How to Write a Press Release: A Killer Press Release Guide

Planning Begins Before You Write a Press Release

While no one can guarantee your press release will be published or used for an article, there are things you can do to improve your press release success. The biggest obstacle to most press releases is the actual press release itself.

When writing a press release, it should be:

  • Concise - editors receive hundreds of press releases a week (perhaps more) and appreciate releases that are brief and to the point.
  • Well-written - a good way to ensure your press release ends up in the waste basket is: bad spelling, poor grammar, and illogical or unsubstantiated claims. Ask your friends and family to read your press release. Read your own press release aloud.
  • Factual - stick to logical and substantiated claims, avoiding statements of belief: we're the best, the cheapest, etc.
  • Honest - avoid the padded quotes by company officers; even if they are experts, they come across as biased, especially in a press release about your company. If used, stick to the facts.
  • Timely - if your press release isn't topical, consider incorporating it with a recent news event -- but don't stretch it.

Questions to Consider Before You Write a Press Release:

  • Who is the preferred audience of your press release?
  • What do you want readers to take away from your press release?
  • What does your press release provide: invaluable information or just another offer?
  • What is the support or justification for the information in your press release?
  • What is the tone of your press release?
  • Are you aware of possible pitfalls or areas to avoid in your press release?
  • What do you want to accomplish with your press release: increase business, disseminate information, or both?

10 Essential Tips to Press Release Success

  • 1. Ensure your press release is newsworthy.
  • 2. Give your headline a tune-up: Your headline should be concise and compelling while avoiding being cute or sensational.
  • 3. Review your entire press release, then summarize it as one strong paragraph. Review if this new paragraph shouldn't become or replace your initial paragraph.
  • 4. Brevity is not only allowed, it is encouraged and rewarded. It shows you respect the time of busy editors & reporters. If they require more information, they will ask.
  • 5. Purchase an AP stylebook (or use a service like eReleases that takes care of this for you) and learn how to properly abbreviate words and numbers, as well as the proper way to refer to most formal names and titles.
  • 6. Avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy language.
  • 7. Stick to the facts. Don't be afraid to pull statistics from respected third-parties if applicable.
  • 8. Provide as much contact information as possible: name, address, phone, fax, email, website. An after-hours number or cellphone can make the difference when you have a journalist under deadline.
  • 9. Identify editors and reporters who would be most interested in what you have to say.
  • 10. Choose your media list carefully. If sending via e-mail, be sure the editors and reporters accept press releases via email. Also, avoid attachments and large media files unless requested

Does the Press Release's Lead (Opening) Address or Answer the Basic Tenets of Journalism:

  • who
  • what
  • when
  • where
  • why
  • how

Of course, you could always have us write and distribute your release — starting at just $549. Click here - Press Release Writing


A Few PR Fuel Articles on Press Release Writing and Press Release Basics

Press Release Tips: Hook Editors with Strong Openings

If you want your press release to get an editor's attention, you need to get to the point as quickly as possible. Dozens of press releases stream into a newsroom every day. Most of them end up in the trash because an editor simply didn't have time to read through the whole press release to grasp the writer's point. You might have a great, timely hook, but it won't get noticed if it's buried in the fourth paragraph. (Read more ...)

Four Tips for Improving a Boring Press Release

When writing a press release, especially one that contains numbers or statistics, even seasoned public relations consultants can find their message failing to grab the media's attention. Here are a four tips for perking up that dry, boring press release. (Read more ...)

Make Sure Your Press Release Contains "Just the Facts"

A press release is not an advertisement. A press release is a subtle piece of advertorial: a combination of advertising and editorial content. The point of advertising is to bring a product, service, or cause to the attention of a consumer, voter, volunteer, or contributor. It involves matching the right content with the right audience. A press release is in one sense an advertisement, but in this case your audience is the media. You're selling them an idea for a story instead of a product or service, though, and it's crucial you understand what journalists don't want to hear. (Read more ...)

Brushing Up on Some Press Release Basics

Even seasoned public relations pros sometimes need to be reminded what makes for the most effective press release. Whether you're a press release newbie or have written hundreds of press releases during your career, the following tips should serve as a reminder of what to do -- and maybe more importantly, what not to do. (Read more ...)

Preparing a Press Release? Think Global, Look Local

While today's small businesses and small public relations firms have a number of economical means to reach national and international media -- e-mail, on-line press kits, and press release delivery services, such as eReleases -- the pitch will still need to be as good as the product to achieve results. Assuming merit exists for media coverage halfway across the world, crafting a press release around a hometown perspective can detract from a its news value. (Read more...)

Who Should Write Your Press Release?

Writing a press release can be a delicate matter. The public relations department, who must pitch the press release, wants to have a say in its content. The subjects quoted in the press release, often high-level executives, want to make sure they sound professional and intelligent. Business partners mentioned in a press release want to ensure that their image remains intact. Writing a press release can take days and dozens of drafts, so the question must be asked: Who should write your press releases? (Read more ...)

Is a Press Release Your Best Public Relations Bet?

A press release is undoubtedly important when it comes to drumming up publicity for your business. But should it be the *most* important part of your public relations strategy? A press release may not even be the best way for your company or clients to get publicity for a new product or an important announcement. The following four ideas may actually be more effective than a traditional press release. (Read more ...)

Of course, you could always have us write your release — starting at just $549. Click here - Press Release Writing

Mickie Kennedy, Founder & President
eReleases Press Releases