Best Practices: Sample Press Release Format 2018 Instructions & Free Template

Imagine this scenario: you are working on your press release and, mid-sentence, that thing that you wanted to write just slips your mind entirely.  Damn, what was your next paragraph about? It’s on the tip of your tongue?

Sick of forgetting how to structure your press release all the time?

Use this simple list to remind yourself of each important element of your press release.

  • First, when writing your press release think about the news substance of your press releases.

If your press release is not newsworthy, then you are not ready to stand out from the crowd and blast your news out to the media.   

In order to gain credibility and provide value to your target audience,  you need to share an interesting and relevant information with them.

If you haven’t found it yet, then don’t waste your time writing any text at all. Start searching… keep on digging.

  • Each press release should answer some basic who, what, when, where and why questions.

That is, imagine how your target audience will come across your press release. What would you like them to learn about your brand, product or event? What is your interesting angle for sharing your story?

Expand on the information that you have already provided but don’t overdo it.

Create a short paragraph with information about your company, a profile as an introduction to your story.  It is always tempting to write a lot of content for a website, blog or brochure. It is also easy to talk about your products and services because this is your business and the brand that you are excited about.

Still, keep your sentences short and concise.  Too much information is a bad thing, so try to limit your press release to 350-600 words.

  • Work on your summary, headline and subtitle. Especially headline!

Your goal is to attract the attention of the reader by saying what is new, different or unique about your business: the whole purpose of writing a Press Release is to share news.  

If your headline stinks, is dull or confusing, then you will not be able to make a convincing argument why your release should be read at the first place. Nobody will pay attention to your press release.

The headline is the absolute first thing a reader sees and if the headline is catchy, there is a higher chance that they will check out your first introductory paragraph. If the headline doesn’t knock them down, they will simply move on.

  • Add a quote to your press release to support the claims you make in your press release.

A paragraph with a quote can go right after an introductory paragraph or be added towards the end of your press release before the call to action.

What kind of quote should you include? Maybe you have received some great reviews on your social media channels or you have a good quote from an email conversation with your customers. Such quotes can make your press release sound more newsworthy and entice your prospective customers, even more, to buy your product or attend your event. A good quote can raise the interest of the reader in the subject.

  • Next, optimize your content.

If you want to enhance the chances of your press release to rank high on search engine results pages and enjoy high web visibility then add relevant keyword phrases in the body, headline, summary of your press release. Relevant backlinks can create an influx of traffic to your designated pages, so don’t forget to add URLs to your text.

  • Finally,  add information about the release date, a brief bio about your company and your contact information.

To get your name and promote your company online, apart from your company name, you can list your email address, phone number, & physical address.

Tease journalists and potential leads with enough information so that they want to learn more about you and your brand. And then offer a chance for them to find more information and details by contacting you or by clicking on the links that you provide.

  • At the end, proofread your content and do a quick quality check to ensure that your press release is the best it can be.

Avoid using any hype language, misleading phrases or unsustained claims.  Fact-check your press release by having a second look at all claims and statistics that you mention in the text and especially at the backlinks that you have included.

Refrain from using too salesy language: think of yourself as of a storyteller, not a salesperson.

You should know this by now, but note it again: the information that you provide should be unbiased and accurate.

Congrats! You’ve vastly increased your skills of writing interesting and engaging press releases and the chances of your press release to rank high on Google.

– TEMPLATE –

You can use the following template to organize the information that you have gathered to write a press release that is as tight and to the point as possible.

[Headline Of The Press Release]

[City] [State} Release Date: [“For Immediate Release” or a concrete date]

[Summary Section: Briefly describe your announcement]

[Insert a quote from a company representative related to the news]

[Write an additional paragraph to provide more details about the announcement: try to respond to all relevant W-questions (where, what, why, when, who)]

[Insert another quote or another section with details about the news]

[Include a call to action and an URL address where the reader can find more information about the news, the company or a product]

[Boilerplate message about the company: insert the following information

Contact info:
Name:
Company:
Address:
Phone:]

For more tips on how to prepare your press release campaign, check out the other Press Release Zen articles from category Tips & Tricks.

 

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