Press Release : How to Write a Genuine One
Press release with an attention-grabbing headline in bold font starts with a body copy with the date and city that the statement is from. Your lead sentence should be a concise summary of the subject of the release.
The rest of the body tells all the essential details of your story: who, what, when where why and how.
Put the most critical information first, followed by more general information, and don’t forget to include your contact information at the end.
Methods to Write a Press Release
- Making it Pop
- Mastering the Format
Method 1 : Pop it Up
Write a nice headline. It should be short and precise, brief and to the point: a compact version of the full text of press release. PR’s recommend writing headline at the end, after the whole of the body of the statement is written. Following this instruction, continue writing and afterwards arrive at the headline once the whole writing thing is done. The caption must be an eye-catcher and is essential for the entire document. News release headlines should have an eye-grabber and attract journalists, in the same way as a newspaper headline grabs the reader.
Headlines are written in bold. A bold headline with a larger font size and using the present tense and exclude “a” and “the” makes it more catchy.
The first word capitalized. Proper nouns words must be the first word. At times stylized “small caps” font style can create the graphically news-attractive look and feel. No need to capitalize every word.
Extract important keywords. The simplest method to create the press release headline is to extract the most relevant keywords from your press release. From keywords, try to frame a logical and attention-getting statement.
Write the body copy. The press release should be written as you want it to appear in a news story. Journalists are very busy; they may dig deeper into the account if it doesn’t sound credible, but they generally won’t have time to do extensive research into your company’s big announcement.
Initiate with the date and city in which the press release originated. The lead, or first sentence, should grab the reader and say concisely what is happening.
The body copy of the press release should be compact. Avoid writing long sentences and paragraphs. Avoid repetitive and overuse of fancy language. Go for simple and no wasted words. The first paragraph, two to three sentences, should sum up the press release.
Deal with facts –– Try to provide maximum events, products, services, people, targets, goals, plans, projects. Use concrete facts
Communicate the “5 W’s”. Who, what, when, where, why with how’s should be used to tell everything readers to need to know.
Keep it short and to the point. If you are sending a hard copy, the text should be double-spaced—the more worthy the press release copy, the better the chances of its selection for reporting.
Make it clean, crisp, and applicable to your audience. If you want the press release to be chosen, it has to be good. Not only that, but it should be “ready for press” if possible. Work should be error-free, have good content, or must have been revised. No waste of time should be there. It must give them time to pad the piece into what is there in print, or they are already working on. Be considerate.
Tie it together. Put additional information links to support the press release. The other online information that readers may get will find useful for both sides.
Method 2 : Format Mastering
Get the basic structure down. Cut it to the length that is more reader-friendly. It should be at most one page long, Nobody wastes time on five paragraphs in this fast-moving world.
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE should go at the top of the page, on the left margin.
Put “EMBARGOED UNTIL…” with the date you want the story released. No release date is presumed to be immediate release.
The headline should be in bold and be centred. Write a subhead in italics to briefly elaborate the headline.
First paragraph: Most significant information. News-like starts with a date or origin of the news.
Second and maybe, third paragraph: Secondary information include quotes and facts.
Boilerplate information: More about company/people involved. Achievements and missions to be accomplished.
Contact information: Writer’s info to grab someone’s interest, maybe at some point of time they may want more from you.
Multimedia: Twitter handles to be precise. In today’s day and age, it’s always important.
Contact information. If the press release is newsworthy, journalists surely would like to meet you or ask for more information. They may even want to interview key people associated with it. Therefore, the contact details must be limited and specific only to the current press release. The contact details must include:
- The company’s official name
- Media department’s official name and contact person
- Office address
- Telephone and fax numbers with proper country/city codes and extension numbers
- Mobile phone number (optional)
- Times of availability
- Email addresses
- Website address
Provide a link to an online copy of the same release. It is an excellent practice to keep a log of press releases housed on their website. This makes it easier to produce links, as well as maintain a record for historical purposes.
Signal the end of the press release with three # (hash) symbols. Place them directly underneath the last line of the publication. This is a journalistic standard. It’s not over-tweeting, but this is how it’s done.
Tips to Write a Press Release
- Do check out actual press releases online to get the feel of the tone, language, structure and format of a press release.
- Using jargon or specialized technical terms is a complete no-no. If accuracy is required the use of an industry-specific time with the definition.
- Target a specific media outlet with a crafted release and send it to the particular reporter. Don’t do an identical press release, and it will be taken as shortcuts rather than targeting a specific market.
- The timing of the press release is essential. Relevant and recent news must be considered.
- A follow-up call can convert a press release into a full story.
- Include the company name in the headline, any subhead, and in the body of the first paragraph for better visibility through search engines.
- Include the website address or a phone number.
- Do not waste time writing the headline until the release is done. When you have finished a draft of the statement, you may decide to revise the lead—or not. Then, and only then, think about the headline.
- Use the headline as the subject line of the email to make it a “grabber” headline. The message will stand out in the editor’s inbox.
- Send release by email, and use formatting sparingly. More prominent font type and multiple colours don’t enhance the news; they distract. Just type the release straight into the email message.
- Always remember that editing teams are overworked as well as understaffed. Make their life more comfortable to get more coverage. If you write a press release that’s close to the way the editor will publish it, it may see publication with minimal editing. Keep it accurate and factual.
- When emailing a press release, do not make the subject line of your email “press release.”
- Articles should be as upbeat and positive as possible. Avoid phrases like “following the death of our beloved chairman” or “after inactivity of several days.”
- Do not include other people’s contact details without their consent. They must be available at office hours in the days following the release. A quote puts a busy journalist in a position to prepare a complete article without doing a follow-up interview.