Wanting to do your own PR and send out your own press releases? Then check out this template to make sure you get in front of the right editors with the information they want to see…
Before you start
- Make sure you’ve identified your ‘hook’ – that’s what is newsworthy and the reason you want to let the press know what you are up to. It could be a new product or service that you are launching, an event you want to promote or an entirely new business that is opening. If you can’t think of the exciting or interesting angle, then it’s worth considering if you want to take the time to write and send a press release at this moment in time.
See also: How to write a press release
- Does the rest of your marketing reflect the information in the press release? The pricing on your website, what you are messaging about on social media and any printed information you have distributed? Unless you have embargoed the release of the information until a later date then get your ducks in a row first. If you have got a launch date in mind, make a note to ensure everything is updated by that date.
Press release template
This template gives you a basic structure to help you write a press release and some tips to help you write content that is informative and impactful.
DO: Write the title as though it’s a front-page article headline and shout about why it’s important. Use humour, alliteration or punctuation to catch the readers attention.
DON’T: Think you have to write the headline first – you might find it easier to come back to this once you’ve finished everything else and know exactly what’s in the press release.
DO: include the key message here. Journalists are time-poor and will often only read the introduction to a press release, so it’s important to get the most newsworthy and compelling information in there as soon as you can.
DON’T: Write this like a sales pitch, imagine how it would read if it was covered in a newspaper and write it like that.
DO: Write 2 – 4 more paragraphs that run through the 5 ‘W’s – what, who, why, where and when. Then always cover off the ‘how’ – how someone can buy the product or service your press release is about or come to the event you are promoting.
DON’T: Write in the first person. Think about articles you read in magazines and newspapers – they would say ‘The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are attending a dinner in support of the charity MIND’ not ‘We are attending a dinner in support of MIND’.
You don’t have to include a quote in every press release, if you do then make sure it is from someone in the company who is relevant to the news you are announcing.
DO: If you include a quote make sure it lends something to the press release – not simply repeating the information you’ve already included. A quote that is about the positive impact of the news you are announcing on the audience would be ideal.
DON’T: Use lots of jargon or industry-speak – unless your press release is only going to a very serious, industry specific publication, it won’t be understood by popular audiences.
DO: Even though the press release will probably be sent via email, make sure you have the name and contact details of the best person for the journalist to contact at the bottom.
DON’T: Forget to include a contact telephone number – not all journalists want to do everything online and they might want to talk to you to find out more information.
DO: If there is a lot of background to your press release, for example you are promoting a charity dinner but want to give the journalist lots of information about why the charity was set up, you can include a section called ‘Notes to Editors’ at the end where you list all the extra information you like.
DON’T: Just because you have the extra space to explain things further, don’t go totally mad. You are still expecting someone to read through it, so keep it relevant and neat.
Before you send your press release out:
- Check you have strong images and that they are the correct size. They need to be high enough resolution that they are clear but not so big that they obliterate the journalist’s inbox.
- Read through your press release and check the information is correct and the spelling and grammar are on point.
- Check you have the correct contact details and names of the journalists at each publication that you want to send the press release to.
Write a cover email that pitches the story then copy and paste the press release below that.