How to Write a Press Release Format
An effective press release must use a particular format in order to impress journalists so you can get media pickups. A correctly-formatted release will give your work a level of professionalism not often seen from small businesses trying to leverage the power of press releases in order to drive more traffic and get more subscribers and sales.
Below the logo, you can put your contact information along the right margin. Some people opt to put their contact information after the body paragraphs. Whatever you choose, it should look like this:
Contact: Mary Smith
Phone: (123) 456-7890
The dateline includes the location when the press release was published and the date. The location can be important if you want to get local news pickups. Your dateline will usually look like this: NEW YORK, NY, April 12, 2018.
3-For immediate release, or an embargo date
Not all press releases contain a release date, but if you decide to include one, put it below your logo on the left margin. This should either say “For Immediate Release”, or “FOR RELEASE ON [Date] AT [Time]”. Also include the time zone, such as EST, if it is important.
This is essential for grabbing people’s attention.
5-The subhead or summary
This gives more information about the headline and also summarizes what people can expect to learn if they read the press release.
6-The first paragraph
This should offer the most important facts related to what the press release is about. The data is usually referred to as the 5Ws of journalism:
This is used as a checklist to make sure nothing is left out.
7-An inverted pyramid
An inverted pyramid is broad at the top, with the point at the bottom. The headline, subhead and first paragraph are the most important information, so they go at the top. Less important information will go below it. Most press releases are around 3 to 4 paragraphs and about 400 to 500 words.
8-The other paragraphs
In paragraph 2, provide more details about the topic of the release, and an image, video, facts, figures, and statistics to show why your release is worth paying attention to. In paragraph 3, you can include more of this data, and/or quotes from people in your niche who will basically be giving reasons as to why your information is newsworthy and how it relates to your niche or industry.
You should have at least one high-quality image in your press release in order to gain attention. Press releases that contain images and/or video are far more likely to get media pickups than ones that do not.
If you are using in-house quotes, be sure they don’t just sound like a sales pitch. If you are able to get quotes from outsiders who are known in your niche, your press release and business will have more authority.
Every press release you issue should have a goal:
- Brand Reach
12-Your call to action
Your call to action should match your goal. For example, if you want subscribers, you might say, “Visit URL to download your free ebook about X topic.”
The final paragraph in your press release should be boilerplate, which presents information about your company, what it does, and how people can get in contact with you, especially if they want more information about the press release.
In your boilerplate, you can link to your media center so journalists can learn more about you. In your call to action, use a custom URL for a landing page you have set up especially in order to help track the success of the press release. Never just send them to your homepage.
15-The closing sign
At the end of the press release, put ### to signal that it is the end and there isn’t a second page or any other information