How To Write A Great Press Release (And Why Most Writers Can’t)

If you want your company to get publicity, press release writing is one of the best ways to do it. But most companies are terrible at writing press releases. 

They’re too short, too vague, and don’t tell reporters anything compelling about what’s happening with their business or product. The problem? Most writers don’t understand how press releases work or how to write them effectively. 

A good press release will help you secure a reporter’s attention and hopefully get your story covered by multiple publications or news outlets. We’ll cover everything from how long they should be (hint: not very long) to what format they should follow (hint: no fancy formatting needed) so that you can craft an effective pitch that gets results

How To Write Perfect Press Releases With Steven Lewis
Crafting a great press release requires strategic planning and execution.
Many writers struggle with press release writing due to lack of understanding or experience.
Understanding the elements of a successful press release can set you apart from the competition.
Effective press releases are concise, informative, and tailored to the target audience.
Incorporating storytelling techniques can make your press release more engaging and memorable.
Researching and following industry best practices can enhance the impact of your press release.
Consistency and practice are key to improving your press release writing skills over time.

Write About A Problem, Not About A Product

If you write your press release to be all about the product with no context, why would anyone care? You have to give readers a reason to care about what you’re writing about and how it will solve their problems or make their lives better. 

For example: “We’re launching our new dog park app so that people can find where pet-friendly parks are near them!” doesn’t make sense unless there is more information on what the app does and why it matters to readers (and most likely, there isn’t).

Building a successful press release requires careful planning and execution. Check out our guide on putting together a press release to discover 17 valuable tips that can enhance the impact of your news.

Take Your Time

Don’t rush to publish. Many writers want to get their press releases out ASAP, but that can be a mistake. Press releases are concise, so they’re not exactly hard to write. 

The process of writing them is pretty straightforward: you just write the text, publish it on your website or social media accounts (or both), then watch your traffic soar as people read through it. 

The problem is that if you don’t take enough time to edit and proofread it, there are bound to be errors in what you’ve written and those mistakes will make your readers lose trust in your brand immediately!

The point here isn’t that “a misspelled word means death,” but rather that spelling errors or awkward phrasing will detract from the credibility and professionalism of any business’s online presence and at worst could lead readers off on tangents about how unprofessional. Embarrassing something was written rather than focusing all their attention on the actual message itself.”

Put Your Finger On The News

To start, you need to define the problem. What is your goal? Are you trying to lose weight? Build muscle? Write a novel or screenplay? 

These are all great goals but what makes them so different from each other is that they have different starting points and end goals in mind. For your writing career to be successful, you must have an idea of what success looks like for you over the next 3-6 months.

You may be thinking “but what if I don’t know where I want my writing career to go?” Don’t worry about that right now! Focus on defining exactly what success means for yourself first, then go from there. 

For example, A fitness professional could write down their goals as “I want my arms bigger than this person’s by July 1st,” while someone who wants more practice with storytelling could list something like “I want at least one short story published by May 15th and another one by September 30th.” 

You might not know exactly how many pounds of muscle will get those arms bigger or if those two short stories will become bestsellers but at least it’s something tangible—and most importantly achievable within 3-6 months!

Creating a compelling press release involves attention to detail and industry knowledge. Discover valuable insights and recommendations in our article discussing 17 tips for putting together a press release that captures attention.

Give It Context

Context is more than just the story behind the story. It’s what makes your story interesting, relevant, newsworthy, and memorable. Context is what makes people want to share your stories with others.

In my experience, a great press release has three parts: 1) The headline (which should summarize your news), 2) The first paragraph that sets up the context for why this news matters now or in the future and 3) The body of text that goes into more detail about your piece of news.

Spell Out What You’re Selling, Not Just The Product

The problem with most press releases is that they focus on the product. They might mention that “this is a great thing for people who have problems with their skin,” but then it’s back to talking about the product itself. This is a very limited approach, and it can be easily improved upon.

Instead of just talking about your product, talk about what you’re selling. Is it an interesting story? A solution to an issue? A new way of looking at things? 

Your press release should tell journalists why they want to write about this subject it should capture their attention by being unique and telling them something they haven’t heard before.

Be Aggressive With Your Offers

Your offer should be all about the reader. Make sure it’s clear and direct, like, “Our new product will help you do X, Y, and Z” or “10-day free trial.”

It sounds obvious, but most people don’t think about this part of a press release. The best way to get noticed is by having an aggressive offer that makes it easy for readers to take action on your news.

Be creative! If you can’t come up with anything better than discounts or free trials then go with those offers instead of offering nothing at all (which is usually what happens).

Want your press releases to reach a broader audience and generate buzz? Our in-depth guide on how to create press releases that go viral shares strategies to enhance your release’s visibility and impact.

Tell A Story In Three Sentences Or Less

Once you’ve figured out whom to target and what problem you’re solving, it’s time to write a press release.

Let’s say you’re an entrepreneur who has created an app that helps people find their dream jobs. Your app is the perfect solution for job seekers and employers alike. 

It allows applicants to post their résumé online with just one click and makes matching candidates with positions fast and easy for companies seeking new staff members.

Your story in three sentences: “Finding a job can be difficult; now there’s an app that makes finding them easier than ever.”

The best way to start writing this story? Think of yourself as a reporter on assignment at a local news station (the same one where John Oliver reported during his tenure as a correspondent). 

There are two ways reporters report stories: 1) they ask questions (who, what, when, where), or 2) they tell stories. 

Asking questions leads most reporters down paths of dry facts without emotion or context and no one wants to read those kinds of articles! 

Instead of asking who someone is or how something works for other readers/viewers/listeners to understand it, try telling your audience about it through narrative instead: “I’m John Smith from New York City who loves reading books about Harry Potter but hates cooking because I’m terrible at making spaghetti sauce.”

Use The Right Vocabulary

Your job is to make writing easy for the reporter. You can do this by using words that are relevant, interesting, and understandable. The last one may sound obvious, but it’s something many writers don’t take into account when they write their press releases. 

They assume that if they use industry-specific jargon and insider lingo, reporters will understand what they’re talking about and that’s not always true!

Sell Yourself

If you want to write a great press release, the first thing is to sell yourself.

If you can’t sell yourself, no one else will. And no one else will buy your product or service. If they don’t buy it, they don’t care about it. And if they don’t care about it, no one else will either no matter how great your story is or how much good news there is to share!

What does this mean? Well.

Navigating the do’s and don’ts of press release writing can be challenging. Learn from experience and explore our insights on my favorite do’s and don’ts for writing press releases to craft compelling and effective releases.

Give The Reporter A Reason To Want To Write About You And Your Product

If you want your press release to be successful, you need to give the reporter a reason for writing about you and your product.

The purpose of a press release is to announce something new or exciting that’s happening in your business so that reporters can write about it. 

The benefits of having a good, well-written press release are wide-ranging: 

It can bring more traffic to your site, help increase sales, build brand awareness and credibility with customers and prospects, and drive leads from journalists who may be interested in writing about one aspect or another of what it takes for a company like yours to operate at full capacity (or even just survive). It should include information such as:

  • What was accomplished by this event?
  • Who was involved? (Who were the people who worked on this project?)
  • What were they trying to achieve?

Dream of turning your passion for writing press releases into a lucrative career? Discover the inspiring journey of how I quit my day job and made over $100K in 1 year by writing press releases, and learn how to achieve success in this field.


I’m a big fan of press releases, and I think they’re an underused tool for small businesses. If you have time to write them, do it! You’ll be amazed at how many more people take notice when your company has something interesting to say.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to enhance your understanding of press release writing:

How to Write a Press Release: A Comprehensive Guide: Delve into the nuances of crafting effective press releases, including tips on structure, content, and distribution.

Press Release Template: A Step-by-Step Guide: Explore a step-by-step template to create impactful press releases that resonate with your audience and attract media attention.

Writing a Great Press Release: What You Need to Know: Uncover essential insights and strategies to write not just good, but great press releases that captivate readers and drive results.


How do I write an attention-grabbing headline for my press release?

Crafting a compelling headline involves capturing the essence of your press release succinctly while piquing interest. Incorporate key information and a touch of intrigue to entice readers.

What should I include in the body of my press release?

The body of your press release should provide the essential details of your news or announcement. Cover the who, what, when, where, and why early on, and follow up with additional relevant information and quotes.

How can I make my press release stand out from others?

To stand out, focus on a unique angle or hook that differentiates your story. Additionally, incorporate multimedia elements like images or videos, and ensure your writing is concise, engaging, and relevant.

What’s the best way to format a press release?

Follow a standard press release format with a clear headline, dateline, body paragraphs, boilerplate, and contact information. Use a professional tone and ensure the release is easily scannable.

How do I distribute my press release effectively?

Consider utilizing online distribution services, leveraging your network and media contacts, and sharing the press release on your own website and social media platforms to maximize its reach and impact.