Have you always wanted to know how to write a press release? These are the bread-and-butter tools of PR and marketing and are brilliant for sharing information whilst generating visibility and awareness for your brand. In this article, we will share our top tips for how to write a great release – and what you can expect from raising your profile with the press – be it local, national or even global!
What is a press release?
A press release is one of the most well-known ‘PR’ tools – it is a short, punchy statement which conveys news on a key topic primarily to the media, who then distribute the key messages on your behalf to their readers.
The value of a great press release in the beauty industry
Beauty press releases are brilliant tools to secure exposure and visibility of your brand or business – passing on those key messages about why you’re great to your target audiences. This can in turn help to drive opportunities for your brand – be that consumers taking an ACTION (such as making an appointment, clicking to find out more, purchasing the item etc) or for other brands to get in touch for a collaboration.
Press releases are a pathway to credibility because they rely on a third party (i.e. a journalist) telling your story for you, therefore they create better trust and engagement from your target audiences. The golden ticket for brand owners is understanding how to write a press release that will motivate journalists to talk about you!
When Should You Write a Release?
The key criteria here is NEWS and NEWSWORTHINESS – you should send out a beauty press release when you have some news to tell, or an important update that will be of interest to the press and your target customer audiences. This could be the launch of a new brand or business, an anniversary, an exciting new update or product, a celebrity trend, an award or accolade etc.
Even if you don’t have news, you can MAKE some by delivering interesting or creative insights – perhaps a comment on a celebrity trend, or insights on new products, treatments or services making waves right now! In cosmetic surgery, patient transformations or new data and statistics are often used to create ‘new news’.
The challenges of the press release in the aesthetics and beauty industry
As we know, the key challenge in the beauty and aesthetics industries is the sheer level of competition and ‘noise’ in the market – with so many other brands jostling for attention, how do you write a press release that stands out? This comes back mostly to the point above – newsworthiness, alongside the quality and style of the release and also the timing that it is sent out.
With beauty press releases in particular, so much of the language and angles have been covered already, so to avoid a weary eye-roll from a beauty journalist, your release needs to provide a fresh perspective, a different approach – or something well-timed, current and on-trend – tapping into the needs, expectations and questions going around in the moment. Remember, just because something is new and important to you, doesn’t mean that this will apply to your seasoned beauty writer! The key litmus test – will their readers CARE about this news? If not, why should they?
Always test your beauty press release
Before you start, a good technique to help you write a press release is to TEST your story by putting yourself in the journalists’ shoes and asking yourself the following questions:
- So what? What’s the big picture, or the broader outcome to get across?
- Who cares? Who specifically will care about this story? How much of the journalists’ readership will be affected or interested?
- What does this story give THEM? Are you giving the journalist an exclusive? An exciting story they would like to cover? The chance to get noticed by their editor?
How to write a press release
Once your beauty press release passes these criteria (along with the all-important newsworthiness) you can get started with the actual writing. Here’s our guide to the ideal press release structure section-by-section:
- Headline – This must tell the whole story within a punchy 5-6 word limit (i.e. email subject or desired newspaper headline!)
- Tip! Sometimes it’s easier to leave this bit until last.
- Sub-header – gives more context to the headline, similar length
- Embargo, Author, Date – Stipulate when the news will be released (and should not be published before), and indicate the author of this release and the date of issue
- Line 1 – The first sentence is crucial and should encapsulate the whole story, but in no more than 25 words. Imagine if the journalist only read the first line – would they still understand and care about your story?
- Paragraph 1 – Get all the information into the first paragraph. The test of success is whether the story can be understood in its entirety if only the first paragraph was reproduced in print.
- Paragraphs 2-3 – The rest of the release should contain the story’s key messages, answering the five W’s (WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHEN and HOW) and providing an additional expert quotes or case studies to underline the importance / relevance of the story
- Paragraph 4 – Outlines final information, such as referencing websites and ordering, or mentions other products in development, for example.
- Notes to Editors – Include any additional useful information for the journalist such as a short description of the company, service or product. Don’t forget to include your contact details!
Don’t forget to add the seasoning!
Aside from answering the WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHEN and HOW you can also strengthen your beauty press release and make it more attractive by including:
- Links to an existing relevant story (local / national)
- Opinions, insights or data
- Case studies
- Quotes from other expert sources
- Imagery, infographics or illustrations
- Beware: Large file sizes must be compressed!
3 tips for successful press release sending
- Use email – When it comes to sending your release, email is now the preferred method and timing is everything. For print titles, make sure you find out when the publication goes to press and ensure you send ahead of the filing deadline. Online outlets are more flexible, so it’s mostly a case of not sending late in the day or on a Friday, lest your email get buried in the inbox.
- Write a cover email – It’s always a good plan to write a brief cover email to the journalist, and paste the body of the release in the email, as well as attaching in a Word doc (for ease of the journalist copying and pasting content later). Avoid PDFs or large JPEGs – these tend to get blocked by spam filters.
- Add a personal touch – When it comes to email etiquette, if you are sending the release out yourself – never underestimate a personal approach. Always address your contacts by name, if possible referencing a previous relevant / interesting story they have written or a section in the publication that might be appropriate for your story. Ensure the email title matches the release, and keep your email short and to the point – highlighting that any further information is available on request.
Good relationships get results
As we’ve mentioned before, journalists are bombarded with press releases day in, day out – so whilst you can absolutely write and send your own releases, the value of a PR agency is often in the quality of their relationships with these journalists, which have been nurtured over a number of years. This helps us to ‘jump the queue’ when it comes to overloaded inboxes, helping us to keep our clients’ news at the top of the pile and more likely to make it through the editorial consideration process.
For more information about how Kendrick PR can support your brand or business in raising their profile with the press, please do check out our portfolio of expert PR services, or get in touch and we’d be happy to help!