Organizational communication -> press release
This document will help you to write a press release.
You can also read or print the document as a PDF-file: Making a press release
This document contains the following topics:
2. Target Group
3. News criteria
The message of the press release should be in line with the mission and strategy of the company/community.
The basic information should be informative, outlined and specified.
Think carefully what it is you wish to accomplish with a press release:
- Media publicity?
- Inform a specific target group?
- Increase public awareness about your company?
- Improve the reputation of your company?
Is a press release the best way to gain the desired effect?
Remember that a press release is not a marketing tool!
2. Target group(s)
A press release has to have at least one specifically determined target group. The matter that the press release
attends to has to be worth of informing about to the target group. A press release answers quickly to the readers
question: “What’s in it for me?”
Examples of target groups:
Internal press release
- the whole personnel of the company
- a specified department/personnel group (e.g. sales personnel)
External press release
- media (specified publications or an individual journalist)
- partners in cooperation
- the whole industry
- educational institutes
- immediate surroundings & neighbors
The contents, form and the tone of the language will be chosen according to the target groups needs.
- you can make several versions of the press release and send them to different target groups
- the content of the press release has to be worth of informing about to the chosen target group
A press release always contains news. The information need of the target group determines what relevant news
News criteria can be, for example
- extent, wideness
- importance, wide ranging affect
- extensive interest (part of every day/unusual)
- proximity (place/organization/a known person)
- dissimilarity, novelty
- drastic, contradictory
- humanity, human interest
A good press release is
- Short and easy to read
- Short sentences and paragraphs
- A full stop is the best punctuation mark
- Length maximum is one informative A4
- Answers the questions: what, where, when, who, how and why?
- Is relevant to the target group
- Tells the truth. Contains also negative news
- Doesn’t contain anything unnecessary
- Is not a tool for advertising: avoid superlatives and the we-form
- Is unambiguous
- Well structured. Thematic entities are in their own paragraphs
- Can be glanced through quickly: felicitous headline and sufficiently enough of subheadings
Structure of the contents
- The news are told in order of importance
- One press release tells about one news
- Headline is the most important element
Headline & most important information
Motivation & details
Background information & additional information
The headline is the most important element of a press release
The headline should
- Be informative and narrative
- Contain full information. By reading the headline you should be able to gasp the main idea of a press re-
- Be dynamic. The headline contains a verb!
- Easy to read: compact, no punctuation marks, on 1 line, written in minuscule
Language of the contents
The language of a press release is
- Flawless and well-thought
- Easy to read and concrete: avoid abstract terms, foreign words and jargon
- Neutral, standard language: avoid descriptive, emotional and superlative adjectives, also ddvertising
jargon doesn’t belong to press releases
- Fluent: go straight to the point.
Form of a press release
Also the layout of a press release is well-defined and can be glanced through quickly. It is a good idea to use
standard stripping or the company’s own format.
- Name of the document (Press release/Internal press release)
- Name of the sender and their logo
Opening paragraph aka lead (Especially in longer press releases; repeats and opens up what is said in the
(Pictures + captions)
Quote important persons
Names in bold
Separate citations clearly with quotation marks
- A brief presentation of the sender (usually in a standard form)
- Contact information of the person to ask more information from
- Address information of the sender
A press release fulfils its purpose only after it has reached the target group. That is why you should think about
how to effectively distribute your press release.
Note that you might need to provide the target group with material for publishing both in print and in web.
- by traditional post
- by e-mail (keep in mind that people do not want to receive many e-mails that contain large attachment
- through media (this requires that the news criteria of that particular media is fulfilled)
- publishing on the Internet or on the company’s intranet