How To

Write A Press Release - Writing Well

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Writing Well

Taking care to write your press release in clear and concise English is very important. Editors and reporters are busy people and do not have time to decipher an incomprehensible message.

You will want to be sure that your release clearly makes all the points that you want to make, presents your organization in a positive light, and is the basis for a good news story.

Finally if your release is well-written, an editor is more likely to use it with little or no alteration - meaning you get your message across exactly as you want it.

Key Points

You should try to make your key points as near to the top of the release as possible, preferably in the first paragraph.

Do not forget that key information that reporters will be looking for is the five W's (who, what, when, where, why), and this should be covered in your first paragraph.

Additional points can be covered in the rest of the text. You will want to make your message as favorable as possible (for example if dealing with bad news, emphasize the actions that are being taken to resolve the problem). However be careful not to exaggerate or make unsupported claims.

Quotations, from the most relevant person in your organization, can be used to incorporate subjective information, such as opinions.

If your release is supported by research, it should be included in the body of the text and explained as simply as possible. Do not use statistics unless they are essential to understanding the subject, or are being used to draw attention to a startling fact.

Advice On Writing

Although you should write in a news-style rather than a sales-letter, you are still selling: you are "selling" the newsworthiness of your story.

Therefore write as clearly and succinctly as possible. Try to use vivid language to bring your message to life. Avoid cliches.

Do not use long sentences or paragraphs of more than about 4 lines.

Once you have finished writing, check and re-check your work. A finished press release should never include grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors. Proof-reading is very important!

Your final press release should be easy to read and clearly legible.

And of course, you must meet any applicable deadlines and deliver on time!

Resources:
  • Press Release Fire
    A definitive guide to using press releases, including to get a high ranking in Google and other search engines.


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