If you are looking for the ultimate formula for how to write a new hire press release, I must disappoint you—there isn’t one. But at least let me show you what to watch out for.
Let’s start with a mental exercise. Here are two types of headlines: “A new PR Pro in The Company” and “John Smith joins The Company.”
In the first case, you get the impression that the person is “one of many.” The second headline suggests that the employee will strengthen the team because his/her name was mentioned in the headline. Which of these two new hire examples has got you thinking “who is it?” and thus aroused your curiosity?
A while back when I worked at the editorial office of one of the leading Polish PR platforms, I used to receive a new hire announcement press release virtually every day. These type of stories had their own section in our daily newsletter. Today, I still like to follow announcements on staff changes. They show the dynamics of the job market. I often think to myself, “This person started here and now he/she’s here.” After I have spent years of editing this type of news, I can see now that the way they’re crafted didn’t change much.
Someone may even come to think that a big name or a famous brand is a good enough recipe for a successful personnel change announcement. And though it is true, I know cases when the author missed this communication opportunity and presented the name of the new person… only in the second paragraph, following a rather lengthy description of the brand itself. I remember once I was so impressed with one announcement release I read that several days later I reached out to that person asking for an expert comment. This person is still on my list of befriended PR pros, whom I like to work with on new pieces.
Make sure your new hire press release answers the following questions:
- Who is the new employee?
- What will be his/her function in the company?
- What was his/her previous job/position?
- How many years of experience does he/she have?
- Who did she replace in this position (or is it a newly created function)?
Use an interactive press release to spread the word about your new hire
It’s the newest form of a press release. Although journalists may be a little bit hesitant in the beginning, they will definitely remember it. This is the user-friendliest form – easy to copy, easy to download and difficult not to notice. If you’re unfamiliar with this type of press release, check out these examples and you’ll quickly understand their PR potential.
New employee press release examples from Prowly:
(Click on the image for a better view)
The second type of a new hire press release, apart from some standard details, gives you the opportunity to add some extra background information: what this person specializes in, what he/she likes to do every day, what his/her interests are. A seemingly insignificant description inspired me to write a lifestyle piece on how PR pros spend their time after work.
I recommend avoiding descriptions such as, “He/she prefers her coffee white, enjoys Scandinavian literature, and films by Almodóvar, Altman, and Allen. He/she also likes to browse children’s books, look out for old neon signs on the streets and talk to people” or “He/she is fascinated by genealogy, and his/her grandparents have their own coat of arms” (true story), because then our message will definitely be thrown into the category of meme stories which “made a journalist’s day,” actually making the journalist the only person who laughs.
Headshots and creative photos for your new hire
Including them in your new employee announcement press release is an absolute MUST, though it is not so obvious for everyone. It happened to me once that I received a press release announcing three new hires at a company where none of the photos attached were signed. The news was to be published ASAP, as it was about a big brand, so I had to compare the photos they sent me with the photos of these people on LinkedIn.
Finally, on a number of occasions I received press releases with an attached selfie (taken in a bathroom), a photo of a lady wearing a shirt buttoned up to the top with a giant bow (I don’t remember who she was, but the bow I’ll remember forever), but nothing beats a photo of a recognized specialist of a large institution who chose to attach a photo of herself wearing a head wreath.