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How to write a perfect press release

Last updated: Friday October 23rd 2015

A well-written press release should be short, to the point and contain all the essential information in the first paragraph. Most importantly, it should be a story that be published without too many changes as, all the facts are there and the content is well structured. Here are a few tips to help you to put together a good press release:

Put in the most newsworthy information
Who, what, when, where should be at the top, with the least important information at the bottom – this is called the inverted pyramid model and it is how journalists are trained to write.

Facts and photos
Boost your story with relevant data and good photos (ideally taken by a professional photographer, not taken on a smartphone). Include one photo and say “more available” rather than clogging up journalists’ inboxes with big files.

Call a spade a spade
A journalists’ job is to untangle professional jargon before it reaches the press. You can make their life a bit easier by avoiding technical terms and writing in plain English.

Quotes
Quotes are important but they need to add something to the story without repeating information contained elsewhere. Try to avoid being “thrilled” “honoured” or “excited”.

Don’t attach your story, put it in the body of the email
Don’t send one line emails saying “See Attachment”. It may not be opened. Always paste the press release directly into an email so it can be easily read on a smartphone or tablet.

Give it a good headline
Your headline should tell the story even if a person doesn’t actually read the rest of your article. If you want ideas on how to write a good headline, just pick up a newspaper and have a read. Which headlines catch your eye and why? Now try to write a similar headline for your press release.