How To: Write a Press Release!

A big part of public relations is media relations, which includes writing and distributing various documents like press releases (sometimes referred to as news releases) and media alerts. Since the press release can determine if your client gets placement in the media, it’s crucial to be able to write a great one! Last year, when I needed to write a release for the Rebecca Davis Dance Company and hadn’t learned how to write one in class yet, I went to Gregg Feistman for some tips. He gave me a helpful sheet with some good information, and these are some of the tips that I think are most important. First, what is a press release?

“A press release is a concise news vehicle that is most commonly provided to the media in order to generate public awareness and interest about a story or piece of news.”

Before you start writing the release, make sure what you’re writing about is newsworthy. If you conclude that it’s not, don’t waste your time writing it. If it is, go for it!

After you get started, don’t forget these important things:

  • The who, what, where, when and why should all be included.
  • Contact information: Who should the reporter call if they have questions or if they want more information?
  • A creative headline. Also, you can add a sub-headline if it will add value to the release.
  • A quote or two.
  • An angle for the story. How are you going to present the information you have in a way that will get people excited/interested in what you’re writing about?
  • Avoid jargon and excessive adjectives
  • Make sure to check your facts. You don’t want to be giving out the wrong information!
  • Indicate the end of the release with three number signs (###)

As usual, I have a question for our readers. How do you jazz up your press releases, while remaining professional?

*Information taken from “Public Relations Tips and Tactics: Crafting an Effective Press Release”

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