Levelling up: writing a press release

Published: 13 Sep 2023

With the current skills shortage and recruitment challenges being experienced across the sector, land surveyors need to find as many ways as possible of raising the profile of their profession. In today’s social media world, huge emphasis is put on the importance of posting your news and views across your social media platforms, with much debate over where, when and how often to post. It’s all too easy to forget that absolute staple of public relations, the press release.

Make an official announcement about your business with a press release

Designed to interest, inform, or entertain, press releases are one of the best ways of making an official announcement about your business. You can use them to report something new, particularly interesting or especially timely.

Cost-effective marketing

Press releases can be a cost-effective method of informing the wider world about your business, which can be particularly helpful for an SME, which may not have a large marketing budget, looking to raise its profile. An engaging press release can also provide a jumping off point for a bigger story too, as it can lead to radio or TV interviews or provoke enough interest with a journalist for them to choose to write a much larger feature.

Write your own press release

If you don’t have a dedicated marketing team, and you have a great story to tell, there is nothing to stop you writing a press release and distributing it too.

Press releases should be short and snappy, ideally no more than one page in length. The first paragraph should contain all the important information. It’s easy to remember how to formulate this – you need to cover who, what, where, when, how and why in those vital first few lines.

In the second paragraph you can elaborate a little further with some more information. Next, include a quote (don’t forget to have the person who is credited approve this) and remember to add where to go to find out more information. Include your contact details too and a call to action, to encourage a reader to engage with you.

Press release ‘boilerplate’

Don’t try and include a lot of extraneous detail about your company within a press release. Essential information can be included underneath the main body of the text under a ‘boilerplate’ section called Notes to Editors and you can (and should) include a link to your website for more information. This is another excellent reason to keep your website content regularly refreshed and up to date too.

A good photograph to accompany the press release is essential and make sure it is high resolution, at least 1MB in size. The size is not quite so important for online media but is absolutely essential for print. Make sure you include a caption for the photo with what it depicts and the names and job roles of anyone pictured. Try and avoid anything too ‘cheesy’, such as a giant cheque, a ‘thumbs up’, handshakes or a long line up of people – these tend to be rejected by journalists.

Before issuing your press release, it’s important to secure approval from relevant parties, such as a client you may have referenced. If spelling and grammar are not your strong point, get someone else to check the press release carefully before you issue it too. Online resources, such as Grammarly can be helpful but they are not fool proof – so a second pair of eyes is always recommended.

Send your press release to key media – such as your local newspapers and relevant trade press. Editorial contact details for most of these can be found online. Many press releases, once issued, are shared and reshared across online platforms. This can help boost your SEO and drive traffic to your website too.

Once your press release has been issued, try and track coverage that it generates. Over time this will show you which type of stories have provoked interest and which ones have not, so you can finetune your output accordingly.

As part of our commitment to our members we have produced a series of business briefing notes to help members build a better business. You can find the latest ones here.