Mastering the Art of a Press Release

By Amanda Craig

The press release is a pioneer for written communications in the PR world. It is used to relay newsworthy information to the public, often related to a notable organization, new product or upcoming event. They are sent to journalists at newspapers, magazines, radio stations or television networks so that they have enough information to cover the topic further. Press releases are indispensable to strategic communication plans, and are the quickest and easiest way to reach the broad audiences of the media.

Here are some tips to make sure you’re press release lands a spot on the front page of the Sunday paper rather than in the editor’s trashcan:

Make It Relevant:

inverted pyramid The most important part of writing and distributing a press release is making sure you get the audience to care about the subject. All of the details won’t matter if the audience isn’t interested in the core message of what you are presenting. To do this, write your press release using the inverted pyramid model, with the most crucial information at the beginning, and the other details following in order of importance. Enhance your headlines with strong action verbs and relevant details to grab journalists’ attention and make them want to keep reading.

Make It Perfect:

The final draft of your press release that gets sent out should be absolutely perfect. Be sure to check your release for spelling, grammar and AP Style, and have at least a couple other people proof read your release prior to contacting journalists and reporters. Keep your writing short and to the point (no longer than one page,) and make sure there isn’t any irrelevant information that clutters up your core message. As mentioned before, sometimes journalists will insert your press release into their newspaper story or online publication directly as you wrote it. This is why it’s very important that it is polished, otherwise journalists will not take the time to make edits.

Make It Professional:

The last step to securing some media coverage for your press release is working with the journalists and reporters who can make that happen. Be professional in how you communicate with them so that you can establish a working relationship for the future. Always include contact information for you and your company, and be ready to follow up with additional details if needed.