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The Components of a Press Release: An Overview

This post is for  those of you who need a bit of a refresher on your press release writing skills. Whether you’re new to PR or simply haven’t written a press release in awhile, we hope this little overview helps!

Release Time:
Release time is found first thing, right at the top of a press release. It usually says one of two things “For Immediate Release” or “Embargoed Until [Date].” “Embargoed Until [Date]” means the press release isn’t to be published until the date listed.

Headline:
It is critical for the headline of a press release to be attention grabbing, while conveying the topic of the release.

Summary:
The summary is a brief overview of the content of the press release. It highlights the main points, allowing the reader to skim the summary and get a good idea of what the release is about. In online press release distribution, the summary is often displayed in listings with the headline.

Dateline:
The dateline includes the date of the press release and the town or city the news is taking place in. For example, if the company is based in San Francisco, the dateline would include San Francisco along with the date.

Press Release Body:
This is the meat of the press release. Usually, the first paragraph answers the 5 W’s (who, what, where, when, and why) and is followed by quotations and any supporting facts and details.

Boiler Plate:
The boiler plate is a paragraph that gives a general overview of the company, product, or person being discussed in the press release. Usually, it follows a line that says “About [company, product, or person] being discussed in the press release.

Call to Action:
This is a brief line following the boiler plate that usually starts with “For more information about [company, product, or person being discussed in the press release] or more about this news angle, contact [PR Relations contact’s name, number, and email address].

Contact Info:
This section contains as much contact info related to the company, product, or person as possible. It’s better to list too many ways to contact than not enough – you never know what a person’s preferred method of contact is, so feel free to list any method of contact you can think of.

Closing:
To let the reader know there isn’t a second page that happens to be missing, you should close with either ### or -30- at the bottom of the release.

Of course, these are just the components of a press release. The real magic happens when you put them all together just right.  To see examples of successful press releases, download our free ebook with 75 press release examples.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab three free ebooks, including the Big Press Release Book and Twitter Tactics, here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/freebooks.html

4 Responses

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  3. […] general format of a press release can be found here. […]

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