How do You Write a Press Release?

A press release is not an advertisement

When writing the press release you have to move in the role of the journalist. What is the news value of your message? Why is it interesting for the target group of the medium? It is important to remember that a press release is not an advertisement, but a news item. "Try to avoid real advertising language, stick to the facts, formulate clear and stay to-the-point", says John van Schagen of Buzz press, an online tool to send press releases.

The structure of a press release

Start your press release clearly: indicate that it is a press release. Therefore write ' Press release' at the top of your message. Also, state the date and place.

The press release consists of the following parts:

Head

The head must summarize in one sentence the message that you want to convey with the message. You can use a lower header to clarify your head but avoid long sentences.

Intro

In the intro, also called the lead, the most important information is briefly: who, what, where, when, why? After reading the intro, the meaning of your message must be clear, the rest of the text gives more background information. The intro is short, keep 30 to 50 words.

Elaboration

A further elaboration follows after the intro. Mention the most important news again, but give more explanation and background information and place the information in the right context.

Note for editors

A press release closes with a note for the editors. Here you indicate where a journalist or editor can get more information. Enter names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers of contacts, or refer to a website for more information. Usually, this note is separate from the message, use for clarity a number of blank lines or a horizontal line. Also, indicate that this information is not intended for publication. You obviously do not want personal contact details to be taken over in the media.

Attachments (optional)

Is there an extensive report that accompanies your press release, or is there any visual material that a journalist can use? Then add this information in the form of an attachment.

Tips when writing a press release:

A press release must be rollable. This means that the first paragraph contains the most important information and the last paragraph contains the least important information. For example, a journalist can simply delete the last paragraph (s) if there is too little space to fully post your message;

Writing is deleting. Prevent duplicate information in your message, take a critical look at your text after writing. Press releases are rarely longer than one A4. Has your message read by someone else? Even if you are so sure of your case, a mistake is made quickly and is sloppy;

Also, avoid the frequent repetition of certain words. Search for synonyms or use references;

Use in your writing style as much as possible the active form and write in the present tense;

A combination of business information and personal additions reads pleasantly. For example, use quotes from people involved to make your story a bit more lively.