In an earlier article, we discussed Press Releases as Another Opportunity for Branding. Specifically, we addressed some of the basic criteria needed to produce a successful PR piece, including discussions about: Topics, Voice, Audience, Outlets, Format, Quotes and Photos, and Post-Submission Follow-up. In a second article, we wrote a Press Release to Introduce Ourselves as Part of National Small Business Week (in 2020). In two other articles, we provided the following press release generators: Identifying Your Content and Sample Press Release Announcing a New Hire. As promised, we are now providing a similar template for publicizing a staff promotion. (As before, we are hoping these tips will help keep you from getting stuck staring at a blank, crumpled page!)
In getting started, remember that the rule of the 5 W’s still applies, so we encourage you to review our earlier articles. We also want to remind you that voice matters – you must write as though you were a totally objective journalist preparing the story. Similarly, the content must be of interest to the audience of the intended publications.
As previously noted, announcements of new employee hires and/or promotions are among the most common press releases and the easiest to place – assuming the publication has a section for including such pieces. (Many do – particularly trade magazines and papers.) However, be aware that some outlets might be willing to include all or most of the information you provide . . . but many will reduce your words to a skeletal, bare-minimum sentence or two. If that is the standard practice, a quick glance at past issues will let you know whether new hires and promotions are featured and the kind of space devoted to each one.
When preparing a press release on a promotion, be aware that you are also realizing a secondary benefit – by sending your current employees a message that you are an employer dedicated to giving existing staff a chance for advancement and that you have a track record for filling attractive positions from within the organization. By making this quality part of your brand, you help yourself become an “employer of choice,” and you encourage your existing staff to be happy, contented employees, which in turn shows up in the quality of your company’s service and the satisfaction of your customers.
Once again, you need to make sure your same press release works for most circumstances. To do so, confirm that the essence of your PR article is in the opening sentences with all other less critical information following (realizing that much could be cut by certain targets). Also, plan to include a head-and-shoulder photo of the featured employee.
Below is a fill-in-the-blanks-template:
PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
[HEADLINE ex. NAME (of the Employee) PROMOTED TO
(title of the position) by COMPANY NAME
[CITY, STATE, MONTH DATE] — [COMPANY] has announced the promotion of [EMPLOYEE FULL NAME] to the position of [TITLE]. In this new capacity, [EMPLOYEE LAST NAME ONLY] will be responsible for [BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES].
Note: Body paragraphs then follow this opening (i.e., background information, quotes, company description, etc.)
Since first joining [COMPANY] in [YEAR OF HIRE], [EMPLOYEE LAST NAME ONLY] has served as the [TITLE OF OLD JOB]. Specifically, [he/she] handled [MENTION DUTIES]. During that time, [EMPLOYEE LAST NAME ONLY] was credited with a variety of important accomplishments, including [BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS/CONTRIBUTIONS].
Note: Add the next paragraph when the past history of employee with the company includes multiple jobs worth highlighting. Repeat as needed to encompass complete work history, incorporating the most relevant and recent positions. You can also choose to insert any new education and/or licensing credentials that might have played a part in earning the promotion.
Prior to that position, [EMPLOYEE LAST NAME ONLY] served in other roles of increasing responsibility and authority. [He/She] was [TITLE] from [DATE] to [DATE] and also accumulated several years of related experience with other companies.
According to [NAME OF NEW SUPERVISOR OR OTHER HIGHLY PLACED OFFICIAL WILLING TO BE QUOTED], “[COMPANY] is very pleased to be giving [EMPLOYEE FULL NAME] a chance to use [his/her] years of experience with our organization to better serve our customers. We fully expect [EMPLOYEE LAST NAME ONLY] will be an asset in the years to come that allows us to provide our customers with the high-quality products and services they deserve while enabling us to achieve our goals for growth as a company. As you may know, [COMPANY] has a long-standing policy of promoting from within whenever possible. That way, both our staff and customers benefit from the knowledge and skills acquired over time while ensuring the continued high quality of our brand.”
Note: Optionally add contact information on the person being promoted.
“While [EMPLOYEE LAST NAME ONLY] will be reaching out to constituents soon, [he/she] can be contacted before then at [PHONE AND EXTENTION] or [E-MAIL].”
Note: Your “boilerplate” company description that outlines the products, services, history, location, hours, etc. then gets added. See our Style Guide for further information.
While the boilerplate language of different companies will be quite individual to reflect the specific history and characteristics of that particular business, a simple example might be:
“Established in [YEAR], [COMPANY NAME] specializes in providing [PRODUCT/SERVICES] to customers located in [GEOGRAPHICAL OPERATING AREA]. Open [LIST HOURS/DAYS] or available 24/7 online by visiting [WEB SITE ADDRESS], [COMPANY NAME] [IS ENDORSED BY/IS KNOWN FOR] and encourages customers to learn more. In recent years, [COMPANY NAME] has grown substantially and is looking to achieve similar increases during the upcoming months.”
As you can see, your boilerplate text provides you with a chance to briefly tell your story while giving potential customers a means of acting on their interest. The above is just one very basic example. Be sure to tailor yours to tell your story in the most effective possible way.
As always, we welcome any thoughts or feedback, and we encourage you to comment by using the space provided below. We would be happy to receive special requests to provide other sample press releases in the future.