6 Steps to Writing an Effective Press Release

Posted by Jacquelyn Marchand

June 22, 2016 at 1:30 PM

writing an effective press releaseCreating the kind of press release that showcases your brand and business acumen can go a long way toward helping you garner the kind of media attention you want. But where do you begin?

Our guide to writing an effective press release outlines all the information you should include, as well as tips, best practices, and standard parameters. From creating a strong leading statement to tying your news back to clients, following these six steps can help you gain visibility, attract prospects, develop relationships with key media contacts, and further your firm’s overall business strategy.

1) Provide Contact Information

At the top of every press release, provide the contact information for the person who will be responsible for handling any responses to the release. This includes:

  • Contact name
  • Firm name
  • Firm phone number
  • Contact e-mail
  • Firm web address

Here, an actual person should be listed with his or her direct contact information. Equally important, ensure that he or she is available to field any media inquiries on the day you plan to issue your announcement.

2) Include an Attention-Grabbing Headline

The next element is the headline, stating the exact purpose of the press release (e.g., “XYZ Firm Receives Community Service Award”). Be short and direct. Remember, you don’t want to leave reporters guessing. If they don’t immediately understand the purpose of the press release, sometimes they’ll stop reading here. Still, if you do want to offer additional detail that can be read as quickly as the headline, one option is to offer a short subhead under your main headline.

3) Lead with a Strong Statement

The first sentence of your press release should be a strong statement that articulates what you are announcing and its relevance to the financial advisory industry. Here’s one example:

Firm Name, a leading financial services firm in Your City, Your State, today announces . . .

4) Integrate Relevant Quotes

The second paragraph is a great place to dedicate quotes from someone relevant to your news. 

  • Announcing a new advisor joining your practice? Consider a quote from the founder/CEO welcoming the new advisor to the firm and pointing out how he or she will bring value to your business and clients.
  • Being recognized for offering pro bono financial advice with a local charity? This would be a perfect opportunity for a few words from a leader of that organization who can speak to your character, work ethic, and commitment to your community.

Whomever you choose to quote, ensure that the individual is aware of when you will issue this press release and that he or she will be available to speak with any media who may be interested in more information.

5) Provide Supporting Details

The third paragraph is the time to provide supporting details and/or bullet points. The goal of this paragraph is twofold: Add any additional information that is relevant to your news and find ways to tie this announcement back to your clients. 

  • Do your clients deserve recognition?
  • How will your clients benefit from your announcement?
  • Will a client’s experience change as a result of this news?
  • Will your practice grow, focus on a particular area going forward, or maintain a particular competitive advantage?

Remember, if your news gains traction, any resulting stories are likely to get the attention of prospective clients. Write with that audience in mind. What might you want new business contacts to know?

6) Create Boilerplate Language

The end of the release is an ideal spot to insert boilerplate language about your firm. This way, you’re not using valuable space within the release on background information on your company. For example:

Firm Name has been providing individuals and organizations with financial guidance since Year Established. Located at Full Registered Branch Address, the firm’s advisors pride themselves on crafting unique strategies for each client. For more information, please visit www.ApprovedWebsiteAddress.com. Insert disclosure as approved on stationery materials.

Stay connected. If your firm is active on social media, you’ll also want to list links to all your corporate pages (e.g., LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, corporate blog). This will help increase your visibility and gain followers. It will also offer the reader additional ways to get to know your brand and interact with you.

End with three number signs. Be sure to close each press release with three centered number signs (###). This indicates to reporters and editors that this is the end of the document.

Get Noticed

By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to crafting the kind of message that gets you noticed, building long-standing relationships with the media, and establishing yourself and your business in the public eye.

What other elements do you include in a press release? Have you successfully reached prospects with press releases? Please share your thoughts with us below.

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