A well-written online press release in an excellent way for political campaigns to build publicity. Think of a press release as a short, newsworthy article about your campaign or candidate that is distributed to relevant media contacts.
Press releases that are optimized for search engines can help improve website rankings. They are also an important part of any online press kit.
Before you write a press release, make sure you actually have a newsworthy story. Each press release should focus on a single story or issue. For example, it may relate to:
- Entry into a political race
- Upcoming event or fundraiser
- Position statement
- Key endorsements
- News related to the campaign
- Reaction to event or opponent’s action
- A public apology
- Post-election announcement
Your press release should have a catchy title and sub headline of about ten words or less.
The title should be precise and interesting. Be sure to add relevant keyword phrases – such as location or office you are running for – into your title and sub headline. Human interest is what will get your release noticed by readers and journalists.
The first paragraph should sum up the release’s content.
Summarize your release at the start before delving into the meat of the story. You may want to start with an attention-grabbing fact related to the subject of your press release. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Again, try to add relevant keyword phrases in your text, while still maintaining a natural, readable text flow.
Go into more detail throughout the main body of the release.
Expand on the initial opening paragraph. Include research or statistics from credible sources. Keep the tone businesslike and write in the active voice. Include insightful quotes from the candidate or persons relevant to the story. Don’t include personal or unrelated details, or your press release will likely end up ignored.
Your closing paragraph should repeat the main point of the release.
Conclude by directing the reader where to go for more information. Include a contact name, email address, website link and phone contact numbers.
Keep your press releases to a maximum of 300 words – and be sure to proofread them before submission.
Avoid the temptation to ‘editorialize’ your release with unsourced facts or opinions. Write your release in an unbiased manner that is factual and accurate. Editors remove fluff and hype – or they may disregard your release altogether.
What should you do with your press release after you’ve written it?
Writing a campaign release is one thing. Getting it out to the masses in another. Share your press release through the following channels.
- Post to your website. You probably have a section your site dedicated to news and updates. That’s exactly where you can post your release.
- Share on social media. Share a link to the release on your website through your social media accounts. Encourage your followers to share.
- Submit to local newspapers. If you can make life easier for an editor, you’re more likely to get the coverage you desire. You may need to edit your release to make it fit the publication’s editorial standards. The more editing your release needs, the more likely your release will be skipped over entirely.
- Share with PR syndication services. There are a number of online paid PR syndication services. Local races do not need the wide syndication that some services offer. One the most useful benefits of syndicating a press release is the link back that it provides to your website. You probably won’t get many human visits, but these links are picked up by search engines and can help improve your rankings. We use onlineprnews.com because it has a free option and provides a link back to your site.
Don’t recreate the wheel! Create professional, powerful political press releases with our Campaign Letter Templates. This includes easy-to-use letter and press release templates that you can download and use right away in your campaign correspondence.
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