Press releases are alive and well. They’re a staple of the PR professional’s world helping them to increase brand visibility and awareness, that is, providing they’re well written.
If you’re sending releases but struggling to land coverage, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and rethink what you’re communicating and how. To help spark some inspiration, we’ve gathered a list of 10 exemplar press releases, each communicating different messages. Whether it's to announce the launch of your new product, a new acquisition or to promote your next event, below you will find many sample press releases to inspire you. You'll also find a press release template at the bottom of this article which you can download for free and customise.
A press release is one of the most effective promotional tools in your kit when launching a new product, but in most cases, announcing a new product isn’t enough to make this a newsworthy story.
Before pitching anything, ask yourself how is this product worthy of being considered as news? Are innovative technologies used? Does it offer anything different from what’s already on the market? What is ‘new’ about this product?
If a product is new to your company but not the market, you’re unlikely to land coverage. So, think about what sets this product or service out from the rest and lead with this message.
The added value of this product is obvious and innovative: the phone offers an improved photographic experience thanks to artificial intelligence. While Huawei covers on all the benefits of their product (longer battery, larger memory, larger screen), they chose to rely almost exclusively on this innovation because that’s the newsworthy hook.
The press release is also not scattered in technical jargon. The paragraph about artificial intelligence linked to photography is clear and to the point. While it doesn’t present the technology, it does offer concrete benefits that will improve the user's daily life.
We also like how the press release summarises the major characteristics of the new models first in the form of a bulleted list, then goes into the details of each model for those who wish to know more.
Other examples of interesting product launch press releases:
To get earned media placements in your desired publications, you will need to show that your new service addresses a very real problem experienced by your target audience – and demonstrate that this problem has yet to be addressed.
The promise of your service should be simple and summarized in the title of your press release. Similarly to new product announcements, new service press releases should present how the need is met by this service and its innovative nature compared to what’s currently available in the market.
Example: "BlaBlaCar creates BlaBlaLines, carpooling application for daily trips" by BlaBlaCar.
The promise of this new service is clear and conveyed in the title of the press release. BlaBlaCar demonstrates the real need for this service, which no one was responding to (“There are 13.5 million people who drive to work and back”) and how they were in the best position to meet it (“We are seeing a steady increase in shorter-distance trips offered on BlaBlaCar”).
Other examples of interesting service launch press releases:
When it comes to communicating an event, there are various ways to approach journalists. Think about what exactly it is you want journalist to do. Do you want them to raise awareness of your event amongst their readership? Do you want to personally invite them to come? Do you want to invite them so they can cover key highlights? Keep your goal in mind and frame the press release story about what you want journalists to do after reading it.
Example: "Cannes Lions publishes agenda for the second edition of LIONS Live" by Cannes Lions
In very few words, this press release delivers a tremendous amount of information. The opening statement alone helps audiences quickly understand what the release is about, reading: “Creatives from across the world come together to deliver practical learning, inspiration and insight through the free programme.”
To spark interest and engagement, the press release also highlights the presence of public figures joining the speaker line up and goes into depth around why the agenda looks the way it does which significantly adds purpose to the event. Finally, in terms of form, the press release presents a clear call to action aimed at its target, inviting people to register and get tickets.
Other examples of interesting event promotion press releases:
When you’re communicating a new partnership, there are three essential elements to integrate into your press release:
Example: "Marriott Bonvoy Launches Marketing Partnership with the National Park Foundation" by Marriott.
One of my favourite things about this press release is how the synergy between the two companies is presented, both of whom are addressing the “new normal” travel industry by encouraging customers to embark on local adventures.
The second paragraph of the press release is dedicated entirely to promoting awareness of drive-to vacations by explaining just how many destinations are on our doorstep (“According to the National Park Foundation, most Americans live within 100 miles of a national park”). Meanwhile, the third paragraph nicely makes the link between the values of Marriott Bonvoy and the National Park Foundation. Quotes from spokespeople from each company reinforce the idea of a common vision, which in turn, positions this partnership beyond a business strategy.
Other examples of interesting partnership press releases:
The good news is that fundraising is very popular, the not so good news for PRs is that landing coverage through this type of announcement is difficult as a result. That being said, driving earned media through fundraiser announcements isn’t unheard of. It is, however, important that you keep your fundraising press release announcement current by including the following elements:
Example: "Empowering girls – Beiersdorf and Plan International kick off their partnership" by Beiersdorf.
The two bullet points featured in the introduction clearly summarise the objectives of this fundraising effort. The press release is also structured under headings which makes it particularly readable. The fact that Beiersdorf details how they plan to make a difference, beyond the monetary investment (“Beiersdorf’s 50 million Euro aid program is based on four pillars: disinfectant donations, product donations, employee donations and corporate donations”) also gives journalists different potential story routes to follow.
Other examples of interesting fundraiser press releases:
If you’re struggling to find something relevant and newsworthy to communicate, publishing a study on your market or your consumers is a good way to win coverage. If you’re considering following this approach, communication around your study should include the following:
Example: "UK public urged to take care this summer as around 40% spending more time in the sun since COVID-19 lockdown" by Cancer Research.
The title is well written, and it not only announces that Cancer Research has published a study, but immediately presents the major lesson of the study which will arouse interest in journalists.
The press release plays a lot on emotion using strong vocabulary such as words like “urged”, “protect” and “damage”. By emphasizing the impact of the results of the study, the text makes you want to resolve the issues raised. Research methodology has also been included which supports the credibility of this study. In addition to this, the quotes presented in this press release are not just a paraphrase of the content of the study but add real value with further relevant analysis of the study results.
Other examples of interesting new study press releases:
Spreading awareness about an award you’ve recently obtained is a great way to position your brand. If you decide to communicate such news (and we recommend you do), here is the information to include in your press release:
Example: "Cisco ranks as one of the world’s best places to work–here’s why" by Cisco.
After a brief reminder of the brand's positioning in this ranking over the past few years, Cisco presents the reasons for winning the number one spot (“The survey found that an overwhelming 95 percent or more of employees found that Cisco is a safe place to work and that they are treated fairly regardless of sexual orientation or race. In addition, employees felt they could also take off work when necessary"). Cisco also took the time to explain other related awards won (“In addition, two Cisco leaders were named recipients of the 2020 For All Leadership Awards”), to help further cement their positioning.
This release worked particularly well as the tech giant used it as an opportunity to communicate its values, particularly around conscious culture, mental health and its impact in local communities, even linking to their 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility Report as proof!
Other examples of interesting awards won press releases:
Acquisitions are always interesting; they testify to the maturity of a market and make it possible to identify emerging players. To announce an acquisition, it is important to include:
Example: "Salesforce completes acquisition of Tableau" by Tableau
The release details how both companies’ capabilities complement each other whilst clearly explaining how all customer needs will be addressed through the acquisition. The release features quotes from external news articles, helping to convey how the move it perceived as positive from both internal and external audiences. I also particularly like how they have used this opportunity to promote the attendance of a ‘guidance’ conference call that will share further details for stakeholders involved, such as customers.
Other examples of interesting acquisition press releases:
In the majority of cases, a company anniversary isn’t interesting enough to encourage a journalist to write about you, it’s up to you to make the milestone newsworthy. To help, many companies create interesting content, organise an event or a contest or announce the release of a limited-edition product.
Covid-19 might have cancelled many events this year, but it wasn’t about to cancel Fischer-Price’s 90th birthday! To spark some buzz, Mattell decided to base their release around a ‘first-of-its-kind digital experience’, a curated exhibition of classic Fisher-Price toys from the past nine decades, rather than the milestone itself. The virtual museum is innovative, relevant and has a human element to the story which makes it newsworthy.
Other examples of interesting product launch press releases:
When a large group appoints a new leader, the announcement is often picked up by business press. If you want to broadcast this type of communication, here is the information to include in your press release:
Example: “Heidi B. Capozzi Joins McDonald’s as Executive Vice President and Global Chief People Officer" by McDonald’s.
This press release presents the reasons which led to the role that Heidi B. Capozz will occupy and the actions already taken to achieve the objectives of this new leadership position. The rest of the press release is dedicated to her professional career before joining the group, showing such accomplishments further cements why Capozz is best suited for this position.
Here are a few tips given by journalists when it comes to writing effective press releases:
By following these tips to write a better press release, you’ll be practising good communication that journalists may want to read—and use—in their upcoming stories.
To help you increase earned media, we've created a free downloadable press release template that includes tips for completing each part. The template is downloaded in Word format so you can easily customise text to reflect your brand and adapt it to your message. Download the template here.