Press Release How To: Learn how to write a press release with this informative article.
Writing a press release may seem like something reserved for the large publicity departments at major corporations or non-profit organizations, but the task itself is not really all that difficult once one knows the general format.
Press releases have a standardized format, though there is always room for the creativity that will make your release grab a journalist's attention. But if you're just starting out, it might be best to follow the common framework until you've got it down, and then perhaps consider branching out a bit.
Remember, the point of a press release is to get the news about your event, company, organization, etc. out there to as many people as possible. In order to do so, you need to think of the lowest common denominator. Think about the person with an incredibly short attention span picking up your release and beginning to read. What do you want this person to see so that he/she comes away with the pertinent information in just a short period of time?
It starts with the headline. If your company is holding a charity event, say so in the headline: "ABC Company to Hold Charity Benefit for Foundation." If that person with the short attention span cares about your company, charity in general, or the specific foundation, you may have just held on to him/her for a few seconds longer.
So, keep that attention. Move on to the first paragraph, and expand upon that headline. Not too much at first; you don't want to scare off the flighty person reading this thing. Give the basics from the headline, along with a few extra details that would be important for anyone who would want to, say, attend your event or buy your product. The second body paragraph can extend further, and may even include quotes from appropriate individuals related to the release.
Finally, include some sort of basic paragraph talking about your company, organization, an individual, etc. This is the type of paragraph that you can cut and paste into any press release you send out from your organization, so make it flattering but also generic enough to be included in any sort of release.
A press release is somewhat like a newspaper article. It usually has a news "hook," quotes from people, and is written in "inverted pyramid" style (the most important information is at the top.) Typically, press releases follow Associated Press (AP) style. In fact, some small-town newspapers even run press releases as-is alongside articles in the paper!
Standard press releases end with a ### symbol centered at the bottom, to indicate the release is over. The journalism equivalent of this is "-30-," so you may see that sometimes as well. Some have moved away from using these symbols at all, so make that judgment call on your own.
And there you have it: the simplest way to write your very own press release.