While writing a press release is fairly simple, it must be done correctly and efficiently in order to serve its purpose. The writer must show that the info they are sharing is newsworthy, important, and worth the time of others who will share it.
There are some basics to writing press releases that can be easily followed, and once the basics are mastered, anyone can be a pro at using this outlet for information sharing.
- Understand the formatting. At the top left of the page, be sure to include a statement of when the information should be released. Secondly, a catchy headline that will grab the readers’ attention should be the main focus. Write the release in a news-like format, where the most important information should be shared first, with secondary news like quotes or facts in the second paragraph. A release should never be more than one page long; if there is too much information to process it will probably get tossed aside. Towards the end, include facts about the company you are representing so the reader can understand where the news is coming from. And most importantly, include contact and social media information so they will know whom to call if they need more info.
- Share the 5 W’s. To make sure you have added everything the reader will need to know, make sure you answer the basic questions about who, what, where, when, and why? If all of these have been addressed, you have probably added all the information needed.
- Make it pop. Write in a tone that makes your information sound exciting. Make your headline genuine but clever. Remember that you are competing for news time and space, and a lackluster news release won’t win you a feature story. Good luck in writing future news releases!
By Tara Smith
Press releases if done correctly can do a lot of good for the situation you are pitching. In doing the amount of releases I did during my internship, the AP style handbook is a great tool to guide you along the way.