When your company has a newsworthy announcement to make, the key to making sure it gets noticed is crafting a strong press release. Understanding how to write a press release can help you stand out from the flood of papers that land on a reporter’s desk every day.
How to Structure Your Press Release
Your press release needs to get information across in a way that will be easy to digest and remember. Writing press releases with the right structure can help accomplish this goal:
- Start With a Strong Headline
Use action verbs and include key descriptive phrases. Your headline should provide information and grab attention. It should form the basis of a news story people want to read.
- Put the Important Information First
Reporters who are pressed for time may not read your entire press release. That’s why it’s important to put all the vital information in the first paragraph. Include the five W’s: who, what, when, where, and why.
- Support Your Claims
The remainder of the press release will be used to support the claims you made in your lead paragraph. Expand on the five W’s and include some insightful quotes from company representatives to shed more light on the topic. Finish with a paragraph about your company and any awards you have received.
- Close With Contact Information
Don’t make the reporter dig for more information. Include your company name, a contact person, phone number, email address, and any other available contact options.
Using Good Press Release Style
Even a well-structured press release can be overlooked if it’s boring. Here are some tips to make yours stylistically effective.
- Find an Angle
Try to determine what the news agency’s audience will find most interesting and approach your story from that perspective.
- Use descriptive language, but don’t overdo it.
Avoid words like “stellar,” “brilliant,” or “state of the art.” These overused phrases will color your press release as being overly self-promoting.
- Keep It Short
Busy news reporters are unlikely to read a long press release. Ideally, limit yourself to one page, or two at the absolute most.
The most important thing to remember as you’re writing a press release is to make it something people will want to read about. You’ll automatically stand out from the crowd and earn a second look when you concentrate on making your release newsworthy.