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How To Write a Professional Press Release

Updated on June 3, 2015

What is a Press Release?

A press release is a document that is written and distributed by communications and marketing professionals and often used to inform an audience, stakeholder, or shareholder about a brand’s product, event, or company news. Press releases should be about one page long, and include relevant content, date and times, quotations, media, and contact information.

Example

Press Release Introduction

When beginning a press release, it is important to start by noting that the document is in fact a press release. In the upper left hand corner of the press release example it is noted that the document is not only a press release but also that is for “Immediate Release”. See image.

The press release also needs to have a title regarding what it is about and should be followed up with a by-line written below the title of the press release. The title of the press release can be more generic than the by-line as it is used to grab the reader’s attention. Contrarily, the by-line on the press release should be more specific about the press release than the actual title filling readers in with the who, what, and where.

Lastly, and before the writing begins, the press release needs to indicate where it is originating from and the date that it has been written. In the example, this release is coming from Grand Blanc, Michigan, on July 2nd of 2014.

Body of a Press Release

The body of a press release should typically consist of 4 to 5 paragraphs and be no more than about a total page in length. Each paragraph should serve it's own purpose to relay different aspects of information to the reader.

The first paragraph of the press release should include the pitch or the backstory of why or what is occurring with the company, event, or news.

The second and third paragraph should include supporting details such as dates and times, location, and contact information. The second and third paragraphs could also contain quotes from associates, board members, or staff that can offer new insight and perspective regarding the content of the press release. These quotes should add value to the overall information that is included within the release and could be used as an opportunity to help to answer questions that a reader may have.

Example

Media Included in the Press Release

Whether the press release is a product, company, or people release, it is common practice among communications professionals to include images within their press release. These images can be copied and pasted into the release, or they can be sent in an email as an attachment to accompany the document. In the below example, the press release includes a company logo, staff, and product image. These images were copied and pasted to the press release, and then modified to fit using Microsoft Word and saved to the document.

Example

Concluding Paragraphs of a Press Release

The concluding paragraphs of a press release are typically the fourth, fifth, and sixth paragraphs of the document. Within these concluding paragraphs there should be any relevant information that has not been included and any final quotes that may add value to the press release. They may also include a call to action to the reader such as a phone number to call for more specific information, or the location of an event.

After the last paragraph is written the press release should conclude with either 3 pound signs or 3 asterisk symbols a few spaces below it signaling to the reader that the press release has now completed. See the below image as an example. Boiler plate or contact information should be found below.

Concluding Paragraphs Example

Boiler Plate and Contact Information

The final step in completing a professional press release is to include a boiler plate or contact information at the bottom section of the document. Boiler plates are primarily used for media and reporters to get in touch with the author or the communications professional that will serve as the point of contact or spokesman for the press release. Typically, boiler plates can also include the "About Us" information from a company, or a vision or mission statement. In addition to contact information, and company details, a boiler plate can also be used to include social media accounts for readers to receive additional updates from the company or source.

Boiler Plate and Contact Information Example

© 2015 Kyle Leighton

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