How to write a press release

Topics. Topics. Topics.

The most important lesson in PR is that your release must be news worthy. If you are submitting your release to free online directories, and I suggest that you do, your release will be reviewed for its newsworthiness. Blatant, self-promoting releases that scream ‘advertisement’ are quickly discarded in this news arena.

Topics that are news worthy:

  • Website launch
  • Product launch
  • Announcements (new hires, promotions, awards)
  • Event announcements

Contact Information

There is nothing worse than a well written press release without contact information.

In the upper left-hand corner, include the contact’s first and last name, business name, address, phone, fax and email address.

The object of a press release is for journalists to pick it up and report on it. This is FREE publicity! They are going to want to contact the writer, or another company representative, to get more information for a potential story. They may want a quote, pictures or a number of other questions answered and it is your job to make it easy for them.

For Immediate Release

Unless otherwise noted, you will want to specify FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE in caps, left-aligned on the line above your headline. This tells the reader that your release is breaking news and that they should report on it now, not later.


Headlines are the first thing readers see. In order to get them to read your news, you need to be brief and intriguing.

* Conveys the key point of the press release
* Use active voice such as: announces, introduces, interviews, launches, opens, etc.
* Use the most significant key words of your article for search engine optimization
* Written in bold

Ex. of optimized headline: Maryland’s First Ever Mixed Martial Arts Event Makes Its Debut in Baltimore

Ex. of bad headline: MMA Comes to Baltimore


Elaborate on the news in your headline with a full sentence or two using standard capitalization and punctuation.


Begin with the date and city in which the press release was created, or is about. Now here’s where you get down to it; create a lead sentence that grabs the reader’s attention and summarizes what the release is about.

Use the inverted pyramid method to write the body of the press release in order of importance, with the most pertinent information at the top.

Remember, the object of the press release is to get to the point. Facts are important. Always include; who, what, when, where, why and how in the first paragraph of your press release if possible. Make sure that all of this information is shared within the first two paragraphs.

Further down your release, you will want to include an intriguing quote from a reputable source, i.e. the event coordinator or person to whom the award was given. Quotes add interest and allow you to have a bit of fun with an otherwise fact-based release. A good quote can pique a reader’s interest.

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