Marketing Your Franchise: How to Write a Press Release

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If you want to advertise your franchise business, writing a press release is a great step to take. Although it may seem complicated and time-consuming at first, it can be a simple and highly effective way to spread news once you know the formula. So, we’ve created a go-to guide on how to write a press release. 

Before we launch into our tips and tricks for creating a press release, let’s cover the definition. 

What is a press release?

A press release is a short summary of a piece of news, which business owners create and send to journalists and other media outlets. If the recipients think the story is worth sharing, they rewrite it for their own publications. 

Sometimes, business owners appoint public relations professionals to create press releases for them, as they know how to present news stories and encourage media outlets to run them. Effective press releases contain all the information a journalist would need to write their news article. 

What is the purpose of a press release?

There’s no guarantee the media will pick up your story if you issue a press release, but sending out regular updates will increase your chances of featuring in external publications. 

Third party news articles can significantly boost your business’s credibility and reputation - as long as it’s shown in a positive light. You’re not blowing your own trumpet; other organisations are doing it for you. 

You might use a press release to announce anything from changes within your business to promotions and new product launches. Some of the possible topics include: 

  • Mergers and acquisitions

  • Business partnerships 

  • Board member promotions 

  • New branch openings

  • Business award wins and nominations

  • Fundraising events

  • Promotional campaigns

How to write a press release in 12 steps

1. Start by noting down your contact information, including your name, email address and phone number, so journalists can get in touch with you if they need more information.

2. Come up with an eye-catching headline to encourage readers to find out more.

3. Begin your story with a one-sentence opener, no longer than 25 words, to summarise the key elements of the news.

4. Before you get into the body of the text, you could add a location and date stamp to give it context; for example, ‘Bristol, UK - 31 Jan 2021’.

5. In the main body of the text, you should aim to provide as much relevant information about the news as possible, and answer any questions a reader might have - think ‘who, what, when, where, why and how’.

6. Explain any relevant background information, but avoid covering unrelated or incidental details.

7. Try to include quotes from relevant people - one or two different representatives should provide enough insight.

8. If you include facts or figures from another organisation, make sure you reference the source and, ideally, add a link to the place you found them.

9. Once you’ve added all the information, write ‘Ends’ in bold type.

10. At the bottom of your press release, provide any extra information about the press release and some details about your business under the sub-heading ‘Notes to editors’.

11. Tell the journalist how they or their readers can act on the news; for instance, you might provide a link to your new product or to your event tickets.

12. Finally, let the reader know whether they can publish your story straight away (immediate release) or whether they must wait until a specified date (under embargo).

Tips for writing a press release

  • Make sure your story has a human impact to engage readers - if it’s about a business change, consider how it might affect your employees, partners or customers.

  • Press releases should have an informative tone, so focus on the story and its implications, rather than taking the opportunity to overtly promote your business.

  • Use clear, concise language - you could include bullet points to convey information simply.

  • Tailor your language to the recipient; for instance, if you’re sending your press release to an industry journal, you could include technical terms you might avoid if approaching a local newspaper.

  • Try to keep your press release just one or two pages long to relay the information without causing confusion - or boredom! 

  • If you have photos to accompany the story, let the reader know under ‘Notes to editors’ and include extra details, such as the names of the people shown, left to right.

How to distribute a press release

Ideally, you should make a decision about where you’ll distribute your press releases before you write them, so you can adapt the language you use. You might like to send your news stories to local media outlets, industry publications or the national press. 

Usually, businesses send out their press releases by email and add an attention-grabbing subject line. It’s a good idea to include your story within the body of the email rather than attaching a separate document, to avoid it being flagged as spam. 

If you don’t hear anything back from your press release recipients, consider making a quick phone call to check your email didn’t get lost in their busy inboxes. 

Another way to distribute your press release is to publish it yourself through your website and social media profiles. Of course, you should only take this approach if your press release is well-written. Also, make sure you delete any irrelevant details such as your notes to editors before publishing to the general public. 

More advice on how to market your franchise

Marketing a franchise business needn’t be a headache. You can find plenty of informative and data-packed articles here at Point Franchise to help you master your promotional campaigns. 

To get started, see our guide on using PR to market your franchise. You might also be interested in our articles on creating compelling written content, writing blog posts and identifying the right social media channels to promote your business. 

Alternatively, see our most recent franchise guides or use the search box to continue your learning journey.

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