Alasdair Lindsay blog avatar
Alasdair Lindsay
Aug. 11, 2022
Alasdair Lindsay
Aug. 11, 2022
Sept. 12, 2022

Creating a Press Release That Converts

While focusing on ideation, data, and managing a client’s expectations, it’s common for a press release to take a completely different shape from the one first envisioned.

What was a simple idea at first may have grown into something much larger, or an initially broad idea might start to feel constricting. Following redrafts and feedback, it’s not uncommon for a press release to feel miles apart from your initial vision, and it’s easy to lose focus on why it was written in the first place.

Here are some tips from a successful digital PR agency on creating a press release that is meaningful from the very beginning. From maintaining a journalistic mindset to identifying the perfect style for your press release, and overcoming some common pitfalls.

Providing a Journalist With the Right Tools 

Between juggling complicated datasets and keeping your information engaging, it’s a common mistake to create a press release that’s missing what first made it evocative. Creating a well-crafted press release is always an accomplishment, but if it lands in a journalist’s inbox and has them asking “so what?”, then all that hard work will be for nought.

Above all else, you’re looking to create a press release that will be a tool for journalists. As writers for digital publications receive hundreds of emails a day, and the PR industry becomes only more competitive, it’s never been more important to give journalists the exact tool they need. To understand what that is, it’s essential to understand why, and how, your journalist writes articles in the first place. 

The number of digital news and magazine users is expected to rise to over 1.8 billion by 2027

Your press release has to be strategic. It has to be meaningful to as many journalists as possible, so they can communicate that meaning to their own audience. With figures suggesting that the number of digital news and magazine users will rise to over 1.8 billion by 2027, there’s more pressure than ever for journalists to write articles that will garner attention.  

That’s the unifying factor of every journalist: they want their articles to be meaningful, or else their audiences aren’t going to bother reading. So, to create a press release with purpose, you’ll need to understand their audience. 

Understanding the Audience’s Headspace

There are two major reasons an audience is likely to read a news article: to be informed or to be entertained. While there are others, these two purposes serve as convenient umbrellas you can use when writing a good press release. 

As long as your press release is doing at least one of these two things, it is very likely to resonate with a journalist. The more successfully it does so, the more likely a journalist will publish the data. 

Which Approach Is Most Beneficial When Creating a Press Release?

A comparison between an informative press release and an entertaining oneAn Informative Press Release

There are pros and cons to this type of press release. Creating an informative press release is best for data that is complicated and holds real-world value. Some studies Reboot have conducted that suit this approach best are the UK regions getting the best returns on council tax, how many Brits want a pay rise to match the cost of living, and the countries where you’re most likely to have your car stolen

These studies find their meaning in how they may inform a reader’s lifestyle. You’re unlikely to have fun reading these articles, but they may affect where you choose to live, the way you think about your wages, or your approach to securing your vehicle. They were published by journalists because they feel the data may hold real value in their audience’s lives someday.

Considering this, it can be tempting to try and walk this path with each press release you write. However, it has its challenges:

An informative dataset is almost always synonymous with a large dataset. For a journalist to get on board, they will have to feel that they have the whole picture. While they will only use a fraction of the stats on offer, they will need to understand the data as a whole—but they’re definitely not going to have the time to go through it themselves. 

The press release has to give enough information to give this impression, without becoming tiresome. To tackle this, always try to avoid unnecessary fluff. Present the data clearly and showcase the highlights from your findings—this helps to prevent your press release from becoming over-complicated. 

Boring is one of the worst things a press release can be. Nobody will read a boring article, no matter how important, so you need to convince a journalist that your data is as far from it as it can be. Keep it snappy. Get to the point. Don’t make your press release too wordy, or fill it with fluff.

Creating a press release that is to the point and communicates in an effective, intelligent way is a balancing act. 

Tip: Creating a press release is a balancing act. Try to keep it snappy, yet communicate your message in an effective way.

So, always get feedback! There’s no such thing as too much constructive criticism. Understand where your colleague’s issues with a release may be coming from, and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite until you’re confident that your press release is as good as it can be.

An Entertaining Press Release

Studies like the most attractive video game characters and the best city for bookworms were all published to entertain the publication’s readers. Their value comes from their inherent fun. 

Readers will have their curiosity piqued by articles which reveal whether their favourite franchises boast the most attractive characters, or if their city is catered to bookworms. Though this is unlikely to change the course of their lives, these lighthearted and fun pieces are valuable because they entertain. 

With a good press release, digital PRs can even achieve global coverage for a hair transplant client even if the idea is as wacky as “the ten sexiest bald men in the world”. 

However, in all these cases, journalists need to be reassured by the press release that the subject matter is going to pique the interest of their readers, which poses its own set of issues:

Questions like “which gaming characters are most attractive” are subjective. It’s important not to shy away from this. At best, it will have a journalist doubting your methodology, and at worst, it will look as if you have something to hide. 

Instead, inform the journalist how the results were obtained before you give them. They understand that this press release is supposed to be entertaining, so explaining your methodology beforehand is telling your journalist, “this is how we reached these results. Wouldn’t it be fun if we indulged in them?”

Unlike an informative piece, an entertaining press release is less likely to have heaps of data to work with, meaning a journalist may feel as though there is less of a story. 

Tip: Use comparisons, additional references, or stories in the news to flesh out a press release.

This is why it’s important to harness your creativity when writing a good press release. You can flesh it out with reactive stories in the news, comparisons within the data or additional references to the sector. This will not only help to add relevancy for the journalists but will also make the PR as a whole feel complete.

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment With Your Press Release

Finally, it’s important to consider that your press release will usually not comfortably fit into just one of these categories. It’s a spectrum rather than a binary, and understanding where your press release falls onto that spectrum can allow you to better understand why it does or does not work. It can also help to retain the journalistic mindset when writing a press release. 

You can play with these PR categories while creating a press release within redrafts, challenge what doesn’t work and lean into what does. Don’t be afraid to try something new—it may just work for some journalists! 

If creating a press release that is good enough to secure relevant links that will make any SEO company happy still seems too difficult, then let the experts at Reboot do it for you. 


Reboot Online has been selected among the Top PR Agencies in London by Designrush.