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Top 9 tips for writing a press release - Saltwater Stone - Marine PR, Marketing & Advertising Agency

Top 10 tips for writing a press release

A press release is a written document informing the media about a particular item of news. They are normally written by PR and communications experts whose job it is to inform target audiences about their clients.

There are various reasons for using press releases, such as raising awareness, protecting brand reputation and positioning clients within a particular industry. There are also some different types of press releases to consider.

Important things to remember when writing a press release:

1. Newsworthy

Firstly, always consider whether your story is newsworthy and that it’s more than an attempt to get free advertising. Journalists receive thousands of press releases every week, so the story really needs to stand out to get noticed.

2. Traditional formatting

Regardless of what type of press releases you are producing, there are standard rules about style that are important to follow. These include the use of 1.5 line spacing and the use of easy-to-read fonts. These tend to be Ariel or Calibre and the typeface should be set to 12-points. This is to ensure the journalist can read the information quickly and easily.

3. Logos

Client logos should be added to the top of the press release, to highlight the company as an additional way to increased brand awareness.

4. Get attention

Always create an attention-grabbing heading and sub-heading, to entice the journalist into wanting to read more. Without this, it is less likely to be read, so make sure that is done well. This might include the main point of the news, followed by a second important part of the story.

5. Get to the point

Writing style should be clear and concise and ‘flowery prose’ should be avoided! Press releases are succinct, factual pieces of information, about what your chosen audience should want to hear. So do avoid using a press release to share your creative talents.

6. The five w’s

The first paragraph should always include the five w’s: who, what, why, when and where – in that order. The journalist should be able to get a grasp of the key points to a story within the first few seconds of reading.

7. Quote

Include a compelling quote from a spokesperson linked to the story. This will show a positive element to the subject matter and add some personality too.

8. Include note to editor

Always include notes to editor and contact details at the end. Sometimes referred to as a ‘boilerplate’, it consists of condensed ‘about us’ information and other details. This will provide the journalist with enough background information and put the story into more context.

9. Keep it short

Ensure your press release consists of around 300-500 words and preferably fits on to one page, or two at the most including the boilerplate. Anything longer will be wasting your time as journalists simply don’t have time to read long pieces. Remember, you don’t have to tell the entire story. If it’s newsworthy and the journalist wants to know more, he/she will ask for it.

10. Know the purpose

There are different types of press releases for different purposes. A press release might be written to broadcast something or geared towards SEO to attract more visitors to a website. Or it might be used as a way for sharing things on social media, such as a link or a video.

If you would like further assistance with your press release writing, please get in touch with us. We would be more than happy to help you get your news to as many relevant media outlets as possible. 

Written by

With over 20 years of experience, I’m passionate about working as an extension of my clients and communicating their messages through the the right channels to achieve measurable results. Understanding how traditional PR combines with the digital world is also key in today's world of content and digitalisation.

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