The Press Release
What is a Press Release?
Press releases are official statements
issued by companies and organizations to
print, television and radio media.
It is a pseudo-news story, written in third
person, that seeks to demonstrate to a
reporter, newspaper, news service, or
editor (the “audience”), the
newsworthiness of a particular person,
event, service or product.
Writing quality press releases is a process
requiring skill and experience. Because
every word of a press release may be
scrutinized, careful wording is essential.
Six Tips for Writing a Press
1. Gather and Organize Your Facts
A simple rule is to find answers to the
5Ws of an event: who, what, when,
where, and why. You should also
include the 'how' as well.
2. Identify Your Story's Angle (spin the truth)
A good story angle must be:
the most important fact in your story
unique, newsworthy or contrary to industry
norms and trends
presented in the first paragraph as well as
in the headline of your press release
3. Create a Catchy Headline
Keep the headline short and simple
using less than ten words.
It should convey the key point raised in
the opening paragraph in a light-hearted
manner that catches the audience’s
4. Write in Third-Person Voice
A press release must be presented objectively
from a third person point of view.
Some of the guidelines are:
do not use any sales pitches in your press release
do not use "you", "I", "we“, and "us" – instead, use
"he“, “she”, and "they"
do provide references to any statistics, facts and
figures mentioned in the press release
do not express personal opinions, unless they are
done in quotations
do draw conclusions from facts and statistics only -
not general opinion (i.e. not what people believe)
5. Provide Quotations
Quotations are necessary in press
releases because they show the
importance and relevance of the story.
Quotations also add a trustworthy voice
to the press release.
6. Provide Additional Background Information
The press release should end with
background information on the company
It should also end with details on who to
contact for further information.
Formatting the Press Release
Sample Template of a Press Release
Contact Name: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Telephone #: Date
Cell Phone #:
Body Paragraph 1
Body Paragraph 2
Body Paragraph 3
Body Paragraph 4
The company logo should be centred at
the top of the page.
The contact person’s name, telephone
number, cell phone number, and email
address should appear on the left-hand
side of the page, each on a separate line.
For Immediate Release
The words “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE”
should appear on the right-hand side of
the page, in all upper case letters, on the
same line as the contact’s name.
The date should appear on the right-hand
side of the page, on the same line as the
telephone number, underneath FOR
The headline is centred in all upper case letters.
This line states your most exciting news, finding,
or announcement in just a few words.
It should address your story angle
It should imitate the headlines you see in the
It must catch the audience’s attention.
It should make the main idea clear.
The subhead is centred below the
headline, in both upper and lower case
It gives the opportunity to further hook the
audience, without stepping on the
excitement of the press release headline.
This first paragraph includes the who, what,
when, where, why, and how of the story.
Sometimes, this lead paragraph is the only thing
that is read, so it needs to hook the audience
This paragraph is only for facts – no hype, no
sell – just the facts.
Your story angle should also be implied in this
The Body Paragraphs
The body of the press release is usually 4
or 5 short paragraphs long.
This is where more information is
It should include the use of a number of
The body paragraphs should support
whatever claims were made in the lead
paragraph and headline.
This is the last full paragraph.
This appears just before the end of the
press release (the ###s borderline).
The boilerplate includes one or two
sentences to describe your company and
what you do.
The ###s (three # signs) are centred on
the page. Once they are typed out and you
have pressed ‘enter’, they will form a
This borderline indicates the end of the
Include this after the boilerplate
The very last line of the press release
appears after the ### borderline.
This line should indicate how to find further
information – contact name, telephone
number, cell phone number, and/or email