How to write a press release

How to write a Press Release

Summary: How to write a press release and get yourself and your business on radio, on TV, in magazines and in online publications.

A press release is a written statement to the media.

It is a great way to get the attention of reporters and increase your chance of ending up in the media, which can be wonderful publicity for your business.

You can use a press release to announce your new products, services, events and promotions.

Here are some key steps to follow when compiling your press release:

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Step 1: Write the copy for the body of the press release.

A press release should be as ready for press as possible, in other words as if the journalist wrote it themselves.

Start with the date and city where the press release originates.

The first sentence should say exactly what the release is about in very clear terms,  and the next one or two sentences should expand on this.

The first two or three sentences should grab a journalist and entice them to read further. A journalist is unlikely to read a whole press release if the first sentences do not catch their attention.

Keep the content of press release compact.

Avoid long sentences and long paragraphs. Avoid fancy words and language. Aim to be as simple as possible.

Remember that this is news and you need to write in concrete facts.

Use the question words “what”, “why”, “when”, “where”, “who” and “how” to guide the contents of your press release.

Make sure your press release is newsworthy.

If you are sending out a hard copy, make sure you use double spacing.

Step 2: Now write your press release headline.

PR professionals recommend you write your press release first, then write out the headline.

This is because the headline needs to very briefly encapsulate the main point of the entire press release.

Headlines should be written in bold. Start the first word with a capital letter or use all small caps. Avoid using all large caps.

Use keywords from the body copy to help you to write your headline.

These keywords may help later to make the story visible in search engines.

A press release headline should grab attention and make journalists want to read more.

Remember that journalists are flooded with press releases all the time, so make your headline stand out.

Step 3: Structure your press release.

Write ‘for immediate release’ at the top on the left.

The headline goes underneath that. If you like, write a sub-headline in italics.

Your first paragraph contains the most important information.

The second and third paragraphs contain secondary information

Your press release should not be more than 1 page.

Step 4: Include information about your company.

Information about your company should be included underneath the body content. This does not need to be more than 6 lines.

Include a link to your website and any media pages or press kits you have prepared.

Step 5: Add your contact information.

If a journalist finds your press release interesting, they will more than likely want to contact you.

So include all relevant contact information.

Step 6: Do a final check of your press release.

Make sure you are happy with your press release and check for any spelling or grammar errors which can be off-putting to journalists.

Step 7: Search for websites that allow press release submissions.

There are lots of websites that are specifically for press release submissions.

Submitting a press release on many of these websites is free.

Step 8: Submit your press release.

Once you are happy with your press release, submit it on your chosen press release sites.

Do not get discouraged if you do not get a good response from your first press release.

Try again until you get it right.

Example Press Release

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  • Donna

    I have done press releases that have worked and press releases that have not. It all depends on whether or not your press release is newsworthy and of interest at the time.

  • Felicia

    Thanks for a great article! I am going to try write up a press release now as I am about to launch my new book :-)