Some of our clients are interested in preparing their own press releases and have asked us for some tips on how to write a great one. In this blog we are going to outline the steps that you should take to create a press release. Let’s get started!
We recommend that you start by looking up a template for press releases. (You may want to refer to the press releases that we have written. Click here to read some of our latest press releases.) By using a standard form you are more likely to catch a reporter’s attention. No matter which form you decide to follow, make sure that your press release is no longer than two pages including your boilerplate. (Don’t worry. We will go over the boilerplate later.)
When you actually sit down to write your press release and figure out your angle, make sure that your press release is talking about something that is newsworthy. Your story needs to tie into what is happening in the larger, national media. Even though you may be focusing on something that you are doing in the local community, think about how it is relevant to a larger audience. The better you are able to do that, the more attention you will receive from local reporters.
A very important aspect to your press release should be quotes. Make sure that you write your story with alternating information and quotes. (You will need to put your “journalist” hat when you write your press releases.) The better you are able to mix quotes and information the more likely that your release will be picked up as is by newspapers. (This is because most papers are short-staffed and if you create a press release that is written in a journalist style, the less editing will need to be done.)
Don’t forget to include your contact information in case people want to reach out to you. Make sure you include all relevant information – email, website and phone number. Make yourself reachable!
And now we will explain the boilerplate. You want to make sure to create a solid boilerplate for the end of the release. A boilerplate is a short bio of your company or yourself that can easily be lifted by a reporter or producer to explain who you are and what you do. Don’t make it too long – it should be no more than 8 sentences and it should be written in the third person.
Coming up next week we will be providing tips on how to best follow up after pushing out your press release.