Alister's tHOUGHTs ON... press releases

Alister Houghton, content marketing manager at Cision, discusses the company's new press release analyser and four-step press release writing guide.

As a universally recognised way of distributing information quickly and easily to journalists, nothing has yet come close to supplanting the press release.

While the press release may be a relic of a time where PR meant media relations, it still plays a major part in a communicator’s role. I should know, as for the past two years since starting as content marketing manager at Cision, I’ve received dozens of releases per day about a variety of subjects – ranging from the very relevant to the completely irrelevant!

But this isn’t a blog about targeting. No, this is about the releases themselves.
While they may seem increasingly antiquated, our 2019 State of the Media survey found that 73% of journalists surveyed wanted to receive press releases from brands and comms professionals.

It’s not the medium which antagonises journalists, it’s the volume and content of releases. Knowing how to create the ideal release and sending it to the right person will still get your organisation’s message heard.

How to write a press release in four easy steps


What should you include in a press release? What shouldn’t you include? How long should it be? What additional media should you include?

To help answer these and many more questions, we’ve launched a simple, four-step guide to ensure you include everything a journalist wants in a concise way.

This short digest explains the importance of coming up with a catchy headline, what should go in the copy, and highlights the importance of images.

Download your copy now by filling in the form at the bottom of the page.

Cision’s press release checker


But that’s not all!

Having used the guide to compose you press release, we’ve also launched a free tool which analyses and rates your press release, suggesting any edits you should make to maximise your chance of coverage.

The press release analyser will examine all aspects of your copy, including length of the heading, quality of the copy, use of quotes and whether you have included images.

However, rather than reading my description of it, the best way to see how it works is to try it yourself.

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About Alister Houghton

Alister writes about the PR and comms industry as content marketing manager at Cision. Send press releases, interview pitches, Inside the Campaign/PR case study examples and thought leadership pieces to alister.houghton@cision.com.

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  • DOWNLOAD THE 2019 STATE OF THE MEDIA REPORT