How to write a press release

Your company has done / is doing / will do something that you want to announce to the press, analysts and the world at large who will, in turn, trumpet your tidings to your target market. Your instrument of choice: the press release.

To view sample press releases, click here and here.

Sample structure

Here is a basic structure you can use to organize a press release:

Release date

You can specify when the information on the release is ready for public consumption. You can also say “For immediate release.”

Headline

Keep it concise – ten words or less. Use print media headlines as inspiration. Make sure your headline answers the question “What happened / is happening / will happen?”

Subhead

You can expand on the headline and explain the key point of the release in this 30-word-or-less blurb between the headline and the main text.

Place

Indicate the city where the event is announced. This could be the location of your corporate headquarters or where you are holding a conference.

Date

State the date of the announcement, which need not correspond to the release date.

Most releases combine the place and date at the beginning of the first paragraph in bold face. This is the dateline.

Lead paragraph

Your first sentence explains the key news. The second sentence spells out the benefits to your target audience.

Remainder of body

Explain all remaining information.

Write the most important details first. This helps people get your message more quickly, and they won’t lose much if an editor has to cut the bottom of your release due to space restrictions in the publication.

Contact information

Include phone numbers and email addresses for journalists and prospective customers.

Company boilerplate

Include important details about your firm. These can include: a brief history, what you do to create value in the market, current sales, stock ticker symbol and exchange where shares are traded, and other information.

Links to previous press releases

These are useful for journalists who want to do more research for any articles in which they mention your company. Many businesses create a media centre on their Web sites for this reason, and include a link to it i every press release.

Tips

  • Wherever possible, get quotes from company executives, customers, partners or others that bolster the story you want to tell.
  • Keep releases under two pages.

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