How to Write a Press Release
It is very useful if you know how to write a press release when a written statement to the media would be beneficial to your charity or company. The press release can be for promotional means or as a response to an incident.
1- Your headline needs to be brief, clear and to the point, and should not leave the reader in any doubt as to what the body of the text will detail. You may wish to write the headline once the rest of the article is written in order to organise your thoughts after having ‘trimmed the fat’. Write in the present tense and, although writing in readable English, avoid space filling connective words where possible. When writing for the web, identify the keywords of the press release and have these in the headline.
2- Write as you would wish a journalist to write; make it easy for them to simply lift text from your press release to their article. As a prefix, detail the time and date. As a first line, expand on your headline clarifying exactly what you are communicating (think how a journalist would write it). The first paragraph should sum up the rest of the press release, the other paragraphs will expand on the details. Write to your audience- is it a general audience? If so, avoid complicated terminology. Avoid subjective writing and opinion, and deal only with who, what, when, where, why and how. In order to maximise uptake by the press keep the release less than 800 words long (unless otherwise required), relevant and interesting to the reader, and contextual to current occurrences. If you’re writing the release in order to promote a company, be sure to detail the relevant information to convert, or at lead to a sale, as a journalist will need some background when publishing it (you may wish to have an section specifically about the company that the journalist and cherry pick information from).
3- Although not a sales piece, still make the customer journey clear to the reader: What they need to do in order to attain your target, and how they go about doing it.
4- If writing the press release for the internet, be sure to link back to your website for SEO purposes.
In order to get a feel for the style and tone of press releases, read others that have done well.
Don’t go crazy with artistic flare and formatting as this may put journalists off! At the very least it will be completely ignored.
Use the headline as the email subject.
Follow an email with a telephone call.