If you’re planning your media calendar for 2021, press releases are likely to be an important part of your Public Relations strategy. But journalists can get dozens of press releases a day - so we have gathered the best press release examples we can find to help you get that all-important earned media coverage over the coming year.

In this article, we go through best-in-class examples of press releases, why and how to write them, and the key points that make them newsworthy and interesting to the media. Once you’ve got a killer press release ready to go, don’t forget to check out our guide to successfully distributing it.

1

Product launch

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When you issue a press release about a new product, it’s important to highlight why it’s innovative or newsworthy. Unless you’re a global name like Apple, product launches often struggle to get media coverage because news organizations usually consider these stories more appropriate for paid advertising. Hundreds of companies launch new products every single day, so it’s crucial to underline what makes yours worth talking about.

Make sure you have a carefully curated list of journalists who write about your sector and write a press release that talks about things like test-runs, reviews, and product comparisons. Brands commonly send a sample of their products to influencers, bloggers, or journalists with sector expertise to use and review alongside a press release. This significantly increases your chances of getting earned media coverage, as does hosting a physical event and inviting journalists along.

Of course, while events are a great idea - holding them in person is off the table in most countries for the moment until the pandemic subsides. That gives you an opportunity to innovate and hold virtual events instead - send your press release with an invite to a fun, educational, interactive online event.

What should that press release include?

  • The date and location where the product will be launched, and where it will be available both in person and online.
  • Unique selling points - what makes the product special versus previous models or competitors
  • High-quality product photos, renders, and/or videos
  • Product specifications
2

The human interest story

When your company has news that relates to current affairs, a human interest angle can show the true impact of what your company is doing in a way that the bare facts cannot. We have seen this repeatedly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Facts and figures are always important, but stories allow us to connect to them on an emotional level. Sometimes it’s all about finding a narrative that connects directly to your main audience.

A business that pivoted from fashion to creating face coverings is a good story, and even better if you can tell it from the perspective that it saved a local mother’s job. Scientists at a pharmaceutical company can give us all the statistics about a vaccine's safety, but a press release with photos of your Prime Minister or favourite celebrity taking the vaccine gives a reassuring face to the story. People connect with stories about people.

COVID-19 has brought the focus to how health institutions operate, this release by the Shepherd Center is a good example of how to own the narrative and build trust during difficult times. It’s important to speak to people in a human tone, with a message they can relate to. By placing the focus on their mission and bringing an expert to the table, Shepherd Center manages to convey a sense of trustworthiness.

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3

You’re hiring

One of the best pieces of news you can announce in the media is that you’re hiring new staff. Creating employment is always good news, and it’s a story journalists love to cover because it’s of vital importance to the economy. Whether you’re a small business announcing 20 new jobs or a global giant creating thousands of them, this is something to make a big song and dance about.

You can target both local and national media with your press release, and make sure to include what departments you’ll be hiring in, whether the roles will be junior or senior, why you’re expanding your team, and a web page where anyone who’s interested can find out more about your recruitment drive.

Get quotes from politicians of Chambers of Commerce about how these jobs will boost the local economy, as well as from your own senior leadership team about why you’re choosing to expand now. This is one of the best examples of press releases that consistently get picked up in the media.

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4

You’re moving or opening offices

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Similar to recruitment drives, opening a new location is exciting news. It demonstrates that your organization is making a long-term commitment to the area, and that your business will support the local economy. It signals the possibility of job creation, and sends the message that your company is in a healthy financial state and is expanding. It’s an all-round good news story and that’s why you need to create a buzz in the media when you open a new location.

Provide high quality photos of your new location or even video if possible. If you really want to make a big deal, ask a local politician or celebrity to cut the red ribbon at an event to launch the new location creating a perfect photo opportunity. Highlight why the new location will be important for your business, but also how it will contribute to the city and community through CSR initiatives, jobs and investment.

Write a press release that targets national business journalists, editors who focus on jobs and the economy, and local media outlets. It’s a great way of announcing your organization’s introduction to the city’s business community.

5

You’ve got major new funding or investment

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Next up in news that’s worth shouting about is new funding or investment. Whether you’ve secured funding from angel investors, venture capitalists, by going public at an IPO, or even receiving a significant government grant, new funding is big news.

When companies secure major investment, it generally indicates that they will be able to create jobs, develop new products and innovate. It’s a sign that the investor has huge confidence in the business and considers it likely to succeed. This is the kind of news that business and finance journalists love to write about, and it’s an excellent opportunity to showcase your CEO.

Write a news release that talks about the amount of funding you’ve received, where it’s coming from, and how you plan to invest it. Focus on what it means for your company’s future, your employees, and the clients and customers you serve. Don’t forget to include the local angle where it’s relevant - what will this investment change for the communities you operate within?

6

You announce a collaboration

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Partnerships are a tried-and-true way to build brand awareness and grow your audiences. They help build trust and, if done right, they can bring your audiences even closer to your values.

Partnerships can range from a joint sales promotion to a long term strategic project between multiple brands. If your partnership is a major opportunity to generate some coverage, then issuing a good press release is key. This Velux and WWF partnership is newsworthy for a couple of reasons:

  • As companies face pressure from consumers to step up in their sustainability efforts, a serious commitment such as this partnership is likely to be picked up by consumers, investors and the press alike.
  • The brands you choose to partner with have to be strategically picked. Velux chose a well-known organization with a proven track record when it comes to environmental protection.
  • The level of transparency when disclosing any such efforts is important, it gives an indication that the company knows where they stand and is taking measurable steps in a direction.
  • Including sources, videos, and quotes to make their press release more engaging.
7

Your company wins an award or receives a certification

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Awards are important because they represent external recognition of your product or services. Every sector has their own version of the Oscars, where they aim to take home a prestigious prize. They are often handed out at extravagant awards ceremonies that are ideal photo opportunities. It’s important to be aware of when relevant awards are coming up and to put time into your entries to increase your chances of winning.

Certifications are a different type of recognition but are an incredibly important part of running a business. They can signal that a company takes their operations seriously and that they meet the necessary quality standards. For many brands, getting a certification is a long and work-intensive process, but it’s worth shouting out about it if you’re trying to establish yourself as a trustworthy company.

Journalists are often inundated with news about companies winning awards or getting certifications, so getting news coverage can be a challenge - it’s important to highlight what the award or certification means in terms of the future of the organization. It’s worth publishing the news even if major news organizations don’t pick up the content since Google will still pick it up. Share it on your social media accounts and link to it in your email signature where potential consumers, investors and employees might be looking into this as a selling point.

IWC Schaffhausen, a Swiss luxury watch manufacturer, is a short, good example of how to announce a certification with a press release. Albeit a niche market and topic, the release opens up immediately explaining what the certification is about and who is the certifying body. They also included quotes of high-level executives to add some context and relevance to the certification announcement (since they are the first luxury watch brand to attain the certification).

8

Changes in key staff

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Often, the first result in Google for a senior executive’s name is the press release where they are announced in their new role. This is because SEO (search engine optimization) plays an important role in driving traffic to your newsroom. A senior appointment is big news in terms of both the individual and the organization - it’s an opportunity to build the profile of your new executive publicly and also to send a message about the direction your company is heading.

Ohio Health is a recognized, non-for-profit, charitable, US healthcare outreach. Recently, they appointed a new Chief Operating Officer. The announcement came in the middle of health organizations bringing their focus into efforts to contain a pandemic, when the right leadership is ever more important. When announcing changes at the executive level, it’s always important to highlight their experience and why they are fit to lead the organization from the role they’ll be assuming. OhioHealth includes a quote as well from their CEO and president, Steve Markovich, MD:

“John’s personal values align with our culture and that was evident every time we talked. Likewise, when you look at all he has accomplished at Baylor Scott & White and throughout his career, there is no doubt he will hit the ground running at OhioHealth.”

Media interest in the story will often depend on the context of the hire. Make sure to highlight their personal story as well as their qualifications and experience, how they fit with the future vision of the organization and the values they embody.

What press release examples inspired you in 2020?

When you’ve got good news at your company, it’s important to make noise! Make a note of what you liked and use every tool at your disposal, from the relationships you’ve built with journalists to the events you hold to the software you use to make sure you get the maximum amount of coverage possible. It’s how your reputation is built and maintained.

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