Magic Tool for a Good Text: Press Release Brief

19 mins read
Magic Tool for a Good Text: Press Release Brief

You are a business owner who wants to be published in the media. How do you fill out the brief without wasting your time and money? Read this guide for helpful tips and suggestions.

What Is a Brief?

A brief is a document with a set of requirements for a particular task. The client describes what the goals of a press release are, provides key points, and advises what he or she wants to achieve as an end result. A brief solves several issues simultaneously:

  • helps the service provider understand the main core of the task and plan the work to be undertaken;
  • helps clients define exactly what they need;
  • helps both parties to come to an agreement concerning a product they wish to obtain.

A brief is aimed at settling all the issues that might arise before a given task is undertaken. In such a case both the service provider and the client gain an accurate understanding of the task, see the ways of solving it, and can agree on the desired outcome so both may have the same expectations.

A press release brief is a one-page document that provides basic information about a newsworthy event and its significance to the media. It should include the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the story. Press releases are typically sent out by companies and organizations to announce new products or services, changes in leadership, new partnerships, mergers or acquisitions, and other major events. 

 Andrew Tsionas, Kaizenzo Inc

Why a Client Doesn’t Want to Write a Brief

Jon Doe contacted the team for publication in the media. A business person who doesn’t want to be distracted by trivial things, John Doe considers writing a brief a waste of time. For this reason, he delegated the responsibility to a service provider to take care of the brief on his behalf.

Jon Doe says:

“Visit our website; you will find all the information there. “Here are the articles about our competitors — do the same.” “Could you fill out the brief for me? I’ll give you keywords.” “I don’t like this paper routine!” “We worked with you on our first article. It was good. We have another news hook now, but you can use the old brief.” “Had I known how to write the text, I wouldn’t be asking you for help.”

If editors considered accepting the assignment without a brief, the results for the client would be completely unpredictable. The client might like the work or might dislike it because the expected results weren’t previously negotiated.

A Brief Makes the Results Predictable

Clients’ expectations may differ, thus editors need to have an outline of the results a client wants to achieve.

Without a properly written brief, clients waste their time and money. Moreover, no one can guarantee any results.

It may seem that writing a brief makes the process longer and more complex. Nevertheless, we can tell you that the process of creating a text without a brief takes about 4 to 5 times longer compared to when a brief is used as part of the process.

When a brief is filled out correctly, clients accept a work assignment with minimum revisions. If a client provides a brief with all the needed information, their text is usually ready in 5 to 10 hours.

When we worked with our clients without a brief, we could spend weeks working on a single text. Clients often added new information to the text without advising the editor accordingly or asking to change the text topic and structure.

Routine where no brief is involved took the John Doe order without an accompanying brief. Consequently, the editorial team faced many delays.
Timeline of events
February 1 — the account manager collected all the requirements from the client and transferred the required material to the editorial staff → the editor examined the content and gathered the pertinent information from the client’s website, but the data was insufficient → managers sent the request to John Doe → an author created a draft for the article.
February 2 — client added more information to the draft → the editor made pertinent corrections.
February 3 — John Doe’s PM added new information to the draft → the editor made pertinent corrections.
February 4 — the PR manager changed the news hook of the article → the editor made pertinent corrections.
February 5 — added a quote by John Doe…
Only on February 14 was the text ready and finally published in the media. For two weeks John Doe spent part of his time on minor corrections and issues. Further and as to be expected, he wasn’t overly excited with the result itself.

Routine where a brief is involved

Jane Doe spent an hour filling out the brief sample.

February 1 — the account manager discussed all the details with the client, offered the platform for the publication, and proposed a tone for the article → the editorial team got the brief and provided the draft to the client in 5 hours → the client made minor corrections → the article was immediately published.

Thus, Jane Doe achieved results in one day. Isn’t it great?!

A press release brief tells you everything about the requirements of a certain press release project. It helps the writer to understand what the project owner is expecting from the project and what are the goals they are looking for. I think that a press release brief could be extremely beneficial because once you know what is expected, it makes things easier for the journalist to shape the press release in that manner. It helps deliver a piece that could meet the client’s expectations to the full extent making their money worth spending!

Cynthia Davis from – a professional SEO writer

Benefits of a Brief

Those customers who work with a brief typically obtain the following advantages:
1. A clear understanding of the end goal they wish to achieve.
2. A clear understanding of the entire work process.
3. Time savings for both the service provider and the client.

Points to Consider

To fill out the brief correctly, customers should consider the following:

Target audience. What people already know about the company and its products.

What issues the does article solve? Why customers should read your article. How to catch their attention and make them click.

Where it will be published? The type of platform, and its audience profile.

What the client expects from the article. Links, clicks, leads, feedback, etc., as well as brand awareness and PR.

Metrics to use. What tools and services to use to measure the effectiveness of the publication?

Who has the final say? It’s essential that the person who creates the brief also be the one who provides approval for content that is ready.

In the case any issue should arise, editors will help the client to fill out the brief correctly.

How to Fill Out the Brief

Our brief looks like this:

Provide the editor with more details about your company and the advantages and benefits it offers.

The more information the editor has, the better the text will be. The brief sets limits for the editor. The more detailed the brief is, the better the result.

What’s Next?

After the brief is processed, a account manager sends it to the editorial department. Editors learn about the topic and gather additional information about the client and about the platform where the text will be published. Writers then create their articles.

Major Points

So, we now know why you should fill the brief out:

  • Working with a brief makes the process faster (5–10 hours instead of 40–100);
  • The results are predictable;
  • A text based on a good brief will be more detailed, catchy, and informative, and will help achieve better results;
  • Clients who do not wish to fill out the brief waste their time and effort on negotiations and corrections.

Industry Experts about Press Release Brief

Amit Gami, Managing Director at Heat Pump Chooser

Amit Gami, Managing Director at Heat Pump Chooser

A press release brief, commonly called a news release, is generally written by the organization’s media officer or public relations officer and issued to certain media outlets. It is a “briefer” or news document that provides a journalistic summary of a story’s key details.

When you read a press release brief, you’ll get a general idea of what will happen regarding a press conference. This will help you set your expectations and prepare questions so that factual elements can be elaborated better.

Natalia Morozova, Managing Partner at Cohen, Tucker & Ades P.C

Natalia Morozova, Managing Partner at Cohen, Tucker & Ades P.C

A well-written brief serves as the foundation of an effective press release. Its job is to provide structure and direction to the writer.

When gathering key information, you should start by documenting the most important objectives. You can also add information about what to avoid mentioning, language, and any other useful information.

Zephyr Chan, Growth Marketer & Founder of Better Marketer 

Zephyr Chan, Growth Marketer & Founder of Better Marketer

The most crucial job of a brief, in my opinion, is to direct and aid the editors who are responsible for crafting the language of your press release. The entire tale, from beginning to end, should be condensed into a concise summary.

In order to enhance the language of your press release and guarantee that it corresponds to the 5W1H standard, you should strive to provide specific details (who, what, when, where, why, and how).

If your press release is about an upcoming event, for instance, you should include all important information, such as the event’s location, the anticipated number of attendees, etc.

Shaun Martin, CEO at Cash For Houses

A press release brief is a one-page document that outlines the key points of your story, including who you are, what you do, and why your story is important. It’s also where you’ll include any background information about yourself and your company, as well as contact information for your spokesperson.

A press release brief is critical to getting your story in front of journalists—it gives them all the information they need about you and your story in order to decide whether or not they want to write about it.

Daniel Foley, Founder of Daniel Foley SEO Consultancy

Daniel Foley, Founder of Daniel Foley SEO Consultancy

1. Details about the press release:

To help the editors who will be writing your press release, a brief is provided. A comprehensive brief will discuss the entire story. In order to make your press release more interesting to read, you should follow the “5W1H rule” and give five well-written sentences and one well-chosen keyword (who, what, when, where, why, and how). In the case of a press release announcing an upcoming event, for instance, it is imperative that you include all pertinent information.

2. The key message of your press release:

In your brief, you should highlight the most important points of your press release. In this case, bullet points are helpful. This will help editors in keeping their focus and create a compelling headline.

Jacob Briones from

The first step in writing an effective press release is to create a well-defined brief. A well-structured and detailed brief can assist editors in creating a credible press release.

Press releases are used by businesses of all sizes to communicate their messages to target audiences via various media outlets. Press releases enable personal brands or businesses to inform journalists about their current status, changes, or advancements in their products and services.

Here are the tips for writing an effective press release brief that saves you time and money.

  1. Define your goals clearly.

It will be beneficial if the goals and expectations are clearly defined to spread the word and generate interest in the brand. Are you hoping to reach a specific type of consumer or potential investor with this press release? Or are you attempting to raise awareness or gain advocacy for a specific issue? These are all important details in creating a cohesive brief.

  1. Provide specifics about the subject of your press release.

A brief’s primary purpose is to guide and assist the editors in charge of writing the text of your press release. A good brief should cover the entire story from beginning to end. 

  1. Provide details about the industry.

The brief should provide vital information about the industry you are operating in, having the most valuable insights about the business or sector. It adds to the story’s depth.

  1. Highlight the main point of your press release.

When writing a brief, emphasize your press release’s key message in a few sentences. Bullet points can be useful in this situation. It will help to create a catchy headline.

Raza from

A press release is a document that is sent to media outlets with the intention of getting coverage for a story. A press release brief is a document that outlines the key points of a story, and is typically sent to media outlets in advance of a press release. 

A press release brief typically includes the following information: 

  • The who: who is the subject of the story? 
  • The what: what happened? 
  • The where: where did it happen? 
  • The when: when did it happen? 
  • The why: why is this story important? 
  • The quotes: what did the people involved have to say about it? 

A press release brief is a valuable tool for reporters, as it helps them to understand the story and allows them to start working on their coverage. It is also a valuable tool for PR professionals, as it allows them to control the message that is being sent to reporters. 

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