Tips for Writing a Press Release

Writing a press release can be a highly effective promotional marketing tool. Follow these guidelines to writing press releases that are compelling and will drive positive exposure for your company, product or service.

The key to writing a successful press release is to remember the audience and the purpose of press releases. A press release is different from an article in that it is designed to encourage journalists and media to write news articles on the subject.

A good press release can be used as raw material by the media when creating news content, saving the journalist time when putting their story together. Your secondary goal may be communicating or driving "buzz" to your prospective customer audience.

Press Release Guidelines

Here are some guidelines for creating a great press release that will get picked up by the media:

  • Keep the release informational, and avoid any sales pitch. Stick to the facts. Tell the truth.
  • Write in the third person using active not passive voice, as if you were reporting on your business.
  • Include quotes from an executive of your company and/or a customer or reviewer of your product or service. Make sure you have permission to use any quotes before you print them!
  • Keep it between 300 and 500 words, with brief readable paragraphs, and a clear and attention grabbing headline. . Use only enough words to tell your story.
  • Avoid jargon and hype.
  • The first paragraph should summarize the key message of your release (keep it to one message only).
  • The body of your release should be a few paragraphs which address the key questions about your story: "who?", "what?", "when", "where", "why", and "how".
  • The final paragraph should restate and summarize the key points of your release.
  • Include a closing paragraph with general information about your company and/or product or service (headed by “About Company Name”).
  • At the bottom of the release, include a contact name & contact information (phone, email, etc) for further questions from the media.

Get Started Writing a Press Release

Before you delve into writing a press release, make sure you really do have a newsworthy story. Think about your audience. It may be exciting news for you (e.g., perhaps you just opened a new online store), but will someone else find your story interesting?

Focus your press release on aspects of your news that really differentiate you from everyone else. Think about what a journalist would want to write about your story. Where possible, use real life examples about how your company solved a problem.