How to Write a Press Release
Saturday, 9 Aug 2014
I receive updates from the Womens Business Clubs website. The website is a resource for UK Business Women, but many of the articles are just as applicable to UK Business Men. Here is a particularly interesting article on how to write a press release with some good tips.
Source: Claire Salmons, Claire@theprdoctor.co.uk, www.theprdoctor.co.uk
Many of my small business PR clients come to me with questions about writing press releases.
The main piece of advice I’d give you is to read newspapers to hone your writing style. Press releases are written in the same way as newspaper articles, so the more familiar you become with that style, the easier it will be.
These are my top tips for writing style when constructing a press release:
Of course this is just the beginning. There are many other things to consider when writing a press release, such as whether your story is newsworthy and how to distribute it. But getting the style right is a start.
- Include the most important information first and then each paragraph in order of importance. Busy journalists may only get as far as the first few words before they decide whether to delete your work or consider using it.
- The first paragraph should contain all the essential information of the story. A good guide is to include the who, what, where, when, why and how.
- Write in the third person; ‘XYZ company launches app...’
- Avoid hyperbole and clichés, stick to the facts wherever possible. Use simple language and avoid industry jargon unless the only people you are sending it to are trade journalists.
- Keep words, sentences and paragraphs short.
- A quote should be included in the release. This allows a journalist to lift the comment and make it appear as if an interview has been conducted. The person quoted could be a representative from the company and/or a third party expert. You can use adjectives in the quote that you can’t use elsewhere in the release but avoid bland statements like “We are delighted to announce...”.
- The headline is a short and concise statement about your announcement. The headline should include a media “hook” that is newsworthy but it will not be used for the finished article so don’t waste time being too clever - though a witty headline will help grab the journalist’s attention.
- A press release should be brief and to the point. As a general rule, it should only be one page, two at the most.
- Company information or a ‘boilerplate’ can be included as one paragraph at the end of the release with basic background facts on the company – company launch date, private vs. public, web address, etc.
- Provide a name, email and phone number of the contact handling communication with the media.
- Technical information can be included after the main press release as a ‘note to editor’.
I hope you found this article useful. Our customers benefit from the years of experience we have in the commercial world, not just about websites - but obviously we are good at that too! We also have a great number of business contents, so if we cannot answer your question we probably know someone who does.