So you want to write a professional press release. This quick guide will run through the key elements that make up an acceptable press release. You should remember that you will be sending your press release to professionals. So be sure that your press release conveys a professional image in every way, down to your letterhead.
The first element of your press release is the release notice. The words above mean that you have sent the release to the media, and it's available for release “immediately.” Simply state "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE" in all caps, at the top of your page. You can also specify a different release date, if you prefer. Just be aware that “For immediate release” is the standard statement used.
Under your release notice, be sure to include the contact information of the person in charge of your media relations. This is the person to be contacted in case any questions or requests arise in connection with the press release. Include a name, address, phone, fax, e-mail and web-site address.
If there is any point in releasing this information to the press, you need to express it here. Make your headline eye-catching. Make it newsworthy. Formatting should simply be in all caps, centered, with a larger font than your main text, so the headline stands out.
A sub-headline for your press release is optional. If you decide to include one, be sure to format it like a title, but make it smaller than the headline.
The first part of your release should begin with your location and the date. The date needs to be the actual date you put out the release.
We've all heard of the basic questions that make up the five W's: Who? What? When? Where? Why? In the first paragraph, answer these five questions as precisely as possible. At the same time, work on creating a major impact with vivid images or startling facts.
The next paragraph or two might include a quote from a credible source pertinent to the story, while continuing to flesh out the opening paragraph.
The last part of your press release needs to contain a standard, reusable line of information that gives your purpose, as well as any other essential information.
So that it will be readily accepted by readers, keep the entire press release down to one page. You might be able to get away with two, but one is standard.
Always end your press release with three pound signs (###), and make sure they're centered. This is just a standard element of all press releases. It lets the journalist reading it know that he has come to the end of the release.
That's it! You've pieced together your first release and have the tools to go through the same process again in the future.
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