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With a Sample Press Release

Writing a press release is far from rocket science. It's actually pretty simple. The goal, of course, is to get some sort of media coverage for either yourself or your client. The key to getting that coverage is two-fold: news and interest. What are you announcing that is of interest to, say newspaper readers? Why, for example, would magazines want to know about what's in your press release?

If you can answer these questions, you're already on your way to writing a great press release; if you can't, you need to figure it out before you begin writing.

Basis of a good Press Release

You may have learned this back in high school journalism, or somewhere else along the way. It's tempting to think there's something more modern, but in this case, the old way still works. The basis for any good press release is the old:

  • Who

  • What

  • Where

  • Why

  • When

Sometimes the who and the what are reversed, but, on the whole, people are more interesting than things - the people involved in the event or project are what media usually hangs the story on. If the who of your story is someone local, so much the better.

A Hook or Lead for Your Press Release

The first 10 or so words of your press release are the most important because that's what will hook the reporter and/or the reader into reading the rest of the information. Keep it short and pithy. If you do this right, your headline and subhead will come naturally.

Some General Rules for Press Release Writing

  • Then you simply tell the rest of the story as well as you can.
  • Write your press release in the third person.
  • Use quotes if at all possible
  • Keep it short - shorter items are more often picked up than longer ones - if a media outlet wants more information they will contact you.
  • Double check contact information.

Sample Press Release

Here's a press release for a local church. 

On Church Letterhead

Date:

Contact: Elizabeth
(xxx)xxx xxx

PRESS RELEASE! FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

7th Annual Appreciation Luncheon Honoring Emergency Personnel

The United Methodist Church of Atlantic Highlands will hold its seventh annual appreciation luncheon honoring local emergency personnel on Wed., Feb. 15 starting at 11:30 a.m.

The annual luncheon is a way for the church and the whole community to say “thanks” to the fire department and other emergency personnel who give so much protecting our community and helping the people who live here.

The luncheon will be held at the church on E. Garfield and 3rd Avenue, Atlantic Highlands.

For additional information, and reservations, contact Elizabeth at (xxx) xxx xxx

Use client's letterhead

Put contact info right on top

Make the timing of the release crystal clear

Headline and hook are much the same.

 
 
Be sure to make the address obvious
This is who the public should call.