A good rule that works for all press releases: once you understand the key formula, you will start seeing the results you want. In this guide, we will have a closer look at the press release anatomy and describe how to write a good one following the essential foundation. You can also learn more, finding more successful press releases examples on the web and studying them in detail.
Press Release and Its Real Purpose
The real purpose of a press release is to share a news story with a reader. It is all about communication and public relations: if the story is good enough, it will be covered by media. Your press release must contain 400 words and be interesting for a journalist, blogger, podcaster or any other content publisher. The press release is not:
- An exaggerated story full of false promises;
- A list of technical info about a specific product;
- A self-claiming sales pitch;
- A fact statement or CV presentation.
Writing a press release is hooking the readers and making them interested in learning more. People expect to hear something brilliant and catchy so your task is to tell a good story.
Press Release Example Structure
A good press release consists of 11 basic elements that bring consistency to the process and following which can get you quick results:
- Date and logo. These are obvious but important elements you should add. The date helps to understand that the story is new (no one wants to read old news). After you can place the word EMBARGOED: that would mean that this material should not be published until that date. Put your company logo in the top right corner of the page;
- Headline. It has to grab the attention and stand out of 200 emails journalists receive every day. Your headline should be around 10 words and contain specific information: moreover, it will become a subject of your email so it really needs your focus. If email is not even opened, all your efforts will be useless;
- The intro. Here you have less than 25 words to describe your story, so get to the point at once: who, how, what, why, when and where did a certain thing. All publishers have limited time, so if it is not catchy, they will just delete it;
- Key paragraphs. Now you have to develop the plot introducing key information and thus making the journalist`s work easier. Have a natural flow so that all paragraphs are connected logically, avoid repetitions and gaps between them;
- The quotes. It is time to introduce one of the founders of your business who may be later interviewed (the figure behind a press release). Indicate their full name and position, quote them right at the end of the paragraph;
- The key message. Proceed with the main body providing more facts. For example, when and where your product or service can be received, website address, its price, some technical description;
- The closing quote. Finish your press release naturally with a closing quote (given either by the founder you described above or by a third party whose words give your product more credibility);
- A closing paragraph. Here is the place for an effective endorsement (data or fact that points to the following steps for your business and its future). This info can convince the journalist that this is worth writing about;
- Ends. If you want to stand out from many of your competitors, always finish your press releases by the word ENDS. It makes it clear that the press release is complete and ready for feedback;
- Contacts. Make sure you included all contact information of responsible people (name, email, phone number, etc). No extras, just keep it simple and clear;
- Notes. Here you can put all additional information that may be useful for a publisher (company history, CEO biography, statistics, links to articles).
Writing a press release, check its grammar and spelling: the journalists will be sure to notice your mistakes. Keep your press release two pages short, no more than 400 words in total. This is not an essay, remember. Present it in a Word format document (copy the text into your email as some publishers do not bother opening the attachments) and add images of high quality separately.
Now you know almost everything about writing a press release, but here are some final points for you to follow:
- Use 90% of your creativity for writing a headline;
- Target only popular and respected journalists to cover your story;
- Be direct and to the point;
- Follow up;
- Be ready for the interview.
Taking some time to learn the basics of writing a press release is investing in your goal. Getting it right, you can have a large long-lasting impact on your business.