Writing a Press Release – getting the structure right

Writing a well-structured press release is a great way to get key information about your brand’s news or story to the media. Maybe you have pitched an idea to a journalist or a blogger has asked for more information about your product launch, either way, this is your opportunity to get your brand’s information across in a compelling way.

Making it easy for the media using a simple structure means less work for them to pick out the information they want to publish. So, following a concise structure when formulating a press release is important. Once you’re familiar with the process, you can create engaging content which talks to your audience in a language they can relate to through a third party they trust.

A few hints and tips:

  • In short, a press release should be no longer than 600 words or one full side of A4. Anything longer is unlikely to be considered by journalists because, frankly, it will take too long to read.
  • A press release is not an opportunity to sell. A journalist is unlikely to give your press release the time of day if it’s screaming ‘BUY ME!’
  • A photo really does tell a thousand words – so, however skilfully you curate the content of your press release, a relevant photo will help to secure a hit!

The title

This needs to be catchy, informative and intriguing, all at the same time. Make sure the title is adding some context to the press release copy and avoid mentioning your brand name or product in the title.

Opening paragraph

This is your opportunity to summarise all the information in the press release in eighty words or less. Imagine this is the opening to a newspaper or magazine article – what’s your news? What are you trying to tell your audience? Say it here.

Main body of press release

Tell the story.

Who? Who are you talking to? What are they going to want to read?

Where? Are you speaking to a local, regional or a national audience? If it’s a local story, reference something people will recognise – a street name, community club or landmark. If the story is on a national scale, keep the location references broader.

Why? In plain English, why is this important? Why does this story need to be told?

When? When did the event take place? When is the new product or service launching? When do the audience need to confirm interest by?

How? Who has contributed to the success of this story? What did the process look like?

Use quotes from relevant people to add credibility to your news item. Consumers and prospective clients are more likely to trust the opinions of an existing service user, and prospective franchisees will trust the word of an existing franchisee – so use their opinions to your advantage!

Closing statement

Finish your press release with a catchy ending that rounds up the story – you can try to add a call to action but be aware this may be cut out so make sure the ending works without it. Finally, add editor’s notes, but limit this to contact details, essential info and a list of relevant images available.

Now you’ve got your press release written, structured well and with an interesting photo, you can start to liaise with your media contacts to get that all-important coverage for your brand!

How PR can help your company grow

Rev PR are very pleased to be speaking at the British Franchise Association’s Women in Franchising conference on 16th November. We’ll be sharing the stage with Catriona Berry from Merry Maids to discuss using PR to raise your brand profile and how to deal with enquiries.

This blog is a quick intro to explain what PR is and why you should be using it in any business to support growth.

What is PR?

Public relations is the discipline which looks after reputation and, in its most basic term, it is someone relating to their public. With PR, we aim to earn understanding, create discussions, and influence opinion and behaviour – whether focused on an individual or an organisation.

There are many activities a PR campaign can contain but they may include a pitch to a newspaper journalist, a celebrity-backed launch event, or an expert advice article like this one. One thing is for sure, PR works best when it is planned and a sustained effort is made to establish and maintain communication between an organisation and its public.

So, why do you need to think about including PR as a regular activity for your business? Every organisation, no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success. Customers, suppliers, employees, investors, journalists and regulators can have a powerful impact. They all have an opinion about the organisations they come into contact with. These perceptions will drive their decisions about whether they want to work with, shop with and support these organisations.

Franchisors can use PR to build their brand, generate interest in their franchise opportunity with the right prospects and to support nation-wide sales. Franchisees and business owners can do exactly the same to generate interest in their product or service with consumers whether that be on a local, national or international basis.

In today’s competitive market, reputation can be a company’s biggest asset – the thing making you stand out from the crowd and giving you a competitive edge. Effective PR can help manage reputation by communicating and building good relationships with all of your stakeholders.

And woe betide you if what they think about you is negative, especially in these times of instant media gratification through social media – in a recent survey by Dimensional Research 54% of respondents who had shared a bad experience said they shared it more than 5 times! So, PR is also about reputation and crisis management which is another whole conversation – ask our resident crisis PR expert at #TeamRev, Sally if you want to be prepared with a crisis PR plan.

Want to know more?

For the ladies out there – I hope you can join us for the bfa event on 16th November. Our talk is suitable for anyone looking to grow their business and effectively deal with new business enquiries, not just franchisors. If you’re a woman in business who would like to become a supplier to the franchise industry or franchise your own business, you’ll get a great introduction to franchising from the whole event – more details here: https://www.thebfa.org/events/women-in-franchising-2017-2017-11-16

For the chaps – sorry you can’t come to this event but you can find more of our PR advice on our blog or you can contact us.

The difference between PR and marketing

PR and marketing: you hear them in the same sentence so often, it’s easy to think of them as one and the same thing. And you’d be surprised how many people do confuse the two or aren’t really sure what comes under each umbrella.

In reality, they are significantly different and require very specific skills, strategies and approaches to get them right and achieve results for your business.

PR covers a multitude of channels these days. Everything from traditional print and broadcast to bloggers, vloggers and social media influencers. But in a nutshell (a pretty big one I grant you) let’s look at the basic difference between the two.

Here’s a good place to start: in a recent Neilson Consumer Trust Survey, 90% of consumers said that they trust peer recommendations compared to a staggering 14% who said they trust advertisements. Why is that?

Well, we’re very savvy consumers nowadays and we understand when we’re being sold to. When you see an advert, you know that the company has paid for that blank space and, therefore, can pretty much say what they like; how great they are, how much their products will change your life, how much money they can make/save you. And we take it with a pretty hefty pinch of salt. Because we understand that it’s marketing.

Here’s where PR comes in. That ‘peer recommendation’ that we seem to trust so much – it can be built up in the form of expert advice, third party endorsements and positive storytelling about you and your brand.

A journalist can smell a sales message from 100 paces (at least!) and trying to get one past them and into print, onto a news site or into any type of broadcast media is a futile exercise. They’re not there to sell for you. What they will do, is talk about interesting, valuable or entertaining content that’s of genuine interest to their audiences.

As consumers, be it looking for a franchise or any product or service, we’ve learnt to recognise advertising and sales message too. So, when we see, hear or read a story about a brand that’s been through a ‘gatekeeper’ like a journalist, an editor or a producer, we accept and trust the information more readily. It’s not always easy and it’s never guaranteed – because you’re not paying for the ‘blank space’, you’re pitching for it on merit – but it’s definitely worth it.

Now, one thing I must stress is you have to invest in marketing activities. You absolutely have to wave your flag, ring your bell and make some noise to get the wonderful, unique, exciting features and benefits of your product or service out there.

But you really should have other people doing it for you as well. Trusted, neutral third parties who have nothing to gain from telling your story other than the continued engagement of their own audiences. That’s the type of message we trust. That’s great PR.

PR and marketing both have very important roles to play in your business – whether for franchise recruitment or consumer purposes. And neither one will be as effective as both combined. Think of them as bed-fellows; sisters, not twins. You get the idea.

Most of you will have marketing activities running for your business but how can you make the most of them by combining them with PR activities too? Follow us on Twitter to keep an eye out for our regular expert advice blogs.

Could you be the next to join #TeamRev?

Salary: £21,000 per annum

Full Time/Permanent

Location: Bloxham (Banbury is the nearest town)

 Job description:

Publicist/PR Account Executive role suitable for graduate with work experience.

Rev PR specialises in the franchise sector delivering franchise recruitment, B2B and consumer PR results for both global brands and SME clients. Don’t know much about franchising? Don’t worry, we do, and our thorough induction and training process will start you off on the right track.

As a true PR professional, you will have excellent interpersonal and copywriting skills, and will be a confident communicator and presenter at all levels. With a PR-related degree and at least one year of PR experience, you will not be afraid to pick up the phone to pitch to the media.

You will be actively involved in everything from copywriting, interviews, media liaison, social media, reports, research and much more. Ultimately, your role is to generate publicity results on local, regional and national levels. You must have the ability to stay organised and multi-task to accomplish each client’s unique publicity goals.

Applicants must be able to evidence during the recruitment process:

  • confidence to pick up the phone and build relationships with new business contacts
  • excellent writing skills and a flair for creative writing
  • solid grasp of spelling and grammar
  • common sense in a business environment
  • ability to pick up set processes quickly.

The job is mainly office-based – currently at Bloxham Mill, near Banbury in Oxfordshire. Working hours are typically 9-5.30, Monday to Friday but the occasional weekend of work is expected for key events.


We also have placement opportunities and graduate internships from 12-40 weeks for those from degrees in public relations, english or media-related subjects if you wish to pursue a career in PR. Payment is discussed on an individual basis.

How to find out more:

Browse our website to find out more about our agency and email us with an overview of your experience: sally@revpr.co.uk

A university student’s view on PR…

We were pleased to welcome our first work experience student last week at #TeamRev. Sydonie Brewis is studying English Language and Literature at Cardiff University. We thought it would be interesting to share her thoughts on public relations! The rest of this post is from Sydonie.

I’ll be honest, when I first said I wanted to work in PR I didn’t really know what that meant. I had an idea in my head of working in the glamorous business world where you’re organising gala dinners, liaising with brands and walking around in designer shoes. I must admit, I’d just watched the entirety of Sex and the City which didn’t really help. Samantha always seemed to be out for lunch, going to parties and looking stylish – if that was somehow a lifestyle I could lead then I would be doing whatever I could to get there.

I’ve always been good with people, my dad says I can talk my way out of anything (a very helpful little talent I have acquired, although not foolproof!) and I believe that communication is the focus of our lives. Nothing would be possible without it. I think it’s funny how we spend so much time communicating but rarely give a thought to it. PR centres around communication; thinking about who your audience is, what your message is and what do you want to get as an end result. I never really considered all of the different elements that go into PR, or what PR can do, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s basically the way that companies function.

A story doesn’t get published in a newspaper, unless it is pitched to them, and an idea doesn’t become a real entity unless it is pitched. The way that ideas become reality and then become known is entirely through PR. I never realised how big a part it played in the world until I finally got to be involved. If a company wants to succeed then they need to have a good PR person/team behind them.

Working at Rev PR is my third internship this summer. The organisations I’ve worked in range from corporate, to charity, to clothing, When I applied to each company, I said I wanted to work in PR and marketing and then left the rest up to their own interpretation. Each company goes about their PR differently and, subsequently, each placement required me to do something different. PR is such a huge topic but, in the end, it seems to boil down to your ability to communicate.

As an undergraduate who studies English Literature and Language, I spend a lot of my time reading and analysing language. One of my modules in my first year was communications. We focused on how we communicate not only as people to each other, but also a brands and networks. The idea of doing PR grew from that module, I liked the idea of tailoring the way that brands represent themselves to the rest of the world, and how their marketing is tailored to suit their buyers.

I didn’t really know what I would be doing when I started the week at Rev? If it was anything like the other work experience I have done, I would be doing odd jobs around the place, clearing out filing cabinets and just helping out where people needed it. When I started at Rev I was thrown right in, helping create campaign pitches and copywrite editorial.  I even had to phone publications and pitch to them which was absolutely terrifying but… I managed it.

I’ve definitely realised this week that PR is what I want to do, I want to have all of the contacts and be the go-to person. I just have to get into it now! I believe in setting goals and I’m working towards a graduate scheme with a big brand like Harrods or Mark & Spencer. Completing work experience and building relationships are the small steps that will help you meet your goals. I feel like ta top graduate scheme will give me the best training and from there I will be able to get into the PR world. I still have one big goal, a shoe collection that any of the Sex and the City character would be envious of!





Who do you think you’re talking to?

No really. I mean… do you even know? You’d be amazed how many people sit down to write a press release, a blog or some form of editorial without even considering the most important part of the whole piece… the audience.

For instance, writing this blog, I know it’s most likely to be read by franchisors, business owners and professionals involved with PR. I also know that anyone who does read it is likely to have an interest in generating coverage for themselves, their business or their product/service.

Knowing that in advance allows me to plan, not only the language and style of the piece I’m writing but also the desired outcome. All of that means the content follows quite naturally.

Thankfully, this process is second nature to me now (after years of practice!) But, in case it isn’t for you, here are five questions you should to ask yourself before you even think about putting pen to paper (or more likely, finger to keyboard).

1. Who is your target audience?

This is number one for a reason. If you don’t understand (and I mean, really understand) who you’re trying to reach with your copy then you may as well not bother writing it. Incidentally, I wouldn’t expect this to be the same for every piece.

2. Where will you find them?

Sometimes, we all have to learn to park our egos. Whilst we may have aspirations of appearing in Cosmo, The Guardian or the Times, if your target audience is reading obscure trade titles then, guess what? That’s where you need to be.

3. What’s going to get their attention?

In a never-ending flow of media, how are you going to cut through the noise and stand out? Questions, statements and controversy are just three ways to spark interest…

4. What’s going to be valuable to them?

Most people want to get something out of the things they read, watch and listen to. Advice, inspiration, hope, amusement… what are you offering your audience that makes it worth their while to give you their time?

5. How should you communicate with them?

Tailoring your writing language and style not just your audience, but to each individual publication or outlet might be tedious but I assure you, it is time well spent. When you’ve gone to the effort of creating copy, don’t let it be wasted by insisting on talking to an audience in your language, not theirs.

As with everything practice makes perfect (still working on it!) so don’t be afraid to test your skills and refine as you go.

For more advice on getting the most out of your PR, contact spark@revpr.co.uk

Why is giving a monetary value to press coverage (AVE) so unpopular with PR professionals?

In case you’ve never heard of it, AVE stands for Advertising Value Equivalency – how much it would have cost to buy the same space in the media where you gained any PR coverage.

Whilst it’s been around for decades, this way of valuing the results of PR campaigns has become more and more maligned by the PR industry because many feel it doesn’t show the true value of PR efforts and coverage.

So how should you measure your PR?

We still use AVE as one of the metrics in our client reports and here’s why… it makes for a great starting point to explain all the other ways to measure the value of PR coverage! It’s also the easiest metric to explain to someone who hasn’t worked in marketing and PR before. Think of it as a great appetiser before the main course.

Modern-day value

After measuring your AVE, it’s important to look at the relevance, reach, tone and tier of the media you’re being featured in. By setting metrics and measuring against things like impressions, a headline or early article mention, competitor mentions and the inclusion of quotes and images, you can really start to build a much more accurate value for today’s complex media landscape.

Sharing the love

Don’t forget to record social media shares where possible as this massively affects the reach of the coverage.

By utilising a tool such as our PR scorecard, you can combine AVE with these modern, media-appropriate measures to see a true value of your coverage.

To give you an example, one of our clients was recently featured on BBC Radio Northamptonshire – but the BBC don’t run advertising so an old-fashioned AVE would have been zero, which of course is quite silly when you think about it. Our advice; be sure that you’re measuring your PR through a value system outside of AVE.

Want to find out more about the value of PR? Follow us on Twitter @RevPRUK

We’re recruiting! Could you be our next #TeamRev Publicist?

Salary: £21,000 per annum

Full Time/Permanent

Location: Wakefield OR Banbury

 Job description:

As a true PR professional, you will have excellent interpersonal and copywriting skills, and will be a confident communicator and presenter at all levels. With a PR related degree and at least one year of PR experience, you will not be afraid to pick up the phone to pitch to the media.

You will be actively involved in everything from copywriting, interviews, media liaison, social media, reports, research and much more. Ultimately, your role is to generate publicity results on local, regional and national levels. You must have the ability to stay organised and multi-task to accomplish each client’s unique publicity goals.


We also have placement opportunities and graduate internships from 12-40 weeks for those from degrees in public relations, english or media-related subjects for those wishing to pursue a career in PR. Payment is discussed on an individual basis.

How to find out more:

Browse our website to find out more about our agency and email us with an overview of your experience: sally@revpr.co.uk