Bill Hartzer

How to Write a Press Release

Something that I’ve been advocating for many years now is to write a press release for your business or your website and distribute it. First, before you distribute a press release you need to write the press release.

To make this whole process go very easy (yes, I know we’re all not great writers), I suggest that you begin by researching your competitors’ press releases. Find some recent press releases put out by your competitors or companies that are similar to yours. You’ll get some good ideas of what to say in your press release and you’ll also see what you like and what you don’t like.

After you have some ideas and sample press releases, go ahead and try to write the press release yourself. Even if you’re not a great writer, I’m certain that you most likely can write the press release yourself.

I’ve compiled some detailed instructions about the main parts of press releases and how to write a press release:

Heading:
Begin with the basic heading, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. If your announcement is time sensitive, you can indicate a specific date, such as FOR RELEASE ON June 30, 2005.

Contact Information:
To be placed either in the upper right-hand corner of the press release or immediately below the heading. Make sure the contact information is as complete as possible. Give the Press as many avenues to contact you as you can.

Headline:
The headline of your press release will be located right under your contact information. Your Headline is very important, so take some time here. This is the first piece of your release that any reporter will read, so you need to catch their attention right away. Be creative and think of a brief headline that would give someone a reason to want to keep reading. Take your time and create a good hook.

Dateline:
At the beginning of your first paragraph, indicate the date of the release and the location from which it originates. Follow the dateline with a period or hyphen and then begin writing the body of your press release. (see Sample Press Release)

The Three Part Body:

Summary
Credentials
The Close

Summary:
This is the first section of your announcement, so give it lots of attention. Describe the pertinent details of your news event. Be clear and concise and do not hype your announcement excessively. The Press want to know the facts and ‘just the facts.’ But the facts must “sizzle.”

Credentials:
In this section, you want to convey the professional background of your company. Do not do self-promotion, but highlight the qualities of your business.

The Close:
The close is much like closing a sale. Instead of just ending your announcement, give the Press a reason to contact you for further information. The Press expect you to ask them to contact you, so do not be shy in doing so. Do not hard sell here, but let them know you’re motivated to continue with them.

End of Release:
The end of a Press Release is signaled by one of two symbols, centered on the page below your final paragraph.

The two standard symbols indicating the end of a press release are: ### or -30-

-30-

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