How to Write Press Release – Guidelines, Formats, Free Samples

Technology and quick development of social media have changed the way how people consume information. But even now, when the vast majority of your company’s existing and potential customers prefer to scan headlines on Twitter and look for new trends in their Facebook feed, press releases can help businesses get media coverage and increase a company’s search engine presence.

Today, press release distribution has become an online activity. Whether you are marketing a startup, promoting a new product or service or are willing to arise interest to some non-profit event, the press release can be an invaluable tool to get free publicity. A well-written press release is an opportunity to attract the attention of reporters, editors, TV producers and other professionals that can result in multiple articles about your business and your products that can drive prospects to contact you. Keep in mind that your newsworthy story has a better chance of getting covered if you target not only major national news outlets but also get your story covered by smaller local media.

In this article, we are going to explain how to write an impressive and easy-to-digest press release that will earn you news coverage and become a valuable piece of a marketing content.

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Press Release Format Guidelines

A press release or a news release is an official message, a brief printed statement that presents the major facts of a news story in a journalistic style. Commonly, when writing press releases, you should follow a well-defined format that helps simplify the writing process and ensures that the readers can get the necessary details in an efficient way.

Before you start writing a press release, you have to do some preparation work and decide about the creative angle first. You should think about your story from the reader’s perspective and decide what in your story will get the people’s attention and make them want to know more. After that, you should give the facts which present your news as objectively as possible. In this way, you will give your news release the right tone and make it fit better into the accepted format.

Most press releases are succinct: one page or 400-500 words is best. Your press release should be to the point and contain only the significant details. If you make your press release look like a story, it is more likely to be picked up and republished. So if you have never written press releases before, a good idea is to find a good ready-made template sample which shows how it is done.

Now let’s discuss the components of an effective press release. The standard news release structure includes the following parts:

Headline text in Initial caps

It is a brief attention-grabbing sentence that summarizes your news. Reporters get lots of releases every day so you should invest your time to write a compelling headline that is simple and short (within 70-180 character range), clearly focuses your audience’s attention on your topline message, and inspires them to read further. Don’t try to impress journalists with your extensive vocabulary. Instead, you should use language that is easy to understand. Your headline should be centered and bolded and you should use a larger font than in the body text.

Top 10 Words That Kill Your Press Release Headlines
How To Write Killer News Headlines

Sub-headline text (optional)

It is an additional brief statement that informs, explains or quotes something and develops your message further. Keep in mind that the sub-headline should not repeat the information that you have presented in the headline.

Location and the date of the press release

You can use the following format to identify the geographic information and the release date:

(Country, state, city), month, day, year

The dateline should be separated from the first paragraph by a dash.

The press release content

A press release should be at least three paragraphs long. The first paragraph should contain the most important information and cover the who, what, where, when, and why/how of the press release. It means that you should present the facts about your important event or new product that summarize the whole story. You should stick to the point and avoid hype.

Additional paragraphs provide supporting materials and further important details. They can contain statistics, significant background information, photos, videos, audio clips, and direct quotes from staff, industry experts, clients, customers, peers or donors. Ideally, the quotes should be from key stakeholders in your company. Write your body paragraphs in a journalistic style so that national and local media outlets will be able to use your content as-is.

Boilerplate

Below your last information paragraph, you should include a short positive statement about your organization or company. It should be a factual description of what your company does and you can use the boilerplate repeatedly in different press releases. It can contain information about your company’s website, scope or length of business, a slogan, and more.

Closing contact information

At the end of the press release, you should provide the contact information: the name, phone number, and email address of the PR contact who can give additional information and answer all the questions about the press release. Your contact information may look like in this example:

Contact: John Black, Media Relations
Tel.: (123) 456-7890
[email protected]

You can also include links to the social media pages.

End notation

If you press release has two pages, the first page should end with “-more-“ and the final page should end with three hash marks, like this ###.

A relevant, readable, and relatable press release can be a valuable medium for communicating news to your audience, especially if you use a creative approach, but writing a press release that can become a great branding and credibility tool is not easy. For this reason, here we have good free samples of press release templates that were written according to the standard formatting guidelines that we detailed above. They cover various topics and will guide you towards successful media campaigns. Use these winning samples as starting blocks or models or as inspiration to generate interesting ideas for your own successful news releases that will intrigue reporters and editors.


Press Release Template Art Exhibition

New Exhibition in Birmingham at The Pen Museum - Black Country: The Pit to the Pen

BIRMINGHAM, England, September 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A brand new, temporary exhibition opens in the heart of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter at the Pen Museum.

The Pen Museum aims to preserve and promote the legacy of Birmingham's steel pen trade which at one time provided 75% of the world's pens. As part of a recent launch of new facilities and exhibition space, the museum has teamed up with local poet, Elinor Cole and Dudley Museums Service to create a new exhibition, 'Black Country: The Pit to the Pen'. Visitors will be able to see Elinor's poetry alongside the etchings of Solihull-born Richard Samuel Chattock whose contemporary works depicted the harsh industrial life in the 1870s Black Country, in stark contrast with many other artists of the time.

Elinor Cole is a local poet whose main inspiration comes from the rich heritage of the Black Country, where she lives. Her portfolio of work focuses on the industry of the region, but the poems also touch upon the cultural aspects of the area - popular pastimes, local folklore, and the unique dialect of its people. She said of the new exhibition:

"My poetry found new resonance when it was displayed beside the wonderful etchings of R. S. Chattock, whose scenes of the industrial Black Country gave a backdrop to the stories I was trying to tell. In the Pen Museum, themes of industry and art go hand-in-hand, making it the perfect place to host this exhibition."

Anthony Hayes, Operations Manager of the Pen Museum said:

"This exhibition is the perfect way to launch our new gallery space. Elinor's poetry and the Victorian etchings really encapsulate the spirit of the Black Country and will give our visitors the chance to experience more of the Midlands' industrial heritage."

The exhibition is on until 31/01/2018



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