When I first had to write a press release, I wasn’t really sure exactly how to do it structure wise. Through trial and error I eventually developed a template I felt happy with and have worked with ever since. The only goal is to make sure your press release looks like a press release and gives all the information you want to get across.
Announces News in Title Case (try to keep it under 80 characters: make it short and sweet. Capitalise every word except for prepositions and articles of three characters or less).
The summary paragraph
Intended to give the reader a bit more information on what you mentioned in the headline but remember, don’t go overboard! Keep it to one to four sentences. The summary uses title case, with standard capitalization and punctuation.
City, State/County, Day, Month, Year this sentence contains the most important information in 25 words or less. Make it good but only say what you have to, which is the news. Give as much detail as you can without making it a run on sentence. If the company has done anything in collaboration or is being funded, make sure you mention the company that is funding, etc. You can’t assume the reader has read the headline or summary paragraph so make sure the first sentence stand out on its own. As the word keyword suggests, keywords are key. Include the most important ones in your headline, summary and also the lead paragraph.
Press Release Body
A news release is meant to pass on the news in a structured form, so keep sentences and paragraphs short and concise, about three or four lines per paragraph. A key structural element is the who, what, when, where, why and how questions. You need to answer all these as the media will need them in order to write their own version of the story if they don’t use yours. The standard press release is around 300 words although you can go over that limit a bit.
The rest of the news release gives further, although not as important, information on the topic. Here you can include some quotes from key staff, customers or experts. Make sure you can include a link to your website in this structure: http://www.polr.co.uk.
Typical topics for a news release include new product or competition announcement, an award the company may have received, the publishing of a book, or the launch of a new website. Do not take on a specific tone but keep it factual and non-emotional. Remember, this is not an advertisement. Avoid directly addressing the consumer or your target audience. The use of “I,” “we” and “you” outside of a direct quotation basically means it’s an advertisement and not just you passing on news.
A little hint: don’t include an e-mail address in the body of the release because spam bots will cut it out.
Closing the Press Release
In the final paragraph you can either include the least newsworthy material or just restate the most important information like in the conclusion of an essay. Make sure you include the following in the final paragraph or…
Make it into a new one. (For additional information on new product, competition, etc. contact Jane Doe or visit www.polr.co.uk.) You can also include details on product availability or other minor details.
Write a background or include what is called a boilerplate…
About PoLR Ltd:
Write about the company or person before you start on the contact details, which go in as a separate bit.
Jane Doe, director