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9 Types of Press Releases & How to Use Them

With fake news and misinformation plaguing our newsfeeds daily, studies show that journalists still rely on the press release as a credible source of information as well as a fact-checking resource.

As an important component of your marketing toolkit, media releases can be used to deliver all types of organisational news and updates. Whether it’s for branding purposes, to announce important company developments or part of a public relations campaign, press releases help your brand to build a positive relationship with the media and public.

Here are nine different types of press releases and how to use them in your marketing efforts.

What are the Different Types of Press Releases?

1. Product Launches

According to Clayton Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School, “Nearly 30,000 new products are introduced each year, and 95% of them fail.” There is a whole host of reasons contributing to the high failure rate, but creating sufficient awareness and interest is vital to jumpstarting sales and ensuring a successful launch.

A press release is an effective way to promote the launch of a new product. To create interest and engagement, the release should highlight unique features of the product with specific details on pricing and accessibility, and prompt the reader to find out more or visit the store.

Essential content that should be included:

  • What problems the product solves
  • How the product makes life easier or better for users
  • The product’s special features, especially those unique from its competitors
  • New or innovative technology used
  • Who would benefit most from the product
  • Different versions of the product and the price range
  • High-resolution product images and video teasers
  • Early-bird specials or pre-order incentives
  • Where and when the product will be available for purchase
  • Boilerplate summary about the company and contact info

If you’re offering pre-order incentives or a limited-time discount, make sure to create trackable links to the product launch landing page to measure the effectiveness of your press release in converting interest into action.

2. Service Launches

Similarly, a media release to announce the launch of a new service is essential to build exposure and interest in the lead-up to the launch.

Your service launch press release should contain the following information:

  • What’s unique about the service
  • How the service improves the user’s life or work
  • Whom it’s designed for
  • Specific results or benefits to the user
  • The date of the launch
  • Different levels of service and the price range
  • Distinctive aspects of the technology involved
  • What sets it apart from competing services
  • The vision behind the service
  • Where to sign up for a free demo (similarly here, include trackable links)
  • Simple introduction about the company
  • Contact info for media and public enquiries

Depending on the nature of the service and whether it’s a digital or physical service, this might affect your target audience and choice of distribution platforms. If you’re targeting a B2B tech-savvy audience, for example, you’ll want to reach out to journalists and media platforms focused on that niche.

3. Business Expansion or Major Updates

This includes new store openings, major product/service upgrades, and any changes that deliver added value to your customers. Any important developments that offer added convenience and accessibility, and deliver enhanced customer experience should be communicated through an official press release to create awareness and boost your brand image.

Make sure you include the following in your news story:

  • What the change is about in a few simple words and why it’s important
  • Key benefits of the change for customers, whether it’s cost savings, convenience, accessibility, or the introduction of new features
  • How the upgrade improves the current customer or user experience
  • Date of the new store opening, product, or service update roll-out
  • Who benefits most from the expansion or update
  • The investment value of the new store or product or service update
  • The customer service contact for queries or feedback
  • Boilerplate overview of the company and its nature of business

4. Rebranding

A rebrand typically involves a comprehensive transformation of the brand’s visual and business identity. It might be to realign the brand with a new direction or a result of internal restructuring. Whatever the reason for the rebranding exercise, it’s a significant makeover that warrants a press release to communicate the change to the brand’s stakeholders.

Educating your customers and the public about your rebranding campaign takes a certain amount of effort, which makes it imperative to communicate the change clearly and confidently. The press release should provide details on what’s different, the reason for the rebrand, and most importantly, how the change benefits or affects users.

To create a positive buzz around your rebrand, include the following in your press statement:

  • An engaging story that explains the reason for the rebrand and why it’s necessary
  • How the rebranding exercise helps the company and its stakeholders, including its employees and customers
  • The new brand name, direction, vision and values, as well as the inspiration behind it
  • The extent of the rebrand and what exactly will be different
  • Visual representations of the new brand identity and aesthetics versus the old (e.g. logo, website design, storefront identity, colour palette, tagline, etc)
  • The PR or creative agency managing the rebranding campaign
  • When the rebranding takes effect
  • A link to an online presskit with high-resolution files of the new brand assets
  • A contact person whom the media and public can address their queries to

5. Events

A press release is a useful marketing tool to publicise special company events such as:

  • Exclusive VIP events
  • Corporate retreats
  • Charity initiatives such as marathons and auction fundraisers
  • Press conferences for business announcements
  • New product or service launches
  • Community-centric activities such as blood drives and tree-planting, etc

Issuing an event press release helps you build media exposure before and after the event for brand visibility and to create positive public relations.

The following information should be included in the press release:

  • The purpose of the event and why it’s important
  • Date, time and venue
  • Type of event: private or public
  • If it’s a public event, specify who should attend and how
  • Highlights of the event programme, including special guests
  • Contact information for media and public enquiries about the event

6. Social & Environmental Initiatives

With social and environmental topics gaining widespread support and attention over the last few years, the pressure is on for businesses to step up and do their part.

From creating a more open, diverse, and inclusive working environment to transitioning towards a carbon-free business model, supporting social or environmental initiatives is a great way to promote a positive brand image while making a difference. It’s the kind of feel-good news that ordinary consumers would be more likely to engage with.

That said, it’s vital for your press release to deliver the news in a credible and objective manner so as to ensure the authenticity and transparency of your efforts.

Include the following facts and information in your press release:

  • The motivation for your initiative
  • The scope of your programme and specifics on how it will benefit the community or environment
  • How you will implement your initiative(s) and ensure its integrity
  • Valid research that shows a need for your initiative
  • Quotes from the company’s management on why the initiative is important
  • Contact details for the person in charge of the programme

7. New Executive Hires

Changes in a company’s leadership can be unsettling for shareholders and consumers. To ensure a smooth transition and build credibility, make sure to provide all the relevant information in a timely press release.

Essential information includes an overview of the new hire’s education and career history, noteworthy achievements in their industry, leadership style and any other pertinent information that affects their stewardship of the company.

Specifically, your new hire media release should include the following:

  • The individual’s unique expertise or experience that makes him or her a valuable asset to the organisation
  • Distinguished awards or achievements in their specific field
  • Major career and education milestones
  • Their role and responsibilities in the organisation
  • How their skills and background will help the company achieve its goals
  • A quote from the new hire as well as a senior member of the company’s management team

8. Crisis Management

If you ever find your company faced with reputational disaster, you’ll want to issue a crisis press release at the earliest opportunity. Used to address a major problem or crisis, this kind of media statement allows you to get ahead of the situation and prevent it from spiralling out of control.

A crisis management press release is commonly used in the following instances:

  • An unexpected disruption of services
  • Prolonged website downtime
  • Cybersecurity attacks that result in data breaches
  • Unprofessional conduct by prominent employees
  • Critical customer service failures that reflect poorly on the company
  • Negligent or criminal actions that affect the community or environment (remember the BP oil spill?)

Depending on the severity of the crisis, your press release should contain the following information:

  • Accurate information about the event and its repercussions
  • An honest account of your company’s role in the event, taking responsibility for any mistakes that were made
  • Your plan of action to address or rectify the situation
  • An official apology or statement of regret from the company’s CEO if necessary
  • Details of the company’s involvement in relief or crisis management efforts
  • Contact information for the latest updates

9. Awards & Industry Recognition

You’ve worked hard to earn that accolade. Now go forth and share the good news with the world! There is one caveat though: phrase your award press release in an objective and modest tone. You don’t want to come across as being overly promotional or gimmicky.

Stick to the facts, such as:

  • The full name of the award and its significance
  • Background information about the organisation issuing the award
  • The winning criteria and what your company did to be selected
  • Credibility of the award via quotes from established industry players
  • How winning the award affects your business, customers, and employees
  • A quote from your company CEO or senior executive
  • Media contact for press enquiries
  • Boilerplate overview of your company

FAQs

1. What are the most commonly used press releases?

While all press releases are used to generate media coverage, the following are the most common types of press releases:

  • Launch: This isn’t limited to product or service launches; a launch press release can also be used to announce a new brand, idea, or special initiative by the company.
  • Event: This type of announcement covers all kinds of company events, both internal and external.
  • Product: While similar to a launch release, a product media release contains specific product specifications and information about its availability.
  • New executive hires: Huge corporates and multinationals will typically issue press statements to announce new hires, especially those in senior management positions.

2. Is there a difference between a news release and a press release?

Contrary to the common assumption that a news release is the same as a press release, the two are actually used for different purposes. A news release covers newsworthy topics that are currently happening or has recently happened, while a press release is used to announce something that is scheduled to happen soon.

A news release is often an unbiased reporting on a wide range of topics, including politics, crime, local and global news, and general events. In contrast, a press release is typically a formal statement issued to promote a certain project, commercial development, or government-related news.

3. What are the most important elements of a press release?

To produce an effective press release, consider factoring in these five essential components:

  • Relevant timing: For example, publishing your press release in conjunction with relevant annual commemorative events will create added interest and exposure.
  • A short and catchy headline: Draw readers in with a compelling hook.
  • Informative first paragraph: Start the press release with a clear and concise summary that highlights the most imporant information (why, who, what, where, when, how).
  • Insightful quotes: Include interesting quotes that add context and a personal touch to the story.
  • A clear and simple call-to-action: Prompt your audience to take a specific action at the end of the press release.

4. Why should you include a press release in your marketing strategy?

A press release will add to your SEO efforts and content marketing activities for brand visibility and customer outreach. Used at the right time in the right way, a well-crafted press release is instrumental in helping you build rapport with journalists, create a positive brand image, and develop meaningful public relations.

Now that you know the different types of press releases you can use for your business, you might be interested to learn how to write a press release your audience will want to read. Find more helpful articles on writing press releases and creating successful PR campaigns on our blog.

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