Steps for Writing Press Releases*
- Decide why you are writing a press release and determine your focus.
- Keep it short and to the point. Usually, press releases are simply one page.
- Print the words "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE" in the top left-hand margin in all caps. Follow this line with relevant contact information: name, title, address, phone number, and e-mail address.
- Create a headline and center it in bold type just above the first line of the body of the press release. Headlines typically highlight the most important, significant or shocking fact in the release.
- Create a dateline — the first line of the body of your press release — that includes the city where the Release is generated and the date (i.e. Beijing, China, October 21, 2010).
- Make certain the first paragraph includes all the vital information: the who what, when, where and why.
- Include some tantalizing peripheral details or facts to spark curiosity in the following paragraphs. A good press release informs and also teases.
- Wrap up the last paragraph with a “for additional information” line, a place to find more details. A Web site can be great sources for additional information.
- Center these marks, # # # or —30— at the bottom of the page to indicate the end of your release.
- Print your release on high quality paper using a good laser or inkjet printer. You only get one chance to make a solid first impression.
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Press Release Tips
*Accessed from: eHow — Tips & Warnings for Press Releases. See: Press Release Writing Considerations Before You Start
Writing press releases for online use
To increase the chance of having a story published online, make the editors', freelancers', reporters' or journalists' jobs easier by presenting the release in a format and style that appeals to them.
Considerations before writing the press release:
- Why the release is being written: To broadcast information? Increase business? Update target audiences?
- Who is the audience?
- Does the press release contain invaluable or newsworthy information that will be used by the target audience?
- Is there a just cause to release the information that you wish to broadcast?
- What do you want recipients to take away from the press release?
Tone and structure of the press release
**Accessed from Lunar Eclipse. Press Release Checklist. 2008 See: http://www.lunareclipse.net/pressrelease.htm
- Content. Ensure that the release is correct grammatically, that sources are quoted correctly. Check for spelling mistakes and typo errors.
- Concise. Keep it punchy and avoid unnecessary, trite or flowery language e.g., “cutting-edge” or “revolutionary.”
- Factual. Present the information to distribute that is true, correct and doesn't embellish anything to be communicated.
- Objectivity is Important. Refrain from using over-hyped quotes from sources as they will be presented as being too biased.
- Timing. The press release may not be topical, but it is possible to incorporate the release into a more recent news event.