A simple Google search will reveal hundreds of tips on press release writing, but determining what tips to follow can be hard to decipher. To make it easier for you, I’ve compiled these five tips to help you write a newsworthy press release.
1. The five elements of a news story
It’s important that you think like a journalist. There are five elements to a good news story: Timeliness (is it happening now), significance (how many does it affect), proximity (is the story happening nearby), prominence, (is it happening to someone well known in society) and human interest (is there an emotional appeal). In writing a press release do your best to “spin” the story to include these five elements.
2. No fluff
If your press release is written well enough there is a chance a news source will take your release and publish it verbatim, which would actually be a great thing. This means the coverage will be exactly how you want it to be and not spun negatively.
If you want your press release to be copied word for word, remove all extra adjectives, marketing terms, industry speak, and make your sentences concise.
3. Call to action
Readers need to read a news article and know what’s next. Is there a way to help solve the problem? Is there a resource for getting more information? Make the last line of your release a call to action and give the reader a next step like visiting your Web site, for example.
4. Abbreviate the “About You” paragraph at the end
At the end of the release, after the # mark, you need to include a paragraph describing what your company is all about. This paragraph is important because it gives the reporter something manageable to work with and it allows you to tell your company’s story the exact way you want to.
Make sure this paragraph matches all of your other branding and your elevator pitch, but make sure it is succinct. If it’s too long or sales-y, it will get rewritten and you might not like that.
5. Understand the Associated Press Style Guide
Read our post Press Release Writing a Journalist Will Like to learn more.