Writing Press Releases

By Sharon

Writing press releases is big business for freelance writers and it’s easy to learn the basic skills. Press releases inform people about the products and services that individuals and companies wish to promote. Their purpose is to make the news and they’re easy to write if you learn the basic techniques. The two key elements to consider are structure and content.

Structure

The structure of a press release is identical to that of a news story. It follows the inverted pyramid, leading with the most important information and ending with the least important information. The lead of your press release contains the six W’s – who, what, where, why, when and how. These six elements form the basis of your story. The rest of the press release expands on these by providing background information and quotes.

Press releases are short and usually fit on one page. The top of the press release usually contains either the words “For immediate release” or an embargo date that tells editors when it’s okay to publish the news in the release. The end of the release usually includes contact details so people can get more information if they need it.

Content

So what do you put in a press release? The key to writing a good press release is to emphasize the people aspect of your story. News is about people and that’s what other people are interested in. Another important aspect is the ‘what’s in it for me’ factor. When writing a press release, emphasize how people will benefit from the product or service being promoted.

These tips will get you started with press release writing. A useful and detailed example can be found here.

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7 Responses to “Writing Press Releases”

  • Nick

    That’s a really great post, I’ll be sure to use the information to my advantage.

  • Sharon

    Glad you like it, Nick. I’ve used this format to write press releases for clients, with great success.

  • zired

    am happy that i’ve learnt something, am a student of journalism in zanzibar and am very interested in it but am getting problems when coming to writing please help me out. thanks

  • farhat

    thank you so much for writing such a great picece. It will help me loads as a resarch officer and working for an organizaiton, i often asked to write the news press releases of seminars and conferences. I often used to forget what’s in it for me’ factor, hopefully i will do better. Dear editor why u not give tips to student about wiriting articles for newspapers and producing research articles etc. i hope this would help people to learn more about writing and stuff.
    thanks again . i have added this sight as a regular feed and guess what my english is already imporving. thanks and God bless you.

  • Dana

    Sharon,

    This is great advice. I’m a freelance writer getting ready to write my very first press release for a client and have just made a template and feel much more confident after reading this post and the linked publicity insider article.
    Thanks!

  • Bauzer

    It is realy wonderful

  • Rahman Mehraby

    I like blog posts like this: short, rich and to the point.

    You’ve pointed to some of the most important features of press releases. Actually, I’ve been looking for a book like the one introduced here for English Grammar. A friend of mine is looking for it. I’m going to introduce this page to him. Keep up doing the great job.

    Rahman Mehraby
    TraveList Directory

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