How to Write the Perfect Press Release

Charity Marketing / 31 Oct 2022

Header for our blog on how to write a press release for charities. One block to the right side of the image has a man looking surprised, holding a notebook and a very large pencil. To the right, we have the blog header. The Beesting Digital logo is in the bottom centre of the image.

Press releases are an essential part of digital marketing for charities, especially following the launch of a new campaign or when promoting a fundraiser. In this blog, we’ll teach you precisely how to write a press release, plus our best tips to make it pop.

What is a press release? And why is it important for charities? 

A press release is a short but meaningful written communication that articulates the need-to-know facts of a story, campaign, or event in the hope that a journalist or correspondent will publish it.

Though brief, a press release can be a powerful tool for gaining attention, making the news, and generating publicity.

When it comes to digital marketing for charities, press releases are an excellent means to earn exposure and build credibility with journalists and leading publications. Effectively, they create a resounding buzz. Let’s break this down a little further. 

The benefits of press releases

Builds a relationship with the media 

Press releases present opportunities to establish a dialogue with journalists and the media. A convincing press release can be the difference between landing a feature in a leading publication or landing in the waste bin. Even if a release isn’t used initially, it can still plant the seed for future collaborations or features.

Helps create and control a persuasive narrative 

Building trust is paramount when encouraging audiences to donate to or invest in charities. Well-written press releases enable you to define and refine the narrative surrounding your charity’s mission using honest and unvarnished facts. The latter can deliver a positive, powerful, and believable message to the public, thus shaping their perception of your charity’s efforts as trustworthy and worthy of attention. 

Increases traffic for social media 

Concerning social media for charities, press releases can be a great way to gain followers and drive more users to your website, fundraising platforms, and social accounts. When shared on social media by journalists or media outlets with a strong following, they can help you reach a wider audience and organically drive more traffic to your channels – thanks to post shares, stories, and tagging. 

Boosts SEO 

The same goes for SEO. Press releases crafted in keeping with SEO best practices can be repurposed for blog posts, upping your website traffic and engagement. Likewise, if optimised, your release will have a better chance of ranking on SERPs when shared online by news distributors. The following section of this article will cover SEO guidelines to consider when drafting your release. 

How to write the perfect press release 

Now we know press releases form a vital part of strategic digital marketing for charities, growing customer engagement and amplifying reach, let’s explore how to ensure they fulfil their potential. This section will cover what to include in your press releases, what to leave out, and how to format your release for SEO, potential repurposing, credibility, and optimal reading – so readers do more than quickly scan your story and move on. 

Start with a compelling headline

Your headline should be clear and provide a persuasive hook. The first few lines ought to tell readers why they should care and not leave any room for questioning the worthiness of your mission. In other words, your opening compels readers to read on. 

Keep it short and sweet – aim to have your headline at 100 characters or less – and save additional contexts such as event dates or data points for your subheading. 

Top tip: try to pepper supporting facts and figures throughout the remaining content. 

Have a clear CTA 

Don’t leave readers hanging. Make it clear what you want your audience to do within the first few lines, whether that’s more followers on social media, donations, or volunteer sign-ups. Then, come back to your CTA towards the end of the piece to round it off. Resist the temptation to write: click here. 

Top tip: try to be more descriptive, using power words and verbs to guide readers along the content journey. 

Use insights and stats 

Using stats in your press release can bolster your writing’s credibility. You can pitch yourself as a thought-leader using valuable insights, proving you are well-read and a credible resource (necessary for setting up future features). Stats with a little more shock value can also present another hook to keep readers engaged. 

Top tip: quotes, stats, or facts added as images or video links provide opportunities for reshares – bite-size chunks that readers can cut out and tweet, share, or incorporate into blogs. Looking for more social media for charity tips? Explore our series of blog posts on social media marketing.

Include links and keywords 

Incorporating keywords and links into your copy can funnel previously untapped audiences to your website, making your offerings, services, and information accessible to potential new funders, trustees, or volunteers. 

Considering upskilling in SEO? Don’t hesitate to enquire about our digital marketing training for charities.

Include multimedia 

Generally speaking, visual content gets more engagement than text alone across social media posts, website content and press releases. Not only do we process visual content quicker and with greater ease than chunks of text, but we’re more likely to remember imagery than we are written content. Our brains are incredibly good at restoring visual imagery, recalling it weeks, months, even years later. So, to make your press release more memorable, use video footage, photographs, or graphics.  

Top tip: where possible, use your own branded imagery and graphics to help build awareness and recognition of your branding and keep all your content cohesive. 

Repurposing your press release 

You know you have a perfect press release when you can repurpose it for multiple platforms and content opportunities. Here are some actionable ways you can recycle your press release:

  • Use it to write a blog post 
  • Reframe it in your newsletter 
  • Break it down into snackable social media posts

Still not sure where to begin? No stress. We understand the nuances of digital marketing for charities, which is why we curate marketing webinars and training programmes specifically for charities and the third sector. 

Learn more about our digital marketing training for charities and online events here. Feel free to join our Charity Facebook Group for marketing hints, tips, and expert advice on marketing for charities.