How to write a Press Release

Self-promotion plays an essential for the success of any business and press release is one way to go about it. A press release can announce a range of news items including scheduled events, launch of new product or service, awards, sales accomplishment etc.

A press release generates free publicity and often the coverage is more extensive that you could ever hope for from any other media. Ocean Blue Communications, a copywriting company in India, suggests the following tips to create a press release.

Keep in mind that your goal is to attract favourable media attention while following these steps.

Headline: The headline should be brief, clear, to the point, in fact, an ultra-compact summary of the central message of the press release. A headline is written in bold and is typically larger than the press release text. The headline should also include keywords to attract search engines and to give the readers an idea of the content of the press release.

Dateline: The first line of the body of the press release should have a dateline that includes the city where the release is generated and the release date, for example, New Delhi – September 1, 2010.

First paragraph: The first sentence is the lead to grab reader attention and say concisely the main message of the press release. The first paragraph should include all the vital information and provide information on the 5 Ws: where, when, why, what and who.

The first paragraph should normally be two to three sentences that actually sum up the press release and the further content must elaborate it. Readers will not read the entire press release if the first paragraph doesn’t generate interest.

Following paragraphs: The next two or three paragraphs should throw further light on the central message. As far as possible provide actual facts about events, products, services, people, targets, goals, plans, or projects.

Keep in mind that the press release body copy should be compact and to the point. Avoid using complicated sentences and long paragraphs. Also avoid complicated jargon and fancy language.

Add a quote: Most press releases are sales pitches and one way to garner the right response is to include quotes that extol the virtues of the product. A quote from a person of authority will give a little more credence to the overall pitch.

Concluding paragraph: Wrap up the last paragraph with a “for additional information” line, a place to find more details. In an online press release, this is usually a link leading back to the website page that contains additional details about the subject.

Information about the company: Include information about the company. The title should be – About XYZ (name) company. The text must describe in about five or six lines the company and the core business. The information should also include contact information such as name of the contact person, office address, telephone number, e-mail address and website address.

Finally, a press release is written in block style and so no indentation is necessary. Also, keep the tone of your release all business and don’t go into too much personal or non-business related detail.

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