5 Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release

Save company descriptions for the end of the press release, so they do not take away from the story you are trying to tell.

Press releases are a traditional way of getting your newsworthy information out to the press. This form of communication often results in free publicity, media opportunities and prospects reaching out to learn more about your organization, so even though this may seem a bit “old school,” they are still a great way to reach your target audience. However, journalists are often flooded with news content, so it’s imperative that you get your point across quickly.

Below are 5 tips for making sure your press release is written effectively:

  • Catchy Headline – The headline of the press release should quickly get the point across of what the press release is about. A good way to measure the length is to ensure it fits in the subject line of an email, so it can be fully read in a reader’s inbox.
  • The 4 W’s – Communicate Who, What, Where, When in the first paragraph. The first paragraph of the press release is when a reader will decide if they want to keep reading or scroll down to the next topic. Having a catchy headline and clearly stating the 4 W’s right at the beginning will help guarantee your readers keep reading.
  • Keep it Short – Try to stay between 400-500 words. We all have short attention spans when it comes to reading news, so keep it top line and communicate your key points.
  • Quotes – Provide quotes from all parties involved and make sure the quotes are insights vs. facts. For example, readers are looking for transparency and to hear what the thought process was when deciding to do this project, why they chose the company they chose – was it their exceptional customer service, the alignment of companies values, the forward thinking and innovation the company follows. Quoting a company executive or a strong industry leader within the organization is also a good way to get your readers engaged. When they see their name, they are immediately intrigued because of their voice and knowledge in the industry.
  • Bylines – Save company descriptions for the end of the press release, so they do not take away from the story you are trying to tell. This is also a great place to ask readers to visit your website for more information and follow your social media pages.

Once you have written your press release, it’s always a good idea to have another set of eyes review it before sending to the media to catch any typos or grammar errors.

When your press release is ready to be sent, there are a few ways to distribute your content. Submitting through distribution networks, such as BusinessWire and PR Newswire are great outlets for getting your news out to specific demographics, both domestically and globally. In addition, emailing your release to media contacts is an effective way to ensure it is received. Copy and paste your release into the body of your email – do not attach a document. With all of the phishing and spam that goes into our inboxes, opening an attachment from a new sender is usually strongly discouraged. Put the headline of the press release in to the subject line of the email and make sure your contact information is clearly listed in the email. Lastly, share the press release on your social pages.