Writing a press release

by Terri D. Sanders, Publisher

You have information that you want shared in a newspaper, but do not know where to start?

Start with a PRESS RELEASE. Those two words, press release, no doubt this evokes a picture in your mind of something long and detailed, and you do not THINK that you have the capacity to deliver on this request. The following are a few tips for writing a press release:

Writing a press release involves knowing and understanding the purpose of the press release. A press release should provide information that is newsworthy, accurate and interesting to the reader. It should be written in an inverted pyramid format, which starts with the most important information first and builds upon it with additional details as you go down the page. Here are some tips to keep in mind when writing a press release:

- Keep it concise. A press release should be no more than one page long, and preferably closer to half a page.

- Use the correct format. Press releases should follow an inverted pyramid structure which starts with the most important facts at the top and gets progressively less important as you go down the page.

- Identify your audience. Make sure to tailor the press release to reflect the target audience it is intended for.

- Utilize catchy headlines and quotes. Headlines should be informative and attention grabbing while quotes should provide a personal perspective on the topic at hand.

- Use active voice. Don’t just tell what happened, but explain why the news matters and how it affects readers.

- Include contact information. Make sure to include accurate contact information at the end of the press release so that media outlets can easily get in touch with you for additional details.

Following these tips will help you craft an effective press release that is sure to capture the attention of readers. With a compelling headline and engaging content, your press release may even end up in newspapers and magazines!