Writing A Press Release
Most press releases follow the same general format. Follow the simple outline below for best results.
Date for release: “For Immediate Release”, “For Release Before (date)”, or “For Release After (date)”. Most online distribution services simply ask you to insert a date in the date line or select one from a calendar.
Contact information: Make it easy for the media to contact you about your story by including as much information as possible. It is important to include a phone number, fax number, email address and company address. Failing to leave this information suggests that your press release is either amateurish or illegitimate. Media contacts will ask: “Why don’t they want to be contacted? What do they have to hide?”
Headline: Your headline must ‘hook’ the reader into wanting to read your full release. You may have a fantastic press release. However, failing to write a strong headline will jeopardize your entire release. It will be overlooked and passed by in favor of a release with a more interesting or exciting or controversial headline. So make your headline an attention grabber.
Sell the benefits of your product or service within your headline:
Losing Weight Is Easy If You Follow These Simple Rules
Or ask a question:
Want to Lose Weight the Easy Way?
These headlines draw a reader into the story, simply because they want to know how to solve a particular problem or they want to know the answer to the question.
Summary: This is a sentence or short paragraph that follows your headline. Here is where you continue to draw the media into your story by summarizing the information in your press release with a strong statement or two to keep the reader interested. But don’t give them everything. You still want them to read the entire release.
Body: This is the main area of your press release. Keep it simple, to the point and brief, 175 – 300 words. Use bullets when appropriate and clear, crisp paragraphs for easy reading. Your press release is meant to entice the media to contact you for further information, so encourage the reader to contact you and visit your web site.
About Us/Boiler Plate: Not everyone uses a boiler plate. However, this is the perfect place to add some brief information about your company. (i.e., “XYZ Company is a leading distributor of widgets and has been in the business of building widgets since 1900.”)
End of Press Release: To end your press release, simply enter ### on a blank line at the end of the release. Any information after ### will not be published.