It Starts with a Press Release…
Press releases are often short and simple – but when done right, they can have power that lasts a long time, long after people have forgotten about the press release itself. A good press release will mean that the general public now has a new interest in a certain company, product, or person.
But it’s a tightrope; a release can either do a stand-up job and entice a whole new demographic of potential readers and customers… Or it can do the exact opposite and dissuade newcomers.
A successful press release is the start of something big – a new way of thinking, a new desire, a new piece of information for the reader. The importance of having this at the forefront of your company’s advertising cannot be overstated.
The Questions Everyone Wants to Know
But how does all of this happen? How do some press releases become so amazingly successful and help their particular brand become a global talking point? It all comes down to the way they’re written and what is written.
So what exactly does a successful press release look like? How is it written, and what features does it have that makes it stand out? Here, we will look at five successful press releases to try to figure out the answers to these very questions.
A First Press Release
Google is a word, and a company, known all over the world. What began as a humble search engine has turned into a global powerhouse, with its fingers in a lot of pies, many of which are used by millions of people on a daily basis.
So what was Google’s first press release like? The company’s debut release was written in 1999, and it centred on the fact that they had just received $25 million to help fund future projects.
What stands out about this press release? What makes it successful?
Well, it immediately creates a great perception of the company – reading the press release gives you a feeling that this company is unique and important, that it has big things on the horizon. Why else would it have just received $25 million in funding and, importantly, why else would you even be hearing about it in the first place?
Breaking it Down – The Words and The Numbers
Throughout the press release, several paragraphs are dedicated to informing the reader of Google’s search engine technology. Another paragraph is focused upon a big name employee, who is set to join the company and take it to greater heights. Quotes are used to increase readers’ confidence in the company, that it deserves this huge investment.
In the end, the reader is left with the desire to use Google when searching the web, instead of whichever search engine they usually resort to. As a result, Google searches began to increase, to the household status that it holds today. The statistics are truly amazing: in 1999, the year of this press release, there were 3.5 million searches each day. By 2012, that number had become 1.2 trillion.
Twitter is another company that is both well-known and widely used. So, let’s take a look at one of the press releases, issued in 2014: it’s simple – a revenue report. Statistics are included both in charts, and in sentence form, but one message is clear; this company is growing.
Bullet points are used to simplify and divide up complex or potentially boring statistics, which highlight different successful company ventures throughout this time period. A quote from the CEO serves to further increase the readers’ interest and confidence confidence in the business.
Indeed, the entire tone of the press release is upbeat and positive, with plenty of statistics to support its happy claims. For example, that revenue has increased by 124% and that there are 24% more active users than its last census.
Reporting a Giveaway
Next up: Facebook. This press release, from 2006, is about a music giveaway that Facebook sponsored. The headline is a key part of what makes this press release so great; right there in the headline, it’s mentioned that $10 million is to be given away.
A short headline, sure, but incredibly eye-catching. Straight away, it establishes that this is a company that is willing to give to others, which is an important aspect of gaining public appreciation – people will leave this release thinking better of the company.
Now, let’s move on to something completely different – a press release that doesn’t focus on a company. This release, from 2010, was to inform the world of Prince William’s engagement. The article is short, simply informing the public of the wedding date, and some extraneous information aboutt he engagement itself. However, the release’s brevity actually helps with the impact: it’s simple, straight to the point and doesn’t overcrowd its important news. It lets the facts speak for themselves.
Next, and most importantly, is the fact that this press release also includes a video. Including video footage allows the public a feeling of inclusion that words can’t give them. It can increase the public’s interest, allow them to better understand the news and, above all else, provide some visual proof of the press release’s main story.
Brevity and a video; that’s all that was needed to make this a successful press release – the news took off, globally, through thousands of news channels and across social media. Note that included at the bottom of the press release are links to several social media outlets. This prompts readers to basically become the media themselves, by sharing the release with their friends and family without even thinking about it.
The last press release is from a company with a success too large to really comprehend. Well, perhaps press releases have played some small part in their monolithic success. We are, of course, talking about Apple. The press release in question was used to announce the release of the iPhone 5s.
What makes it so amazing?
How to Write Successfully
For starters, a great heading: the headline doesn’t just announce the new product… it calls it “The Most Forward-Thinking Smartphone in the World”. Bold wording like this is what really sets a successful press release apart from the crowd, and it’s a theme that’s continued throughout the remainder of the article.
This particular release is longer than some of the others we’ve looked at but that serves its particular purposes well. There are a lot of new features to describe, and by going into detail, the press release only serves to add to consumer interest. The last section deals with the price of the phone, the colours, and where it can be bought.
This is all left to the end so that once the public is hooked, and has been informed of all the phone’s fantastic new gimmicks, they can waste no time going out and buying it for themselves.
Differences – and Similarities
Well, there they are: five examples of successful press releases, showing that, with certain simple steps and tricks, a release can have far-reaching effects. There are certain common features between all of these examples – but there are also big differences. In the end, different circumstances call for different methods.
However, something they do have in common is the purpose of communicating a message to the public – whether that means creating intense hype for a certain product or something else entirely.