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Writing a Press Release

How to Write a Press Release?

What is a Press Release?

A press release is a media release, a news story, or a press statement meant for the press, magazines, or news organizations. Press releases are sent directly to journalists or editors of newspapers or magazines, television channels or other media outlets and the purpose of a press release is to announce a piece of news that is significant or newsworthy in some way. For example, if you are running a business or nonprofit organization, you may want to announce some organizational changes that are relevant to your stakeholders. You do so through a press release and through the press release you encourage news organizations to report the changes in your organization.

What is the purpose of a Press Release?

Write a Press Release

A press release is information sent to the media and the purpose is to get the information out to the public through the media. A business or corporation may distribute a press release to report their annual income or profits. The government may send out a press release to announce structural or functional changes in a government department. Any information sent intentionally to a reporter, journalist or media source is considered as a press release.

In a traditional media situation, the business or political campaign provides information to a public relations professional, PR or publicity agency that then distributes the content in specific formats to the relevant media outlets. Press releases are used as a kind of marketing and information tool for businesses and provides information to the press and the media sources. Media sources are expected to write a report or news story on the information available.

How to write a Press Release?

The most important aspect of a press release is the headline. The press or media release must have an attention-grabbing headline and a very succinct and effective summary that will create interest in the reporter or journalist. Press releases can be sent to journalists, reporters or editors, although some public relations professionals have argued that sending press releases directly to reporters is more effective than sending it to editors of media outlets. To write an attention-grabbing press release, public relations professionals tend to follow a standard format. The format helps journalists to differentiate between a press release and media pitches. Follow these five steps to write a standard press release:

1. Start with a catchy headline. An attention-grabbing headline will create interest and reporters may be compelled to explore the story further.

2. Provide a dateline, including release date, city or location, and relevant particulars about the release.

3. Present a strong introduction with a brief summary about the news or Information you want to share. This must provide the details on what, why, where and how your information is relevant or important to the press and public.

4. Write an effective body or further details about the information provided. Elaborate on the points mentioned in the introduction and give a background and description of your news story. Close the description with a precise statement.

5. Provide the media contact information at the end with email, phone number, mailing address and other contact information for the journalist or media contact person.

This is basically a standard format for writing the press release, although you can be creative and use or create additional sections to provide more information or to create interest in the journalist or editor. A personal touch in writing a press release is always a good way to create attention and the personal message can be in the headline or in the body or at the end.

What are the different types of Press Releases?

A press release can be a video release, a press statement or a condensed news story and can serve political, organizational or business purposes. Thus press releases are based on purpose and on format. The purpose can be business, marketing or advertising, or can be released with the aim of political campaigning or organizational announcement. Nonprofit organizations also release press releases to provide information about their activities to the press, public and stakeholders. The press release can be short in the form of a precise statement or it could be a short video on the relevant information. A press release can also be a more detailed media story written according to specific or standard formats.

Concluding Remarks

While writing a press release, it is best to first create a press release draft and write the main points of the release, focusing on the why, what, where and how of the relevant information provided. What is it that you want to write about, where is this event or information available, why does it pertain to your organization, how is it relevant to the press and what more information can the press expect if they decide to follow your story? The key phrase here is 'creating interest'. The media sources must feel interested in pursuing your story and for that you need a very precise press release and a very effective or attention-grabbing headline. Most PR professionals suggest that you take some time to write your headline and ideally insert your headline after writing the press release. For more information and for stunning press releases for your organization, contact a reputable writing service or check out examples of academic paper service providers at