Outsourcing press releases—and public relations in general—is quickly becoming a common practice in today’s business landscape. The global revenue of public relations companies is expected to hit $129 billion by 2025. And it’s only going to grow from there. A brand’s online reputation is more important now than ever.
But does that mean you should definitely have a professional take care of your press releases? Considering the majority of consumers feel the ability to trust a brand is important, many organizations choose to leave their press releases to the pros.
A press release gives you a chance to put your best foot forward without sounding like a chest-thumper, and when written well, it can be something people want to both read and share with others. Because press releases can be such an effective organic marketing tool, many consider hiring a professional to write them—they want to nail it on the first—and only try. Others may be hesitant, leaning more towards doing it themselves.
In this post, we break down the pros and cons of hiring a professional to write your press releases and what that could mean for the growth of your business.
What are the benefits of a press release?
The best press release examples are packed full of accurate information that portrays your company in a positive light. This includes press releases that have to convey potentially negative news. In this way, a press release empowers you to control the narrative around your company or a specific event or product.
For example, if your company were to get hit with a cyberattack that exposed some sensitive customer information, you can use the press release to present an accurate and balanced account of what happened. All while making sure to highlight the responsible, thoughtful, careful actions your organization has taken to prevent this in the future, as well as mitigate the extent of the damage. In this way, you can turn a negative into a positive and even use it to earn the trust of more customers.
Another advantage of using press releases is you have a variety of tones you can play with without overstepping the bounds into unprofessionalism. For example, if you have an exciting new service, it’s OK to enthusiastically outline its core benefits. You can list a wide range of positives without sounding unprofessional, namely because it would be far less professional to provide readers with an incomplete view of your offering.
What are the best practices for writing press releases?
One of the most important press release guidelines is to keep it short and sweet. “Short” means between 300 and 500 words and “sweet” means to-the-point, without rambling or including extraneous details.
What to include in a boilerplate press release template
When making a press release sample PDF or boilerplate to base your releases on, it’s a good idea to keep the following in mind:
Press release format 2022:
- Create an attention-grabbing headline. Your headline should make readers scanning a webpage stop and say, “Wait. Really? Lemme check this out.” The key is to include pivotal words in the copy. For example, a poor headline would be, “XYZ Crypto Releases New Coin.” A better headline would be, “XYZ Crypto Enables 8,000 Transactions a Second with QuickTime”
- Include a publication date. Any boilerplate press release example will include a date. This is essential to effective press release writing because it grounds the event, giving it a moment in history.
- State the most important info upfront. Regardless of the types of press releases you read, the best ones will always lead with the most pertinent information.
- Tell the entire story without making it too long. Remember you’re essentially producing a press release PDF, meaning it should fit a single page. Include the most compelling details without digging so deep that the reader gets lost in a verbal cave.
- Include quotations. You should quote key officials and decision-makers, and this may preclude the most knowledgeable people involved in the project. For example, the scrum master that led the creation of a new app may know a lot about it, but it would be better to put in a quote from the CTO, particularly because their name may be more recognizable.
- Include a backgrounder about the company at the bottom. This may seem redundant, but for people who are just learning about your company, this helps put the event in context while also pulling them closer to your organization.
- Add an image. Your image should either tell a story or provide a high-quality portrayal of a key element of the event or product. For example, if a construction company broke ground on a new development, an image of the ribbon-cutting or shovel-digging ceremony with key stakeholders in the picture would be OK, but a computer-generated image of the completed building may get more across.
With these tips in mind, you understand the basics of how to write a press release PDF. But you may still want to hire a professional. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider.
Pros of hiring someone to write your press release
- Save time: You can gather the details of your press release and put them in a central document and then send it to the agency or professional to write it. Then you can continue on with your day—no need to devote an entire morning or afternoon to writing the press release.
- Save money: The amount of money you pay an in-house person per hour to write a press release may easily eclipse that which you pay a professional. For example, you may be able to find a professional to write it for $400. On the other hand, your in-house person, that you pay $50/hour may take two days to get it just right.
- Higher quality: Professional writers have an intimate understanding of the nuances of tone, grammar, format, and storytelling. This is their craft. You’re likely to get a higher-quality document when you use a professional, similar to how your toilet may work better if you hire a professional plumber instead of DIY’ing the install. If you do it yourself, things could get messy.
- You get the chance to rewrite it. With many professional content services, you get a number of free revisions with the price you pay. This means you can send it back once, twice, or even more for edits. You can make tweaks, major or minor, until you’re completely satisfied.
Cons of hiring someone to write your press release
- Cost: Some would rather wrestle with the press release themselves, perhaps devoting a weekend to it or doing it after hours. If you’re an exceptional writer, this could save you some money.
- An incomplete brief means important details could be lost: When writing a brief, which consists of basic notes about what should be in the press release, you bare a hefty responsibility: You have to get it just right. Otherwise, you may have to deal with multiple rewrites as you try to fill in the factual gaps. This could be time-consuming and frustrating.
- Your “voice” could be lost: To ensure you don’t lose your voice, you have to include details regarding the tone and style of your organization’s brand. If you don’t the writer will probably default to something that sounds professional, reliable, and trustworthy.
Whether you do your press release yourself or hire a professional to handle it for you, as long as it tells your story in a way that connects with the reader, you can use it to bolster your brand identity. Use the tips above to ensure your press release sheds just the right light on your organization.