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How to Write a Press Release by Clarissa Vazquez

A fundamental tool of PR

Did you know reporters are more likely to consider a story idea if they first receive a press release?

  1. Write a genuine headline

    It should be brief, clear and to the point: an ultra-compact version of the press release’s key point.

    Some things to include:

    Write in bold- A bold headline also typically uses a larger font size than the body copy.

    First word capitalized- As are all proper nouns. Most headline words appear in lower-case letters.

    Extract important keywords- Using keywords early will give you better visibility in search engines, and it will be simpler for journalists and readers to get the idea of the press release content.

  2. Write the body copy

    Start with the date and city in which the press release originates-- The city may be omitted if it will be confusing.

    The lead-- or first sentence, should grab the reader and say concisely what is happening.

    The first paragraph-- (two to three sentences) should sum up the press release, and the additional content must elaborate it.

    2006-04-22 Yaeum Middle School Rocket Day 19

    Don't forget the "5 W's" (and the H).

    --Who is this about?
    --What is the actual news?
    --When does this even happen?
    --Where does this even take place?
    --Why this is news?
    --How is this happening?

  3. Master the format

    It should be a page long at most, if that. Here's what you need:

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE should go at the top of the page, on the left margin.

    First paragraph: most important information. May be quite news-like in that, it starts with a date or where the news is coming from.

    Second paragraph: Should include quotes and facts.

    Multimedia: in today's day and age, there's always some Twitter handle to be had.

  4. A few more things

    At the end of this section, point to your website.

    Add your contact information. Must include:

    The company's official name
    Office address
    Telephone and fax numbers
    Times of availability
    Email addresses
    Website address

    Signal the end of the press release with three # (hash) symbols. Center these directly underneath the last line of the release.

  5. Prepare to send it off

    Keep it short and to the point. If you are sending a hard copy, the text should be double-spaced.

    They'll care more if you send it in the morning.

    Use your headline as the subject line of the email.

    Send your release by email, and use formatting sparingly.