The Ultimate Guide to the Structure of Press Release

Press release writing is not as easy as it may look, but this free guide to structure of press release will help you get on the right path. Make sure to check out our article on press release distribution for even more information about making an impact with your press release.

  • What do you have to say? Don’t assume that others are going out of their way to track your company or organization down. You have to take the responsibility upon yourself to let them know what’s happening within your walls by sending a press release. A good one at that!
  • Taking some time upfront to understand how the average journalist works can go a long way into getting your press releases published. The following tips will help make your release stand out.
  • Keep it in Perspective – You are trying to get the attention of someone who has a tight deadline, is probably swamped with emails/calls /and press releases, and doesn’t know you from Adam (or Eve). The last thing they need is another piece of content that needs to be read or screened before moving on to the next “urgent” task. Your press release has only one chance at success; the said journalist might not even have time for more than a quick glance once they open it. Therefore your message must be relevant and concise.
  • Who Should Release? – For larger companies, sending a press release directly from the general company domain is fine. But, you are better off getting a sub-editor to send it for you. The CEO should not be sending out press releases. If the email comes directly from her then that tells me she thinks this is more important than all other emails coming into my inbox. And that’s just the thing; unless the content of your story is front-page material, many news editors simply won’t have time to read it let alone consider using it within their publication or website.
  • Who Should Write It? – You might be surprised by this one but oftentimes an agency can do a much better job at grabbing attention with your story–just make sure you are clear about what type of “spin” you want to be written on it. If you provide the agency with your newsworthy information, they can put it into a larger context and produce a more compelling press release (and one that is less likely to be ignored by tech-savvy journalists).
  • Give Yourself Credit – Whenever possible, give yourself credit within the text of your release. Journalists are inundated with press releases so if there isn’t anything in their story which sets yours apart from the rest then it’s likely not going anywhere. Assuming you have some sort of unique angle or interesting fact surrounding the news, make sure to mention it within the first sentence or two giving them what they need to know quickly before they even open up your release.
  • Keep it Concise – It’s always a smart idea to keep your press release as concise as possible. Remember, the less you write about yourself and/or your business, the more space you have for making sure that what you are writing is newsworthy.
  • Be Distinct – There are thousands of other companies out there looking to make news in their industry. This is why getting attention for your story requires it to be unique enough to stand out from all others–in its originality or usefulness. The use of statistics can be effective but also overdone. Just make sure it’s relevant to the information being relayed!
  • Make it Personal – Journalists typically want to give credit where credit is due; let them know who you are and why you’re qualified. They may even want to quote you directly for the piece.
  • Keep it Accurate – Journalists simply aren’t going to print anything that could be construed as faulty information, especially if they can’t verify said information within their sources. If you make a claim (e.g., “our company generates 1 million in revenue per month”) make sure it’s accurate or at least has some basis of fact behind it before telling a journalist about it!
  • Make your Company Name Stand out – This is an often-overlooked point because authors often think structure of press release need a tagline but you’d be surprised how many writers do not use them. Remember, journalists are up against a never-ending supply of press releases so your goal is to stand out from the rest!
  • Keep it Punchy – Journalists are looking for news they can use within their publication’s pages or website. A good way to grab their attention is to keep your press release as punchy as possible without being long winded about it. Have one major point you want to make then list all other information in descending order of importance, with the most important pieces at the top
  • Don’t Bury the News – While this isn’t always possible, try not to bury your best piece of news too far down in the body of the press release. Usually, a general statement about what you do is appropriate at the very top but from there, move on right away to your most newsworthy piece!
  • Get Feedback – Never send out a press release without reading it over yourself and having another pair of eyes also give it a look. It’s always better to catch mistakes before sending them out into the world–you don’t want errors in your release going unnoticed because they were already broadcast by media outlets all over the place! Structure of Press releases are meant to make things sound good so take care in making sure yours does just that.
  • Make Everyone Happy – While many times journalists receive hundreds if not thousands of press releases each month, you want to make sure that yours is one they’ll read. Following the steps outlined in this article will ensure your newsworthy information gets into the hands of people who can use it, but also that they know exactly who you are and why they should care!

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