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Writing A Press Release

What is a press release?

  • Purpose is to present a story
  • Usually aimed at editors of publications
  • Provides all the information they need typically on one or two sides of A4 paper
  • Presents the story in a way which is beneficial to the organisation involved

Writing a press release

  • Be clear on the objectives of the release
    • Who is it aimed at?
    • What will interest them about the story?
    • What you want to achieve from issuing the story
  • The headline:
    • Functional purpose – to attract attention
    • Sums up the whole story
    • Avoid fancy or clever headlines
    • Try to keep it to a single line of text
Writing A Press Release
  • Summarise the key points of the story in the first paragraph (first 20-30 words)
    • Get the key bits in first with the details later on
    • Keep to the facts and write succinctly
    • Avoid advertising or self promotional language
    • Make it easy for the editors:
      • Written in the 3rd person
      • Use the present tense
      • Structure the story
      • Check spelling and grammar
      • Get it proof read
  • Maximising coverage
    • Producing different versions (local and national/different emphasis for different markets).
  • Timing
    • Quiet and busy press times
    • Deadlines

Laying out a press release

  • Use double line spacing
  • If the release runs on to two pages add ‘continued…’ to the bottom of the first page
  • At the end of the release type ‘ENDS’
  • If a photo is provided include a photo caption
  • If you need to provide more details include ‘notes to the editors’ after the release
  • Include contact details and website address
  • Send it out on headed paper

Writing A Press Release

Whilst the world focuses on social media there is still a place for the technical / specialist publication that is serving content to a very targeted / specific audience. For these publications a press release is very relevant. For more information on marketing techniques click here. To talk to a marketing and sales professional click here

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