Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release

Write the headline. The headline should be brief and to the point. Generally, news release headlines should show an "announcement"-type style in order to attract readers, i.e., journalists. It may describe the latest achievement of an organization, a recent newsworthy event, a new product or service. 

Headlines are written in bold and are larger than the press release text. Conventional press release headlines are present-tense.

The first word in the press release headline should be capitalized, as should all proper nouns. Do not capitalize every word.

The simplest method to get the press release headline is to use the most important keywords from your press release. 

Write the press release body copy. The press release should be written as you want it to appear in a news story. 

Start with the date and city in which the press release is originated. Use the pyramid-style story telling format. 

The lead, or first sentence, should grab the reader and say concisely what is happening. The next 1-2 sentences then expand upon the lead.

The press release body copy should be compact. Avoid using very long sentences and paragraphs. Avoid repetition and over use of grammar, fluffy language and technical jargon.

A first paragraph (two to three sentences) must actually sum up the press release and the further content must elaborate it. In a fast-paced world, neither journalists nor other readers would read the entire press release if the start of the article didn't generate interest.

Deal with actual facts - events, products, services, people, targets, goals, plans, projects. Try to provide maximum use of these 'real' facts and contents. A good way of writing an effective press release is to make a list of:

Communicate the 5 Ws and the H. Who, what, when, where, why, and how. 

Now from the points gathered, try to construct paragraphs and assemble them sequentially: The headline > the summary or introduction of the news > event or achievements > product > people > again the concluding summary > the company.

The length of a press release should be at least a page and maximum two or three pages. These must be doublespaced.

The more newsworthy you make the press release copy, the better the chances of it being selected by a journalist or reporting. 

Include information about the company.When a journalist picks up your press release for a story, he/she would logically have to mention the company in the news article. Journalists can then get the company information from this section.

The title for this section should be - About XYZ_COMPANY

After the title, use a paragraph or two to describe your company with 5-6 lines each. The text must describe your company, its core business and the business policy. Many businesses already have a professionally written brochures, presentations, business plans, etc. - that introductory text can be put here.

At the end of this section, point to your website. The link should be the exact and complete URL without any embedding so that, even if this page is printed, the link will be printed as it is.

Put it all together:

Provide some extra information links which support your press release or close the press release with the contact information.

Add contact information. 

These are the contact details you should include:

The Company's Official Name
Media Department's official Name and Contact Person
Office Address
Telephone & FAX Numbers with proper country/city codes and extension numbers
Mobile Phone Number (optional)
Timings of availability
Email Addresses
Website Address
Signal the end of the press release with three # symbols, centered directly underneath the last line of the release.


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