Guidelines for writing a press release

1. Write a headline. Keep it to one newsworthy sentence. Capitalize the first letter of all of the words, but DON’T USE ALL CAPS OR EXCLAMATION POINTS!

2. Write a strong introductory paragraph. This paragraph should grab the reader’s attention and contain the information most relevant to your message, such as the who, what, when, where, and why. It should give an overview of the press release as if the reader were only going to read that one paragraph. 

The first paragraph summarizes your entire message and includes a hook (which is usually a hard fact) to get your audience interested in reading more. (For example, if you’re promoting an event about fraud prevention, your hook may be that more than 10 million Americans are victims of identity theft each year, and your event will provide specific tips for avoiding this fate.) 

Important: Include the physical location of an event along with the month, day, year, and time.

3. Write the body of the press release. Expand on the information offered in your first paragraph and include quotes from top executives, customers, or subject-matter experts. Be factually accurate and always put your most important information first.

4. Add boilerplate information. A boilerplate is one or two paragraphs of standardized text about your company that goes at the bottom of all press releases with little or no change. This text describes the company, its purpose, achievements, and location.

Additional tips:

  • Write your press release in the third person.
  • Prepare a message that is newsworthy and has substance.
  • Use correct grammar and spelling. Avoid excessive use of adjectives and jargon.
  • Present the facts to make it newsworthy.
  • Whenever possible, use bullets to break up long blocks of content.
  • Try to keep the press release to fewer than 500 words total or one page.
  • Include one or two photos in high resolution.