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Written by:

Sookie Shuen

Jun 4, 2011

How to Write an Awesome Press Release


effective copywriting

Understand what journalists want

Journalists aren’t interested in promoting your company, helping you up sales or drive visitors to your website. They’re looking for a news story that their readers or listeners will find interesting or useful.

Find a newsworthy angle

Look through your local press – identity the type of stories they run. Business stories could be about:

  • New products/services
  • Events
  • Training schemes your people have passed
  • Awards you’ve won
  • New recruits
  • Company growth/relocation
  • New markets you’ve uncovered
  • Weird trends you’ve spotted
  • Results of a survey you’ve done
  • Celebrity endorsements
  • Charity work.

Offer yourself as an expert

Let the press and radio know you’re available to comment on news in your area of expertise or provide a regular advice slot.

Writing the press release

  • Journalists respond to well-written and informative press releases
  • Avoid hyperbole. Be objective. Your story should be able to stand on its own merits without words such as amazing, fantastic or great
  • No buzzwords or jargon
  • Write in the third person, “XYZ company did this”, not “we did this”. The exception is quotes from a company representative, expert or interested party. These should not be a repetition or explanation of the facts. Quotes add opinion and comment on the article. They add emphasis
  • Keep it short and punchy – one to two pages
  • Remember to put your contact details on
  • Goes without saying – make sure there are no typos.

Who, Where, Why, What, When and How

  • If you answer all of these questions in your press release the journalist should have everything he needs to know about the story.

Don’t bury the news

  • Think news first, background second. Put all the important information in the first paragraph. Don’t bury the news angle and make journalists work to find it. Imagine you’re telling a friend what’s happened – what is the first thing you would tell them?

And finally – photos

  • Supplied photos should be 300dpi – print quality – and in focus. If the picture is blurred or too dark the paper’s designers can’t improve them.
  • Avoid firing squad line-ups, boring handshakes or huge groups of people – you won’t be able to see everyone
  • Interesting poses and props will get you noticed
  • A great photo could get a weak story published.

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Topics: PR