The ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ of Writing a Press Release

A press release can be an extremely powerful marketing tool if written with precision and with a specific end goal in mind. However, it can become a total flop if it isn’t relevant to the organisation’s current business state or the coverage of a popular topic relevant to that sector.

What is a Press Release?

A press release is a form of written communication that includes brief, yet very specific, information regarding events, promotions, issues, crisis or other happenings.

Press releases usually adhere to a strict format that is easily identified by the receiver, whether it being the media or the general public. Press releases are unveiled in hope that news organisations or opinion leaders, such as celebrities and social influencers, will read and report on them in order to spread the message.

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The Dos

Make It Newsworthy 

Make sure that your press release has a newsworthy angle that is new or unusual, something that is particularly interesting or exciting to the media or your target audience.

If your press release does not include a human interest angle then journalists may not take on your story and your information would become unused and dismissed.

Five Ws and the H

  • WHO does the press release affect or appeal to?
  • WHAT is the press release for?
  • WHERE is it happening?
  • WHY do people need to know?
  • WHEN is it happening?
  • HOW did it happen or how will it be happening?

The five Ws and one H are crucial during the opening statement of a press release. They are used to highlight the most important information, key points and benefits in a brief but extremely detailed and important opening paragraph. Make it short but powerful.

Inverted Pyramid Structure

The inverted pyramid structure is a guideline to structuring your press release for maximum effect. The most important information, such as the five Ws and one H, should be used in the opening statements, followed by supporting details and context, such as credible quotations and detailed information, and then ending with related information regarding further involvement details.

This structure is crucial when targeting the press due to the lack of availability and time amongst editors. They do not have time to comb through bulks of ‘fluffy jargon’ or marketing waffle. It is also favourably amongst other target audiences due to its optimisation of extracted information through easier readability.

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The Don’ts

DON’T turn it into a sales pitch by forcing information and advertising onto the receivers.

DON’T overuse key words. SEO is good for traffic diversion but may seem confusing to consumers who read the press release.

DON’T be dramatic when it comes to fonts and colour palettes. Remain as professional as possible and using simple typography will not distract the reader.

DON’T use large, highlighted quotes or imagery during the main body of the text. If you have supporting evidence or information then use it at the end.

DON’T assume that your language and grammar are correct. Proofread as many times as possible to ensure precision and professionalism.

DON’T disguise a problem during an issue or crisis with positive points regarding the organisation. The press and consumers will appreciate honesty and integrity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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