Knowing how to write a press release is a handy skill. A press release is a clear, straightforward format in which to bring news to the attention of an editor or journalist. The template below will show you how to set out a release, and contains tips on the common conventions to follow.
What the template can’t tell you, however, is how to choose the topic for your release. The topic, and angle, is key to getting good coverage, so try to assess it from the editor’s point of view: will this press release make an interesting story for my readers? Study the publication you are targeting to get a better idea of the stories they cover. Remember to focus on this while writing, and your press release will be well received.
And if you’re still thinking, “Why should I read on?” just think of the value of a column all about you, your company or your client. The cost of advertising alone makes it worth considering ways to achieve editorial coverage. And a press release can ensure that you get a chance to present the story in the way you want, positioning your company in the way you want.
If you want to learn more about writing press releases, what makes a newsworthy story, and how to send a press release for best results, check out the ‘Learn to Promote your Business Better’ factsheets from ACPR at www.acpr.co.uk. Enter code FLU3 for a 50 per cent discount - a full set of 10 A4 factsheets for £20 instead of £40.
Press Release Template:
Issued: ( date)
For Immediate Release OR Embargoed Until: ( date)
The first sentence should be a summary of the story. Get your key points across to catch the journalist’s attention or they may not read further. Answer all the important questions like who, what, where, when, why & how. Write as if you are speaking to the publications readers – check out your target publication for an appropriate style.
Expand on the details in the second paragraph. Remember the journalist will want to know what is unique or new about your story and why it will appeal to their readers. Then, back up your claims with facts and statistics in the following paragraphs.
Go on to illustrate your story with quotes, “A quote, written in italics, from a key person, helps bring a story to life”. As well as quotes, you could use bullet points to highlight points about your story:
Finish off with details such as dates, times, how to order or contact you– this only needs to be brief, and should be the details you’d like to see in print. Fuller details can go in ‘notes to editors’, below.
Notes to editors
1. Tell the editor who to contact for more - include mobile, landline and email if possible.
2. Also include short background information on your company, when it was launched, achievements, etc.
3. Include, company name, fax number, email and website.
4. Include opening hours, prices, venues, dates as appropriate to your story.
5. You should also state whether you have photos available.
It’s simple to add a photo or illustration to catch the journalists eye and bring the press release to life. If you’re emailing it, just make sure you use a low res image, so the file isn’t too large.