Ten Tips for Writing Better Press Releases
By Jack LaRue
- Start with a newsworthy topic. Your press release doesn't have to be earth-shattering, but do make sure that it contains actual news. Otherwise, you may end up with a sales piece or an editorial instead of a press release.
- State the most important information first. Don't build your story. Start with the core information first, then provide context later. News writers call this the inverted pyramid format.
- Stick to the facts. Avoid embellishment and excessive adjectives, which can make your release sound less credible.
- Remember the four Ws and H. Who? What? When? Where? How.
- Include a quote or two from a spokesperson for your firm.
- Write the headline last. Yes, the headline is very important, but it will be easier to write a compelling headline once the press release is written.
- Have an "About [Your Firm]" section at the end. This provides background information about your firm and its services, experience, location, and the like. Public relations people call this a boilerplate, and it should be limited to one paragraph.
- Make sure your release includes an individual to contact, an e-mail address, telephone number, web address, etc. This can be provided in the header or at the bottom of the press release.
- Make sure a fresh set of eyes reviews and proofs your press release.
- Consider the timing. One of the most important components of newsworthiness is timing. Take a moment to consider whether there is a better (or worse) time for your release.
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