A press release follows a simple and fairly standard form. Those who receive press releases demand simple, straight-forward, and interesting releases and those who deliver such press releases stand the best chance of having their story become published.
Whenever possible the press release should be written with a company logo at the top of the page. If a logo or company letterhead paper is not available, then the release should be printed on white paper with black ink and with a simple, basic font. The paragraphs that make up the body of the release should be double spaced, and the release should ideally fit on a single page. If a second page is needed, it should be clearly labeled as the second page.
The words, “Press Release” should be located at the top of the page, and it should be in all capital letters and in bold. Next follows the company’s contact information; name, address, phone number, website address, and email address on single spaced lines.
If the press release is available for immediate release, it should be written in capital letters directly above the headline, or the release date should be written if it is not available for immediate release.
The headline is the next component of the release and it is often the most important element of the release. It should be centered and in bold. The headline needs to capture attention quickly while being short and to the point. A sub headline, if needed, should be centered beneath the headline and written in title case with both upper and lower case letters.
The first paragraph of the body of the press release follows the headline and sub headline. It begins with the city and state of the release’s origin and the current date. The press release is about an important and timely news item. It is a news article about a new event, new information, a new product, or a new publication. The first paragraph contains the important information about who, what, where, when, and why, and it should be written in a straight forward style.
The second paragraph presents the human interest side of the news event without hype or exaggeration. It explains in detail about why the reader should care about the event and how it will affect them. This paragraph is the place to include a personal touch such as a good, short quote.
The third paragraph is the place to present a call to action. This short paragraph tells the reader what they should do next. It presents the opportunity for the reader to take action. If there is not a call to action then this paragraph is not included.
The last paragraph is sometimes called the boilerplate, a few sentences of standard text that are used repeatedly on similar press releases that are submitted by the company. This paragraph describes the company and what it does.
Following the last paragraph the symbol “# # #” is used to signify the end of the press release and it should be centered.
The last element of the release is a sentence which gives contact information in case the news agency needs to contact someone about questions or inquiries.
A well-written press release will convey the important information to the news agency in a readable, interesting, and professional manner, and will result in the publication of the news event.
Garry Gamber is a public school teacher and entrepreneur. He writes articles about politics, real estate, health and nutrition, and internet dating services. He is the owner of http://www.TheDatingAdvisor.com and the founding station master for http://www.GoodPoliticsRadio.com/ak