Best Press Release Practice

There are lots of things to consider when writing a press release. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, you may find it helpful to split the press release into six distinct sections:

  1. Opening line
  2. Introduction
  3. Main body
  4. Quotes
  5. Headline and summary
  6. Notes to editors

Opening line


For your opening line, it is important to think about what you want as the main focus of your story; this needs to be something that will really grab the attention of journalists and bloggers. Establish what one fact you want readers to take away with them and give it top billing in your press release.

A common mistake here is to lead off with a piece of clumsy self-promotion. This confuses your key message and will only alienate your readership at the first hurdle.


Introduction


Try to answer the key questions of who, what, why, where, when and how in your introduction, which should take up no more than the first four lines. This is so that a busy journalist skimming over the press release can quickly establish what is happening.


Main body


Many people make the mistake of cramming in too much information in their introduction. Detailed figures and statistics are useful but you'll probably find the press release reads more naturally if you push them further down the page into the main body of text.


Quotes


Another top tip before you decide to submit press release is always end with a couple of lines of quote. Journalists and bloggers love quotes because they save time and add a bit of colour to even the drabbest subjects.

The quote section of a press release is where you can add a bit of spin - it is where the reader gets told why the story is important, exciting or surprising if they haven't figured it out for themselves. Try to use a quote from an authority figure such as someone with a personal involvement in the story or an industry expert, but be sure to get permission first.


Headline and summary


Once the main body of the article is completed, you should now be in a position to write the most important parts of the press release. Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules for press release headlines and summaries; ideally, you want something eye-catching that is filled with relevant keywords and includes the name of the featured organisation but there's plenty of scope for creativity here.


Notes to editors


Finally, it is time to look at an oft-overlooked press release section. Notes to editors or boilerplates are where you can provide background about the featured organisation in a way that simply is not possible in the main body of text. And remember to include contact details before you choose to submit press release so that interested journalists and bloggers know where to turn for further information.