How to Write a Press Release

A good press release is made up of good parts. This means a headline, a dateline and answers to the 4 basic journalism W’s & the 1 H -Who, What, Why, Where and How.

Begin by writing a headline for your press release that sums up the content of the release in one to two sentences. Be sure to either do this on company letterhead or include the name of your company in the headline. It is also helpful if you include contact information for someone at your company at the top of the page.

A press release should be approximately one page long. Begin with the city, state (also called a “dateline”) in which the release originated, or where your company is located.

After the body of the press release (detailed below), include a short paragraph (3-5 sentences is plenty) about your company, including your company’s website.

What to Say

Remember that the idea behind submitting a press release is to tell the reader three things:
1)    Why it will appeal to his or her readers.
2)    How it is unique and the ways it is difference from things other people or companies are doing.
3)    Anything else about the event or product that might be interesting

For example, if your press release is on a new product, you should address the following:

  • The name of the new product
  • The date the product will be released
  • A description of the product, including any special features that differentiate it from the competition. The longer the description of the product and its features, generally the better (within that one page limit).
  • What issues or problems does this product solve for the end consumer?
  • Since I work for a trade magazine, what benefits does your product offer a retailer?
  • What is the product made of? This is especially important with clothing- does it feature reinforced stitching or some other special feature to improve quality?

Remember
The idea here is to make the product sound as positive as possible. And you undoubtedly know more about the product, service or event that the reader does; try to answer any questions they may have. That means thinking about Who (will be interested), What (the release is about), Where/When (the product will be released or the event will happen), and Why (the editor should care – ie. Why their readers will care).

Here and here are some samples. Also, check out my portfolio. Feel free to contact me for more information or email me if you’re interested in having me write your press release – my email address is mbreau (at) jargonwriter.com.

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