Marketing, Public Relations, Writing

Press Release Writing for Smarties

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Having written hundreds of press releases over the years, I’ve developed a simple outline for how to lay out a press release. I’m sure other people have their own way of doing it. Here’s mine.Daily News

  • Headline that Grabs the Reader – So many press release headlines are BORING and the article is never read. Draw the reader in with a catchy title. Here are titles I concocted for two press releases I wrote for Javelin Strategy & Research. Both are evocative and make the reader want to read more.

“Consumers Play the Blame Game on Data Breaches”

“Android Adoption Skyrockets to 27% of Smartphone Market”

  • Subtitle that Gives Additional Reason to Read the Press Release – In the first press release above, I used this as a subtitle: “Javelin: More than One in Four Consumers Had Debit or Credit Card Replaced in 2009 Due to Security Issues.” It gives the reader more information, but not so much that they have no reason to read the entire press release.
  • Date and City of Issue – List the date the press release is issued. This is important as a way to document when a product, event, etc. was announced. Listing the city from the press release is issued is standard practice. It may represent an area. Javelin Strategy & Research is actually located in Pleasanton, California, which is in the San Francisco Bay area. Most people wouldn’t know that. They list San Francisco, an obviously major city and financial hub, as the place of issue for their press releases.
  • List Most Important First – Some publications publish whole press releases; some only use the first few paragraphs. That’s why it is imperative to put the most important information at the top of the press release. The first paragraph should tell the reader what is being announced and why that is important. The next couple of paragraphs should give more details about the announcement and its relevance and value to the market and the reader. If a product is being announced, tell some details about the product and why this innovative and deserves to be announced.
  • Quote an Expert – Geting an industry expert or analyst to provide a quote on why this announcement is so great lends credibility. Write the quote to be included in the press release to make it sound like the person who would actually say it and send it to that person. They can then provide any feedback on how they might change it.
  • Provide Additional Information – Here list information that fills in more of the details on the announcement.
  • Quote Management – This quote might back up the additional information provided above. It provides the opportunity for name recognition for someone in management in the organization and to position them as a thought leader in the industry. Write the quote for the manager and have them approve it.
  • Conclude – A summary statement about when a new product is available or more information about an event could go here.
  • About the Organization – Always include some boilerplate information about the organization that tells the reader what the organization does and lists its website URL, contact person, email address, and phone number.