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How to Write a Press Release (With Examples)

*This article was last updated on 01/12/2023

Press releases are a powerful tool that can help you generate media coverage and public awareness. But to achieve this, you must write a press release that’s more than simply a jumble of facts.

Large companies have the advantage of housing entire corporate communications departments that handle this. Small businesses often need to DIY it on the fly, and that’s where this article will help.

The media sphere is pretty rigid, not unlike banks and law firms. That’s especially true for larger, more old-school publications like newspapers. Your press releases should follow a specific format and, most importantly, demonstrate what makes the news “newsworthy,”

What is a Press Release?

Write a Press Release

A press release is a structured document that follows a specific format to deliver news professionally. It’s a bridge between your organization and the public, often channeled through journalists and news outlets.

Unlike an advertisement or a direct marketing pitch, a press release focuses on sharing information that is of public interest, whether it’s about a product, service, event, or business development.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Write a Press Release

Crafting a press release requires careful planning and execution. Follow these steps to ensure your press release is both effective and engaging:

1. Identify Your Newsworthy Angle

Start by pinpointing what makes your announcement newsworthy. Ask yourself why the public or your industry should care about your news. Is it a groundbreaking product, an important event, or a significant company milestone?

2. Research and Gather Information

Once you’ve identified your angle, collect all the necessary information. This includes data, quotes, facts, and figures relevant to your story. Ensure your information is accurate and up-to-date.

3. Write a Compelling Headline

Your headline should grab attention and summarize your news in a few words. Make it clear, concise, and compelling. A good headline sets the tone for the entire release.

4. Craft the Dateline and Introduction

The dateline includes the release date and city of origin. Following this, write your introduction. Cover the who, what, when, where, and why in one paragraph. This part should provide the most critical aspects of your news.

5. Develop the Body

In the body, delve into the details. Expand on your introductory points, provide background information, and include supporting quotes. Keep paragraphs short and information clear.

6. Include Quotes

A quote from someone relevant to the news adds a personal touch and credibility. This could be from a company executive, a customer, or an industry expert. Ensure the quote adds value and context to your release.

7. Add the Boilerplate

Include a brief paragraph about your company at the end. This should give readers a quick overview of your company’s mission.

8. Provide Contact Information

Conclude with the contact person’s name, phone number, and email address. This is crucial for journalists wanting more information or following up.

9. Edit and Proofread

Review your press release for grammatical errors, factual inaccuracies, or style inconsistencies. A well-written, error-free press release reflects professionalism. If you need help, you can engage a professional freelance writer or use a writing aid like Grammarly.

10. Distribute and Follow Up

Once your press release is ready, distribute it through the appropriate channels. Afterward, be available to answer any follow-up questions or provide additional information.

Formatting Your Press Release

The format of your press release is as important as the content. A well-formatted press release looks professional and is more accessible for journalists and readers to follow. 

Here are key formatting guidelines to ensure your press release makes the right impression:

Title in Bold and Larger Font

Your title should stand out. Use a larger font size (14-16 points) and bold it. This draws attention to the headline, which is crucial for engaging readers.

Use Standard Fonts

Use a standard, easy-to-read font like Arial or Times New Roman. Keep the font size at 11 or 12 points for the main text. This ensures readability across various devices and print formats.

Include a Subtitle (If Necessary)

A subtitle in a slightly smaller font than the title can provide additional context or highlight an essential aspect of your news.

Keep Paragraphs Short

Aim for paragraphs that are no longer than three to four sentences. This helps in maintaining reader interest and makes the text more digestible.

Use Bullet Points for Key Facts

Bullet points can be used to highlight key facts or figures, making them stand out in the body of the text.

Include ‘###’ or ‘-End-‘ at the Bottom

This indicates the end of the press release. It’s a traditional way to show that no more information follows.

Download Free Press Release Example

How to Distribute Your Press Release

Getting your press release disseminated to the right audience can be a challenge. This is especially true for smaller companies that don’t regularly deal with the media. If that’s the problem you face, here are some ways to get your news released:

Use Press Release Distribution Services

These services can significantly extend the reach of your press release. Examples include:

  • PR Newswire: Widely recognized, PR Newswire has a vast network and offers targeted distribution.
  • Business Wire: Known for its comprehensive distribution networks, especially beneficial for business and financial news.
  • GlobeNewswire: Offers extensive distribution options, including international reach.

Leverage Social Media

Social media platforms can be powerful tools for press release distribution. Share your press release on your company’s LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook pages. Consider using hashtags to increase visibility.

Direct Contact with Journalists

If you have contacts in the media, directly sending them your press release can be effective. Personalize your email to each journalist, explaining why your news is relevant to their audience.

Post on Your Company Website

A dedicated news or press section on your website is an excellent place to post your press release. It’s also beneficial for journalists or interested parties who visit your site for more information.

When to Use a Press Release

Media outlets have to deal with dozens of press releases daily. Time is a valuable commodity, so sending out masses of press releases can quickly get your business blacklisted. Pick your battles and know when to write a press release for distribution.

Here are common scenarios where a press release is an appropriate and effective tool:

Product Launches and Updates

A press release can generate excitement and anticipation when introducing a new product or significant updates to an existing one. It’s an opportunity to highlight your product’s unique features and benefits to a broader audience.

Company Milestones

Achieving significant milestones, such as anniversaries, sales achievements, or expansion plans, warrants a press release. These events showcase your company’s growth and success, fostering trust and credibility in your brand.

Events and Partnerships

Hosting a major event or entering into a significant partnership can benefit from a press release. Such news is not only crucial for your company but can also be of interest to your industry and the general public.

Awards and Recognitions

Winning an award or receiving industry recognition is a testament to your company’s excellence. Sharing this through a press release can enhance your reputation and establish your authority in your field.

Crisis Management

In times of crisis or controversy, a press release is critical for disseminating your side of the story. It’s a way to proactively present facts, address concerns, and maintain your reputation.

Research and Innovations

If your company has conducted significant research or achieved a technological breakthrough, sharing this through a press release can position you as a thought leader and innovator.

Remember, a press release should not be used for non-newsworthy items.

Final Thoughts

The key to a successful press release lies in presenting newsworthy content clearly, concisely, and engagingly. It’s about telling your story in a way that captures interest and provides value to both journalists and your target audience.

Whether announcing the next big innovation, celebrating a company milestone, or sharing industry news, your press release is more than just information; it reflects your brand and its story. Make it count.

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