Press Release Writing 101

When writing a press release, you have to make sure that your pitch is catchy, interesting, and informative. It needs to be short and sweet but still grabs the reader’s attention. You’ll also need to make sure that it follows AP Style guidelines to keep things simple for journalists who will be using them for their work.

How to Write a Press Release – YouTube
Learn the fundamentals of writing effective press releases.
Understand the key components that make a press release stand out.
Discover techniques to craft attention-grabbing headlines and subheadings.
Gain insights into structuring your press release for maximum impact.
Explore tips for including relevant multimedia assets and contact information.
Master the art of creating newsworthy angles to capture media attention.
Enhance your writing skills to convey information concisely and compellingly.
Get familiar with press release distribution methods and best practices.
Stay updated on the evolving landscape of press release writing.

Who Are You?

When you begin drafting your release, it’s important to clarify who you are and what role you play in the company. Do not assume that everyone knows this information. This will help your audience identify with you and better understand the message of your release.

Here are some things to include when defining yourself:

  • Company name/website address
  • Your name and title at the company (if applicable)
  • The mission statement or mission of the organization as it applies to this news story
  • The vision statement or vision of the organization as it applies to this news story

If you’re new to press release writing, our comprehensive guide on Press Release Writing 101 will provide you with everything you need to know to craft effective and impactful press releases.

What Is The Relevance Of What You Are Saying?

When you’re writing a press release, it’s important to know your audience and the relevance of what you are saying.

The first question to ask yourself is why is this newsworthy? Why should anyone care about this? What is the purpose of your press release, and how does it fit into that purpose?

Second, what is the newsworthy angle or twist on a story that makes it different from all of the other releases written about that same topic? If there isn’t one, then perhaps it’s not as special as you think (or maybe even a little boring).

When Did The Event Occur Or Will It Occur?

The first thing to consider when writing a date is whether you are talking about something in the past or future. If you know that your reader is not familiar with what you’re talking about, then make sure to give them enough information so they can understand how long ago (or soon) it occurred. 

For example, if I was talking about last week’s weather in Boston and said simply “it rained,” that would leave my readers confused since we all have different definitions of “last week.” Instead, I could say: “It rained on Monday afternoon” or even better: “It rained for three days straight last week.”

In cases where no specific date is given but there’s still some kind of time frame needed for reference, use a phrase like “in June,” “on Friday,” or even just simple phrases like today/yesterday/tomorrow as applicable. In general, sticking with basic language allows your article to flow from one idea into another without getting bogged down in unnecessary details.

Where Did The Event Occur Or Will It Occur?

The location of an event is just as important as the event itself. What is its relevance? How does it help to understand the story? Why did you choose this location over another one? In some cases, there may be no clear answer but it’s still worth asking these questions before moving on to other sections of your press release.

Crafting press releases that capture attention and spread like wildfire is an art. Discover the techniques behind creating press releases that go viral and learn how to make your content truly shareable.

Why Should They Read This Press Release?

Make sure the press release is relevant to the audience. If you’re writing a press release for new dog food, don’t start by talking about how your company just won an award for its recycling program.

Make sure the press release is clear and concise. If you’re writing a press release about your company’s new website launch, don’t get into all of the technical details of what it takes to build a website (the audience probably doesn’t care).

Make sure the press release is relevant to the media. For example, if you have an amazing new technology that could solve world hunger but it isn’t currently being used anywhere in the world yet – then no one will want to cover it unless they are interested in technology or sustainable food production issues! So focus on those topics instead when talking about this project! Finally: 

Be aware that not every journalist looks at every story as an opportunity for free publicity; some may write about something because they think it deserves attention – even if there’s no money involved!

What Are You Trying To Say?

Opening question

“What are you trying to say?” This opening phrase is a simple way to get your reader’s attention and establish the tone of your press release. If you’re struggling for ideas, ask yourself what your company does, who it does it for, why they should care about it…and then write those answers down in three or four sentences.

The cute phrase that sums up what you’re doing

“We make things better.” Maybe that’s not exactly how we would describe our work at XYZ Inc., but as we’ve learned through years of experience in this industry, that’s exactly what we do: We make things better by building X type of product with Y features (and Z benefits).

Quotation or statistic that supports the headline message

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Double-Check Everything

Once you’ve edited your work, it’s time to check it again. Double-check everything: grammar and spelling, but also things like whether the facts are accurate and whether the tone of your writing is consistent. Have someone else proofread your work as well; if they catch something that you missed, it probably means that there’s a problem with your piece that needs attention.

Finally, take a break from writing for a bit you don’t want to burn out on editing! When you come back later, go through the whole thing one last time (this should be after any changes have been made) before submitting it for publication.

Don’t Rush Your Lead Paragraph

The lead paragraph is the most important part of your press release, so it’s worth taking extra time to make sure it’s perfect. Here are some ways to start your lead:

Start with a question that makes readers want to find out more. This can be an open-ended question or one that leads them toward your solution. For example: “Have you ever felt like you’re too busy for sex?” Or “For years, couples have been frustrated by the lack of good sexual education resources.”

Start with a quote from an expert in their field who supports what you’re saying about your product or service. For example: “When it comes to sexual health and wellness, no one knows more than Planned Parenthood.” 

If there is no clear expert on the topic at hand, consider quoting yourself as an authority on the subject matter (if appropriate). You can also use quotes from customers or other experts in related fields if they provide credibility for what you’re saying about yours (again, if appropriate).

Keep Your Press Release On Topic

One of the most important ways to keep your press release on the topic is to limit yourself to one topic. Not only will this help you keep from straying too far from the main point, but it will also make things easier for journalists and editors who are reading through hundreds of press releases a day.

Do not write a press release about every aspect of your business. 

For example, if you’re opening a new store location, try not to write a release that delves into all aspects of the business e.g. “we’ve moved our headquarters and will be offering free shipping on purchases over $50.” Instead, focus on one piece of news at a time (e.g., “We’ve just opened our fifth store in Manhattan”).

To create press releases that truly resonate and generate maximum impact, it’s important to know what to include. Dive into our guide on including the right elements in press releases to ensure your message is effectively communicated.

Use Simple Words And Phrases

The best way to avoid writing a jumbled, incoherent mess is to use simple words and phrases. This can be difficult because as writers, we want our work to be as eloquent and beautiful as possible. However, you should never sacrifice clarity for beauty when writing a press release.

A good rule of thumb is that if you’re not sure whether or not your word choice is too complex for the average reader’s understanding level, it probably is. You should also avoid using jargon or clichés at all costs because they are extremely overused and make you sound like an amateur writer (which you don’t want).

When choosing which words are right for the job in question, leave your Thesaurus by the side of your computer where it belongs! You don’t need big words when simple ones will do just fine and trust me when I say that using a complicated word will not make anyone think more highly of your intelligence! 

Likewise, keep in mind that shorter sentences are always better than long ones; this makes reading easier and keeps your reader engaged throughout the entirety of their experience with your brand’s message.

Make It Easy For The Media To Follow Up With You

When you’re writing your press release, don’t forget to include contact information for the company or organization. This should be placed at the end of the document and should include:

  • Your email address
  • Your phone number
  • A link to your website (if applicable)

Make sure to use a clear, professional email address like [email protected] instead of something like [email protected]. 

Also be sure that your phone number is correct by including an area code in this format: (123) 555-1234. And don’t forget about social media! Include social handles so readers can follow you on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest—whatever makes sense for your industry.

Proofread, Proofread, And Proofread More

Proofreading is the most important part of writing a press release. By proofreading, you’ll catch any mistakes and polish your piece to make sure it reads smoothly. Make sure that you have someone else proofread your work as well. 

If they don’t understand what you’re saying, then it may be better to rewrite that section rather than assume they are incorrect in their understanding of what you mean by something.

Using a spell checker will help avoid obvious typos like missed words or extra spaces between words but there are many other ways to misspell things and even a spell checker cannot catch everything! 

A grammar checker might catch some errors but not all of them either because grammar rules vary from person to person so what one person considers correct another might consider wrong! 

A readability checker will tell you how difficult it would be for someone who does not know as much about the topic as you (like an average reader) would find reading through your piece without becoming bored or confused by parts they do not understand easily enough due to lack of explanation given within paragraphs etc.

Keep It Short But Snappy

The first thing you need to remember about writing a press release is that it’s not a novel. The headline and subhead of your press release should be no more than 10 words each, with the body copy at no more than 250 words. 

That’s right: 250 words is the maximum length for all of your body text, which means no long-winded explanations or drawn-out stories that spin off into tangents, even if they’re funny. 

If you’ve ever read an editorial by me before (and chances are good), then you know I’m not shy about using exclamation points! But there’s a fine line between enthusiastic and annoying when it comes to writing in general and definitely when it comes to writing something intended for public consumption like a press release!

Securing media coverage for your business is a key step in gaining visibility. Learn the strategies for achieving press coverage using well-crafted press releases in our article on how to get press coverage with a press release and expand your reach.

Provide Quotes

Quotes are a great way to break up the text. They also add credibility, especially if they’re from a respected source. They can be used to add humor and even provide relevant quotes from other sources that help give your press release more context.

Don’t Bury The Lede

The first paragraph of your press release is the lede, and it’s the most important part of your story. It needs to be clear, concise, and interesting but it should also be the most relevant part of the entire piece. The lede is what catches people’s attention and gets them to read more.

Here are some examples from real press releases:

  • “Facebook has introduced a new feature called More Friends, which will allow users to see all their friends in one place.”
  • “The band Arcade Fire has announced that they’re releasing their first album since 2013.”

Avoid Jargon And Clichés

As you start writing, it’s important to keep your audience’s interests in mind. If you’re writing about an industry that uses a lot of jargon and clichés (like education or healthcare), make sure that you avoid using them yourself.

If you’ve ever written a press release before, then I’m sure you’ve noticed how often writers use jargon and clichés. 

Sometimes they seem like the easiest way to get the point across quickly but they can also make readers feel like they’re being talked down to or even patronized! That said, it’s okay if the first draft contains some industry jargon; just make sure that it’s removed before publication.

Write A Strong Headline That Grabs Attention And Uses Facts In Your Article

Your headline should be short and snappy. It should also be extremely relevant to the article so that readers know exactly what they’re getting into when they click on your link. You can use facts in your article, but make sure they are supported by expert opinion or customer testimonials. 

If you have quotes from experts, include them in the body of your post as well as in a secondary section titled “Expert Quotes.” If you have customer testimonials, include them at the end of your post under a header called “Customer Reviews.” 

If there’s someone important at your company who can provide insight into this topic (like the CEO), ask him or her for comments on how he/she feels about it and why it’s important for customers like me.


In the end, you should use this advice as a guide. It is not meant to be followed blindly but rather taken into account with your creativity and style of writing. The most important thing is for you to get started on your press release!

Further Reading

PR 101: Writing a Press Release: Learn the basics of crafting effective press releases and the key elements that make them stand out in the digital age.

PR 101: 10 Tips for Writing a Press Release: Get practical insights and strategies to enhance your press release writing skills and create compelling media pitches.

Press Release Format Guide: Explore a comprehensive guide on press release formats, including best practices for structuring your content and grabbing readers’ attention.


What are the essential components of a press release?

A press release typically includes a headline, subheadline, release date, body text, boilerplate, contact information, and relevant multimedia assets.

How can I make my press release more newsworthy?

To enhance the newsworthiness of your press release, focus on timely and relevant topics, provide unique angles, highlight the impact on your audience, and include captivating statistics or quotes.

What’s the recommended length for a press release?

A standard press release is often around 300 to 800 words, keeping the content concise while conveying the necessary information effectively.

How should I structure the body of my press release?

The body of a press release should answer the key journalistic questions: who, what, where, when, why, and how. Start with the most important information and progressively provide more details.

How can I distribute my press release to the media?

Consider using online distribution services, building relationships with journalists, and sending personalized pitches to relevant media contacts to effectively distribute your press release.