The first and foremost purpose of the press release is to put across the true information to its stakeholders through a communication, which is effective and easy to understand. Before writing a press release, one needs to have all the facts and figures in place with research to support it if possible. Photographs along with eye-catching quotes of the key management people should also be ready.
Press release should start with a great headline. Headline should be brief, clear and to the point. It should possibly be like an ultra-compact version of the press release’s key point. Several PR professionals thus recommend writing the headline at the end, after the rest of the release is written. Press release should have a date and city in which the press release originates.
The inverted pyramid style of writing is the most effective style of writing a press release. Put the most important information in the first paragraph and use the following paragraphs to fill in the details. The first paragraph should not be lengthy and needs to both explain the headline as well as summarize the story. This is very important, as journalists get innumerable press releases every day and they spend hardly any time to read all these releases. Having important information first along with a catchy headline might give you the edge above the others and increase the chances of your press release being published.
When it comes to the content inside the press release, one should stick to the actual facts. A simple method for writing an effective press release is to make a list of Who, what, when, where, why, and how, a same approach that a journalist uses to write a news story. With the basics defined, fill in the gaps with information about the people, products, items, dates and other things related with the news.
One needs to remember that the more newsworthy you make the press release, the better the chances of it being selected by a journalist for reporting. Thus, it important for you to know what is newsworthy to a given target market and use this knowledge to get attention of the editor or a news reporter.
Using photographs can also be an ideal way to get through a selection process. A photograph can literally sell a thousand words. Daily media require photos in abundance, and are more interested in photos than the monthly special interest magazines or trade journals, which are usually only interested in a photograph if it educates or informs the reader.
After the end of the press release, one needs to mention about the company. This information should have a small brief about a company, its core business and the business policy. Many businesses already have professionally written brochures, presentations, business plans, etc. That introductory text can be put here. Companies which maintain a separate media page on their websites must point to that URL.
If your press release really interests the journalists, they would surely like more information or would like to interview key people associated with it. For this purpose it is advisable that you have the contact details of either the key people (if the company policy allows it) or you can provide the contact details of a PR agency or someone appointed to act as a link between the media and your people.
Lastly, press releases should always be sent to the editors and analysts through the medium they most prefer like e-mail, fax, or courier.