Creating Your Press Release
You have something to say and it is important to you, your company and your customers. How you say it will make all the difference in how it is received and interpreted by journalists.
A good press release will offer:
- Catchy Headline with Pertinent Information. Keep it short and sweet.
- Contact information. That’s you, your name, company address, phone and email.
- Information on product or service you are offering.
- Write like a pro. Check your spelling and facts and keep your information interesting, timely and truthful. Offer a solution to a problem.
- About your company. Called a “Boilerplate,” this short paragraph lends a bit more info on your company.
Never do this in your press release:
- Do not use your press release as a sales pitch.
- Do not use excessive industry jargon or technical terms.
- Do not address your reader as “You.”
- Do not address yourself or your company as “I” or “we.”
- Do not use exclamation points or bold letters or capital letters in an attempt to create emphasis. This screams sales pitch and will not be published.
- Do not include excessive links in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings.
A good headline will capture the media’s attention and make them want to read more. It is not an advertisement, so avoid the sales pitch.
Capitalize the words in your title except for prepositions. For example:
XYZ Company Announce MNOP Gadget to Hit Retail Stores
Write your headline using keywords for Google and Yahoo! search engines. Google will only display 60 characters and Yahoo! 120 characters – so keep the headline tight and to the point.
The location and dateline are important features of your release and provide information such as the location from which your news is coming from (company headquarters) and the time the news is made public and available. An example is ANYTOWN, STATE (Month, day, year). Abbreviate the state using Associated Press (AP) style text. Don’t know your state’s AP style abbreviation? Click here for AP style state abbreviations
The Sub-headline allows you to extrapolate on your headline and provide more key information and key words. It is a summary of your release in one or two brief sentences. If you did not include your company name or product/service/brand in the title, this is your opportunity to do so.
Finally, the all-important body – this is where the magic happens. Keep your news objective and neutral. Remember, this is not a sales pitch, it’s information.
XYZ Company, designers of lifestyle technologies and the Best Product of Year award for the ABC widget, is shipping the next generation MNOP gadget with increased memory and applications to retailers across the country.
In your opening paragraph, you’ll want to answer who, what, when, where and why or how. It is critical to answer these questions in the very first paragraph and concisely as possible to keep the reader interested. For example:
XYZ Company, manufacturers of the ABC widget, announce today the MNOP gadget is available on store shelves now. The MNOP gadget is the next generation of gadgets incorporating new technologies that make life easier.
In your second and third body paragraphs, provide support information on features. Explain how your product or service solves your customers’ problems, add a quote from a company spokesperson or key staff member. Include links to the product or service.
In your final paragraph summarize the key statements from your release and provide links or phone numbers where your reader can access more information such as a website or social media site. Do not include email addresses. Here you can also include any legal language your company may require.
Name of your company or business, where it is located and what it specializes in are the important features of a boilerplate. It is a brief backgrounder that may include specific industry awards, ISO standards or locations of business. For example:
XYZ Company, founded in 2010 in Anytown, State, designs and manufactures widgets and gadgets for consumers of high tech apparatus for business. XYZ is an ISO 9001 company with offices in London, England; Paris, France and Sydney, Australia. www.xyzcompany.com