Every company or practice reaches points where they want to release information to the media outlets and the public. The purpose of the release of this information could take shape in a number of different ways, like the introduction of a new product, announcement of an upcoming event, or development of an ongoing story. One of the key ways to release this information is to write a formal Press Release. Benefits of writing a press release could be to manage identity, make announcements, or managing a crisis, but the primary goal is to attract the attention of media in order to provide favorable information about your practice, group, or company. In this blog I want to provide 5 easy steps to put together an effective and successful press release.
When writing a formal press release there are a number of steps one should take:
- Have News Worthy Information: Once the art of writing a press release is mastered a public relations writer can turn out a press release in very little time, but the key to having an impact with your press release is not having the press release know-how. It all starts with having information that will appeal to the media and to provide content for their news outlet. Uncritical use or overuse of press releases by journalists has been dubbed churnalism and no one wants to be considered a “churnalist”. Every professional wants to be taken seriously and the role of public relations and the writing of press releases is to manage the way that you or your company relates to the public.
- Format Release: A proper press release follows a fairly structured format. Typical length is 400-500 words and includes the headline, dateline, introduction paragraph, 3-4 body paragraphs, a boilerplate which gives brief information about the group releasing the information, the marking ### which symbolizes the close or end of the release, and lastly contact information for anyone in the media that might wish to contact you.
- Develop Eye Catching Headline: Media outlets receive press releases from various resources and so in order to make your press release stand out you must craft an attention grabbing headline.
- Write Strategic Opening Paragraph: The opening paragraph is the most important paragraph in the whole press release. Anyone reading your press release will be looking for the meat of the information in this paragraph. Within the first few sentences of your press release you want to answers the questions Who? What? When? Where? Why?
- Support With Body Paragraphs: When I was taught how to write press release I was told to think of the image of an inverted triangle. An inverted triangle is largest at the top and gets smaller as it continues downward and in the same way you should write a press release with the biggest and most important information at the beginning and then use the rest of the release to support and explain. That is the role of the body paragraphs.
I hope this information was helpful in the process of educating you on the use and writing of press releases! If you have any further questions feel free to contact me through twitter @TylerYWBD or email at Tyler@MDWebPro.com