top of page
  • Jerome Cleary

How To Write A Press Release

Write a clear, captivating headline

Your headline should convey the point of your story and capture your recipient's attention. Think about the headlines of articles in the publication you're writing to and try to craft something similar.

Include the release date and your location

Let the recipient know the date the press release is being issued (or the date of the event you're notifying them about), as well as where your business is located. This helps establish its relevance. You'll also notice many press release templates include the phrase "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE." This tells journalists that the information contained in the press release can be made public right away.

Quickly tell them what they need to know

The opening paragraph — the lead — should contain the five Ws, telling a journalist all the most important facts:

  • Who is this story about?

  • What is happening?

  • Where is it going?

  • When will it occur?

  • Why is it important?

Then give more context

In the paragraphs that follow your introduction, include all the details of the story in descending order of importance. Keep it straightforward. Write about what you do and why you do it, but don't write an exhaustive history of all that you've ever done.

Be honest and unbiased

Journalists won't be fooled or amused by a press release claiming that your product or service is the “best.” Unless you're notifying them about an award that entitles you to the claim, watch out for hyperbolic language. When in doubt, just state the facts.

Eliminate industry jargon

Make sure your press release isn't laden with industry jargon that doesn't mean anything to the average person. To check, ask a friend who isn't in your field to read your release. If they find it boring or complicated, edit for clarity and conciseness.

Include relevant, colorful quotes

To add color to your press releases, include bold, purposeful quotes. If you are the business owner, it could be something in your own words, or you could include a quote from an employee who's important to this specific news item. It can be personal and opinionated, but make sure you attribute the quote.

Sign off appropriately

This part of the release differs depending on where you are in the world, but you should sign off in a way that indicates the press release is over. Some common options include ###, XXX, or -30-. Do a little research about what's industry standard for the country where you're sending the release.

Tell them who to contact (and how)

At the bottom of the press release, be sure to include contact details for the person you'd like them to follow up with, whether that's you or someone else in your business. Include a name, email address, and phone number. Also include URLs and social media handles for your business.

Summarize your business in a boilerplate

At the bottom of your press releases, include a short business biography, the equivalent of what you'd write on your website's “About” page. This company description is called boilerplate text; it's the information that rarely changes, but you should always make sure it's still true before you send a new release.

A well-written press release is a powerful tool for communicating essential information and generating media coverage. However, several common mistakes can undermine their effectiveness. 

Beware of overly promotional language

Look at press release examples from your industry to determine the type of language they use. While the purpose of a press release is to highlight noteworthy achievements or announcements, it’s essential to balance promoting your message and maintaining an objective, informative tone. Journalists are more likely to engage with press releases that provide valuable information rather than those that read like advertisements. 

Avoid neglecting the target audience

Understanding and catering to your target audience is crucial. Failing to tailor your press release to the interests and preferences of the media outlets or journalists you’re reaching out to can lead to missed opportunities for coverage. 

Recognize the importance of a strong headline

The headline is the first thing journalists see, making it a crucial element of your press release. Craft a headline that’s both attention-grabbing and indicative of the key message you want to convey. 

Pay attention to proper formatting and style

Poor formatting and style can detract from the professionalism of your press release. Ensure that your document adheres to industry standards, with a clear structure — as outlined in our press release template — that includes a headline, dateline, lead paragraph, body paragraphs, and boilerplate. 

Ensure thorough proofreading and editing

Typos, grammatical errors, and inconsistencies can diminish the credibility of your press release. Prioritize thorough proofreading and editing to eliminate any mistakes before distributing your release. 

Measuring the impact of your press release

While crafting and distributing a compelling press release is a crucial step in your public relations strategy, understanding its impact is equally important. Determining the success of your press release involves more than counting the number of outlets that picked up the story. Here are a few ways to track your press release success:

Track media mentions and coverage

The most direct way to gauge the impact of your press release is to monitor media mentions and coverage. Keep a comprehensive record of where your press release has been published or broadcasted to provide insights into the reach of your message and identify which outlets and journalists are most responsive to your announcements.

Monitor website traffic and improvements in SEO

A successful press release should drive traffic to your website. Use website analytics tools to track the influx of visitors following the release. You can also monitor changes in search engine rankings related to the keywords and topics highlighted in your press release. 

Analyze audience engagement and feedback

Beyond quantitative metrics, qualitative data is equally valuable. Pay attention to audience engagement by monitoring social media platforms, comment sections, and other online forums. Analyzing the sentiment and feedback surrounding your company news provides valuable insights into how your target audience perceives it. 

Create visual elements for enhanced visual appeal

Incorporating multimedia elements can significantly enhance its impact. Track the performance of images, infographics, or videos included in your release. 


bottom of page