How to write a press release

How to write a press release

First things first, make sure your story is interesting to others.  The aim of the game is to get people talking about you after all.

Your press release should have the most important information at the top and the least important, nearer the bottom.

Your first sentence needs to summarise the key point of the article and read like the opening of a news story.

Start with the 5Ws – who, what, where, why and when. It’s important to get the key info front and centre to grab the reader’s attention.

Keep your language simple and matter-of-fact. You should aim to be clear and factual – not clever or entertaining. Don’t use exaggerated, over-embellished or salesy language.

Include 1 or 2 quotes from relevant spokespeople that will help bring your story to life. Don’t use these for more facts. Instead use the quote to add opinion, examples and insight – even an anecdote if it will capture hearts and minds.

Your finished release should be about 4 or 5 paragraphs – around 3-400 words.

Put your contact details at the end of your release in case the journalist needs to call or email to clarify a detail or get additional information.

Add a ‘Notes to Editors’ section at the end of your release where you can put all the background information that doesn’t directly contribute to the story but can help the journalist to get the context surrounding the story – like your company history, a spokesperson’s background and so on.

Images really help to draw people into an article so always attach a relevant and specific image that helps tell the story of your release. For online publications like SuffolkWire a medium resolution image of around 250KB is great. Don’t forget to put a caption for the image in your release. Names of who is in it L-R and/or an explanation of what / where it is.

Checklist:

  1. Opening summary sentence that grab attention
  2. More detail on the main point of the story
  3. Further detail and any super-relevant background info
  4. A quote or two that bring the story to life
  5. Caption for the photo (Don’t forget to attach the photo)
  6. Contact details – your email & phone number, in case of any questions
  7. Notes to Editors – company background and other background info