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.
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.
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.