How to Write Great B2B Press Releases That Increase Your Customer Base

Three must-have elements

Ryan E. Day

June 26, 2020

Writing a press release is easy. Writing a great press release takes some thought. And great press releases can draw more potential customers into your sphere of influence. Fortunately, writing great marketing copy isn’t all that complicated. Include these three elements and you’re well on your way to writing a great press release.

What is it?

Identify what is the one product, service, event, or piece of information you are sharing. Write down what that one thing is, and then whittle away anything that isn’t necessary. Your headline is often the “what” of your press release. (See figure 1.)

In order to be great:
Make it brief. Stay away from extraneous adjectives and adverbs. Just say what it is. Nobody takes your “awesome” and “the best” seriously in any case.
Make it clear. Don’t leave any question what the “it” is that this press release is promoting. Stay away from obscure or proprietary acronyms. If you must use an acronym, be sure to also spell it out. (See figure 2.)
Make it first. Do not bury that one thing with your company spiel or this year’s tagline.

Figure 1: This headline does not tell the reader what this press release is about (topics don’t count as “what”). What should always come first.

Figure 2: This headline is clear and concise: There is a manufactured housing event.

Why should they care?

Identify why your intended audience should care about this information. This is possibly the single most important element in your press release. What is the value proposition of the information being conveyed? This is necessarily related to who the intended reader is. It is impossible to over-stress this step. Is the press release for C suite, upper management, or mid-management? Or maybe it’s for influencers like lead-techs or quality managers? Knowing the “who” will guide the tone and language you use. It will also influence every other step in crafting a great press release. Your “why” is often the first paragraph of your press release.

In order to be great:
Make it brief. There is such a thing as too much information. Include only the most relevant few customer needs and/or pain points, but do include them. Do not begin your press release with a run-on sentence about your company’s position or values (unless, of course, that is the thing your press release is about). (See figure 3.)
Make it clear. How will your “what”—the product or service you identified—help your intended audience? Will it help increase their profit margin? Will upskilling help increase their income? Will it help them avoid noncompliance? Will it strengthen their supply chain? (See figure 4.)
Make it second. Within your press release, the “why” comes second in prominence after your “what,” but still ahead of your company spiel or this year’s tagline.

The key to this step is understanding that this press release is not actually about your company or its products and services. This—and every other piece of marketing content—is ultimately about the needs and pain points of the intended readers.

Figure 3: This opening text is immediately bogged down by the company tagline. Don’t expect readers to wade through the hyperbole looking for why they should care about this press release.

Figure 4: The text here is a two-fer. It identifies who—exhibitors and industry buyers—as well as why—to get ideas and inspiration.

If you can’t clearly identify who your intended readers are and how this information might help them, save your digital ink until you can.

What should they do next?

Identify what action you want your readers to take now that they’ve read your press release. This is your call to action (CTA). Yes, every great press release includes a CTA. Whether a product release, an event notice, or even a change in C-suite personnel, the press release fits somewhere in the buyer’s journey and should, therefore, include guidance for the next step. Clearly and briefly invite the reader to take an action. (See figures 5 and 6.)

In order to be great:
Make it brief. Don’t make this a multiple-choice solution.
Make it clear. A great CTA will have a tie-in with the press release’s “why should they care.” For example:
—“Don’t miss the FDA deadline”
—“See where you’re leaving profit on the table”
—“Yes, I want to upskill and become more valuable”

Make it third. And yes, the CTA is still ahead of your company spiel or this year’s tagline. Remember, unless the press release is all about company branding, your company spiel just shouldn’t be a prominent feature. A small company logo and your brand typography is plenty sufficient.

Figure 5: Weak platitudes like this almost guarantee the reader will forget they ever read this press release.

Figure 6: A clear CTA with a live link is the way to optimize your chances of engagement.

Bonus points

To be extra great, edit the press release into multiple versions and optimize each one for a particular channel, e.g., website landing page, social media, email, search ad. Oh, and make sure to view the press release on both browser and mobile platforms.

Keep the overall length short. In the old days of paper (remember paper?), the rule was that a press release should fit on one page. That meant your press release was usually fewer than 400 words. The same rule applies today. Less is more.

Finally, spell check everything, especially names. Is your CEO’s name John Smith or John Smyth or John Smythe? Get it right. Get the product spelling and capitalization correct. One big mistake in press releases is that writers often CAPITALIZE the product name to make it pop out. The problem is that is exactly how the editor will use it because some product names are capitalized, and not knowing the difference, the editor will use what you provide. If your product is called the WigitLyzer, spell it that way, not WIGITLYZER. Speaking of product names, forgo all the ™, ©, trademark, and copyright symbols. Publications don’t use them, so don’t bother.

Sometimes your press release will be the first impression your company makes on a prospective customer. Will the impression be “Meh” or “Great!”?

About The Author

Ryan E. Day’s picture

Ryan E. Day

Ryan E. Day is Quality Digest’s project manager and senior editor for solution-based reporting, which brings together those seeking business improvement solutions and solution providers. Day has spent the last decade researching and interviewing top business leaders and continuous improvement experts at companies like Sakor, Ford, Merchandize Liquidators, Olympus, 3D Systems, Hexagon, Intertek, InfinityQS, Johnson Controls, FARO, and Eckel Industries. Most of his reporting is done with the help of his 20 lb tabby cat at his side.