Writing a Press Release:
Press releases or media releases are announcements from a third person point of view. Their primary function is to grab the attention of journalists, writers and individuals who may then share your information or write their own story about it.
Before writing a press release, you should consider whether or not it is worthy of publication. If it is not news worthy, it is highly unlikely anyone else will share it. The key thing to focus on is what impact your news has on others and how can they benefit from the information in your press release? You should also try to make your press release easy to share and adapt. Journalists will be more inclined to take on a press release that is written well.
Successful Press Release Format
The basis of a good press release is the five Ws – What, Where, When, Who and Why. It is important to address the five Ws in this order too. Start by writing down the answers to these questions then try to stitch them together in short punchy sentences.
Date & Location
Always begin your press release with the date and location, it sounds obvious but it’s really important to let people know how old the information is and where it is coming from
The most important parts of your press release are the heading and the first and second paragraphs. During these sections, your reader will decide if he or she wants to invest anymore time reading the story. Avoid long titles, keep it succinct and punchy, if using puns, it must be witty. In the first paragraph you should write a short summary of the story and be sure include details of your company and its location. The second paragraph should expand on the first, fleshing it out with a bit more information.
You should keep sentences short and easy to read, and it should be written in a pyramid format. This simply means that you provide more and more information as you flesh out those five Ws and the reader continues reading. You must also ensure everything you write is factual, use external references to back the information up if appropriate.
When addressing the Who element of your five Ws, try to add a human touch to the story. Use quotations and always give a good balance of opinions. Quotations should relay a key message but not be contained elsewhere in the press release.
Dos and Don’ts
Use proper punctuation, consistent use of tense, avoidCAPS, jargon, promotional use of exclamation marks and make sure your spelling is perfect. No-one wants to waste time checking over everything you’ve written. It also helps to build a reputation as a quality press release publisher that journalists will be confident using future releases.
Another thing to remember is not to make the press release sound like too much like promotional material. Remember, press releases in their purest form are presentation of facts and unbiased information.
Consider Your Audience
It is also very important to consider your target audience. Consider your business, product or services and how much knowledge they will have on the subject. Write for them and take time to clearly explain things that they need to know.
Photos & Videos
Remember to use photos and describe them, even better, use a video if available. Photos should be of high quality (minimum 300dpi) and saved in jpeg format. Photos and videos should not be included in the main body of the press release submission; instead it should be attached as files.
For SEO purposes when submitting to press release sites, you should consider the following basic principles:
- · Only use 1 URL per press release.
- · Use 1-3 keywords, 1 primary keyword and 1-2 secondary keywords.
- · Use the primary keyword as anchor text early in the first paragraph.
- ·A relevant keyword as anchor text in the second paragraph.
- · Use the actual URL as the anchor text in the last paragraph
- ·When closing add “Official Site” as anchor text.
End your press release with your contact details in case anyone would like to discuss the press release with you and add any links to official websites or important information sources.
Submitting the Press Release
Most journalists will expect to receive press releases via email; you can get the contact details relatively easily by visiting the website publication you are targeting.
If submitting online through press release submission websites, you can use our handy
Ultimate Press Release Submission List