How to write a press release?


Most of the messages sent by companies do not arouse much interest in journalists. Almost 90% of all press releases end up in the pool of texts that will never see the light of day. How to write a press release that the media will want to read and publish? Check out the most valuable rules for creating such messages!

What is a press release?

To begin with, we should explain what exactly a press release is. Let us take an example. Suppose you have something important to convey to your audience - existing and potential customers. You want to inform them about a unique event that could interest them and bring you satisfactory profits. You would like the information about the event to reach the widest possible group of people. Therefore, you decide to contact the media that will disseminate it in the appropriate media sources. The content you send to journalists is called a press release. 

In the industry literature, we can read that a press release is material distributed to the media, devoted to current events in the life of a given company. The note may concern an organized event, product launch, innovations introduced to the company, brand rebarnding etc. Usually it is a text file, often with appropriate graphics, photos, tables or audio / video recordings. A press release usually has no more than 2 pages. Sometimes there are shorter (up to 1 page) or longer texts (up to 4 or 5 pages). Interestingly, press release is one of the oldest tools used in public relations activities. But how to write a press release to interest journalists?

Every day journalists receive dozens of press releases from various companies. From among them, they must choose the most interesting, which they believe will arouse the interest of readers. Media representatives must make an appropriate selection each time, rejecting content that does not meet rigid journalistic requirements. How to write a successful press release?

What questions does the press release answer?

A journalist, reading a press release, wants to get answers to 6 key questions:

  1. Who?

Asking about the sender of the message, i.e. about the company that prepared the press release. Already in the first paragraph, you should include the name of the company and the term defining its activity, eg Company X - producer of vegan protein bars. 

  1. What?

The question relates to the nature of the event. In this section, please explain in detail what the information concerns - e.g. introducing the product to the foreign market

  1. Where?

This is a question about the location of the event. This is usually the company's headquarters. 

  1. When?

Asking about the timing of the event. First, the date on which the message was sent is given so that the journalist who receives it knows what date it came from. If a press release announces an event, be sure to include specific directions for the timing. 

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  1. Why?

Description of the context of the event. The answer to the question "why?" allows the reading journalist to understand why the company undertook the described activities. 

  1. How?

Information on all technical issues, i.e. how the company intends to introduce a new product to the market, how it will merge the two companies, etc. It is a specific explanation of the context of the topic being described.

How to write a good text - the most important rules

How to write a press release that journalists will want to read? First of all, you have to start with an attractive title. The title is usually the first thing the reader notices. It is a kind of showcase of the entire text. Therefore, it must be curious.

Under the title, there is a lead, i.e. a short, yet valuable fragment of the text, which is an announcement of what will happen next. Lead should encourage further reading. 

The most extensive fragment press release is to expand on what was in the lead. The content should be persuasive, varied and substantive. 

There must be a short summary at the end of the press release. Usually 2-3 sentences are enough to collect what is most important and should be remembered. 

The press release cannot miss:

  • dates,
  • contact details of the person responsible for sending the message,
  • company logo.

Press releases are written according to the principle of the inverted pyramid, i.e. at the beginning (in the title and lead) the most important information is placed, and the less important - in the further parts of the text. Creating a note this way is the best way to get journalists interested. 

How to write a press release - the golden rules in a nutshell

Texts that are intrusive promotion instead of information, inadequately constructed, uninteresting and of little value, almost immediately end up in the trash. How do you write a press release that will be read and will be successful? It is worth following a few simple rules. 

  1. The shorter the better

Press releases should be concise. One A4 page is more than enough. When writing a note, be sure to break it down into paragraphs focusing on specific aspects or phenomena.

  1. Bet on specifics

Don't pour water, don't tell a story. Keep it simple! The text of the press release must be concise and specific. It should convey knowledge on a given topic, not tell stories or refer to emotions. 

  1. Facts instead of opinions

Journalists like facts, figures and meaningful content. Avoid fancy words and adverbs whose only function is to decorate the text. Do not use specialized vocabulary that could be difficult to understand. And the other way - try to avoid colloquial, colloquial expressions. 

  1. Remember about the construction of the inverted pyramid 

The content of the press release must answer the basic questions (about which we wrote above) so that it fully presents an important event in the life of the company, and the journalist can understand it perfectly. We cannot forget about the construction of the inverted pyramid. It is one of the most effective ways to interest the reader.

What else should you remember?

A press release must be fresh, up-to-date and interesting. Journalists expect news, distinctive content that will attract the attention of readers. It's best to send your press release in the morning. The preferred file formats are .doc or .rtf. When writing a note, it's best to focus on the content, not the form. No interesting graphics or other variety is enough if the content is not good enough. Instead, it is worth using inspiring quotes relevant to the topic or valuable statistics.

How to write a press release? With full commitment, professionally and reliably! Use the facts, follow the basic principles of constructing such content and be up-to-date. A note prepared in such a way will surely be successful!

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