Press releases are a powerful way for your association or membership organization to be transparent and communicate with your audience. As our world becomes more and more digital, it’s important to put down our devices and tap into where, when and how our potential members, competing associations, member organizations, and news outlets are consuming information. PR strategy needs to evolve with the times and start providing relevant content to the right people and in the most effective way. 

What is a press release?

A press release is an official announcement (written or recorded) that an association or membership organization blasts out to inform its target audience. A press release goes by many names, whether it be “press statement”, a “news release” or a “media release” all have the same meaning. 

Press releases are succinct, typically not exceeding a page in length or 500 words. The goal here is to provide enough information so that the news outlets can create their own story about what the company is hoping to announce or release. The heading should contain action verbs to excite the audience, while the first paragraph should contain understandable language with a clear answer to the “who”, “what”, “why” and “where”. 

While it is tempting to position your marketing content as an overly embellished tale highlighting your companies accomplishments it is always more beneficial to provide a clear story without the fluff. Transparency with your customers and prospects is imperative in order to build trust. 

The Rules…

Here are 5 simple rules:

  1. Make your headline irresistible.
  2. Convey that the content is valuable to the press. 
  3. Offer a tempting quote opportunity. 
  4. Provide useful background information on the subject.
  5. Summarize the “who” and the “what” in a boilerplate. 

Rule 1: Make your headline irresistible. You only have one line to captivate your audience’s attention. Utilize action verbs! Make the headline concise and compelling. 

Rule 2: Convey that the content is valuable to the press. Why should they care about your story? Get to the point immediately. The first paragraph should cover the who, why, where, and how of your new launch, update, or development. 

Rule 3: Offer a tempting quotable opportunity for your audience. Paint a visual for reporters. Give life to your story by providing a quote from a key stakeholder. The chosen quote should shape your narrative and emphasize the core message of your announcement. Do not feel compelled to get multiple perspectives instead focus on one individual’s unique viewpoints. 

Rule 4: Provide valuable background information on the subject. In this last paragraph, keep in mind that at this point the reader has all of the information they need to get the story out there. You may provide details here to strengthen the narrative. Remember it should be helpful and concise. 

Rule 5: Summarize the “who” and the “what” in a boilerplate. Make your release easy to reference. Describe what your company does in plain English, include a link to your company’s homepage straight off the bat, and make your boilerplate succinct and straightforward. Get an outside perspective. Ask a friend or colleague to read the release and give you feedback on the clarity of the announcement. Can they easily explain to you why this message matters? 

The key is to create useful content. Press releases can still be valuable, so instead of ditching them all together, give them a modern makeover. 

Check out our sample template…

And, there you have it, the tools to craft your own story and use tactful outreach to get your audience interested in your association or membership organization. Good luck!!