In an era of unprecedented information overload, there is always a danger of your news being overlooked by the media. Press release plays an important role in spreading the word to the media, which acts as a link between the news and public. A press release is the official version of a company or person about any issue to the media. Press releases target media persons or houses to announce something novel or important work or events. Press releases can also be follow-up reports about new developments or clarifications about an ongoing issue.
Press releases are given by hand or sent through e-mail, fax, post or are up loaded in a company’s website. They can also be part of a full press kit along with testimonials, quotes and additional information which will help the reporter make a good story.
The information in a press release cannot be uncontrolled; therefore, the facts and information should be given in a clear and concise manner which cannot be misinterpreted. Clear organization and adequate facts are the thumb rule of a good press release.Â A press release is written in an inverted pyramid style.
Parts of a Press Release:
a) Headline: This is the most important line in a release it decides the fate of the news whether it will be considered newsworthy or not by the reporter and it is always in the present tense.
b) Sub headline: This line explains and expands the headline, filling in information with names and the implications of the headline.
c) Lead paragraph: This paragraph contains the 5Ws and 1H (who, what, when, where and how) of the news.
d) Body: The subsequent paragraphs provide additional information and official quotes.
e) Address bar: Placed at the end of the press release it contains contact information, mobile number and website address.
Note: For immediate release or embargo time for release is clearly mentioned in the top of a press release
Things to Remember:
- Write with an audience in mind; make the news release in form of a news story.
- Do not exaggerate, make false claims, stick to correct facts and figures, avoid hyperboles like path breaking, unique, etc.
- Always write objectively as a journalist, avoid subjective references like “I” or “we” other than in a quote.
- Copy a good newspaper writing style while writing a press release.
- Follow the K.I.S.S rule, keep it simple and short. If you can put your information in two pages, good, but one page is even better.
Follow up with a call to confirm if the targeted person has received the press release or not.