The big difference between your press release and any other piece of content is that it's got to be distributed to media outlets. That could involve manually submitting your press release to newspapers and TV stations, distributing your press release via a newswire service, or it could involve both (ideally it will involve both!).

Some people call it quits there, but I recommend going a bit further. Your press release should be placed on your website (either on your blog, media page, or both), and then, you should share it on social media.

You can even go above and beyond by having someone create a video press release from your written content. Then, you can post the video on YouTube and share it on social media.

That's the framework for how a press release works. For a press release to be successful, it needs to be seen as a piece of content and used accordingly - with media contacts in mind, of course. An exceptional press release strategy blends content marketing and PR strategies to deliver results!