HowTo Write A Press Release
Companies, agencies and organisations use press releases to communicate with the media and send their messages to their intended audience. Journalists receive dozens of press releases every day, so it is important to make it short, straight to the point and interesting to grab journalists’ attention.
1. You can use your organisation’s headed paper so that the journalists will immediately know whom it is from
2. At the top write a date and possibly a serial number to assist filing
3. Think of a good, punchy headline, but remember, it should be simple, short and clear.
4. The first paragraph is the most important one, this is where a journalist decides if the press release is worth reading and the topic worth publishing. It should summarise the key elements of the story: who said or did something, what did they say or do, why, where, when and how did it happen (and – often – how much did it, or will it, cost). Remember to use double-spacing. (Goldsworthy and Morris, 2012).
5. In the next paragraphs you are allowed to write less important information. Remember that the order is from the most important facts, through less significant, to the background information.
Press releases, like news stories, follow the pattern
of the inverted triangle. The most
important news goes first
and then the details
5. Include interesting quotes if possible. Preferably of someone important in the organisation such as the CEO or someone involved in the issue. The quote should appear close to the beginning of the press release and should appear natural, not like something written especially for that occasion.
6. Notes for editors. Under the main text. In this part you can include supplementary information, basic facts about your organisation and anything that can be useful for the person who will write the story.
7. Always remember to add contact details. Include your phone number, email address and company’s website. Journalists might want to contact you to ask more questions about the story and the organisation you work for.
- Keep your press release short and simple – avoid complicated sentences, long paragraphs and difficult words.
- Do not use superlatives and generalisations – the main purpose of your press release is to inform not advertise. Avoid words such as “fantastic”, “exceptional”, “the best” etc.
- Do not use words that are part of your company’s jargon. Your press release should be simple and understandable to everyone who reads it, not only people who specialise in a specific field.
- Remember that your work is on behalf of the company or an organisation, so make sure everyone who needs to see it has a chance to read it before you send it.
- Always check the press release for any kinds of mistakes – typos, statistics, grammar. You can ask someone else to check it for you and correct mistakes that you have not noticed before.
Goldsworthy, S. and Morris, T., (2012). PR Today: The Authoritative Guide to Public Relations. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.