Step 1: Strong Headline to Grab Attention
This is the first line potential backers and promoters will read. It will largely determine whether or not your readers continue with your idea or move on to the next one, so keep these ideas in mind.
- Make it interesting and brief, between 10 – 20 words.
- Include key points with the most important information about your product or message.
- Use bold type in a font that is larger than the body of your press release.
- Only capitalize the first word and proper nouns, just as if you were writing a sentence. Do not capitalize every word in the headline.
Step 2: Body of Press Release
Write your press release with a journalist form in mind – simple, informative, and to the point. The main goal is to quickly communicate, not to entertain, so don’t get too wordy. Try to convey the most information with as few words as possible.
The first paragraph is the most important. You must get your reader to fully commit to reading further and keep interest in your product/message.
- First inform the readers of the city and state in which the press release is derived.
- Example: Columbus, Ohio – This is the first sentence, also known as the lead.
- Begin with a strong lead. Use the basis of your headline while expanding on the most important information and facts. Think of it as pitching your product/message to the reader in one sentence.
- Limit the lead to 25 words or fewer.
- Do not boast or brag. This causes readers to lose interest quickly. Simply provide information.
Continue your first paragraph by expanding on the lead and explaining important details of your product. The first paragraph should only be 3-4 sentences long, including your lead, so choose your words wisely. Remember, this is the paragraph where you win over your readers. Don’t hold back any critical information.
The next 2-3 short paragraphs should focus on delivering the basic facts about your product.
- Who is this about? What is the news? When did it happen? Where did it occur? How is it happening?
- Make it clear whether your company or a certain product is the main focus of the press release.
- Fill in missing information about people, products and dates.
Step 3: Company Information
Below these paragraphs, you should include a section about your company. Write a paragraph that describes your company, its business policy, and its goals. This should be similar to text that would be included in the introduction of your company’s brochure.
Step 4: End of Press Release
You can add links to websites that provide more information to the reader on your press release or add the link to your online press release. You can also provide contact information for your company’s PR representative or Human Resource center, although this is not necessary.
Here are a few reminders before you begin writing your press release:
- Because you are not able to speak directly to your readers, make sure your writing is concise and can grab attention just as well as you could in person.
- Correct grammar is the best way to leave a positive first impression through a press release.
- Proofread carefully. Then do it again. And again. Correct spelling and grammar are dire.
- Keep it crisp, short, and tight.
- Avoid jargon and unnecessary terminology. Viewers will stop reading if it is taking too long or if they can’t understand the language.
- Prepare yourself for interviews, sudden conversations, and questions.