Writing an effective press release is vital if you’re looking to score media coverage for your business. But how long should it be? What do you include? We’ve rounded up a few tips to help get you started, or even better, get in touch with us and we’ll do it for you!
Make sure your story is newsworthy!
Before you write a press release, have a flick through the local news and think about some of the things you like to read, listen and watch in the media.
Most of us are generally interested in things that are exciting, interesting or new to us, so make sure that your story has a newsworthy angle to it.
Before drafting your press release its worth asking yourself:
- Is there anything unusual about my story?
- What’s new in my story?
- Would this press release interest people outside of my business?
Write an eye-catching headline
Journalists get hundreds of emails every day from people submitting press releases and your story can soon become one of many if you don’t write an intriguing headline that makes them click.
Make sure that you make your headline clear, because if they don’t understand your subject line, they’ll most likely move on to something else.
Answer the six W questions
Journalists are generally taught to get as many of the five Ws (who, what, when, where and how) into the opening line of a press release so it’s important to get your message within the top line of your article.
Imagine you’re going on a radio interview and the presenter has 10 seconds to sum up your introduction. What would it say? Asking yourself that question should help you write a compelling first statement.
The desired length of a press release is about an A4 side of about 300-400 words – the ideal length of a short news story. If yours is longer than that, you’ve probably included too much information that doesn’t add anything to your story.
Don’t be tempted to include background information about your company in the first paragraph of the statement as this – and any other information you wish to add can be included in a “notes to editor” section at the end – where it’s fine to run over onto a second page.
Using sub-headings and bullet points can also be a good way of providing useful information, especially if you’re including figures or statistics.
Include quotes that inform not fill space
Quotes in a press release should be used to inform the reader and do one or more of the below:
- provide useful information and details that have yet to be covered
- explain why the service you’re offering is of importance
- express an opinion (on an important topic and make it different)