Before you write a press release, make sure that you have a story to tell. Keep it short, format it properly, and think like a journalist so it’s not dismissed as spam or an advertorial. Here is the structure for writing press releases.
The header contains basic demographic information about the release that is not part of the actual news announcement. This includes company logo as a visual reminder of your organization. Centered at the top of your press release, write “Press Release” in Times Roman font 72 point. You can always reduce it down to as low as 24 point if you need to squeeze a few extra lines into the release. A few lines below, to the left, include your name, company name, all contact information including address, phone number, cell phone, fax number, email address and company website URL.
The headline is the most important section of your press release, is centered a few lines below the header, and appears in a bigger typeface, usually 14-26 point size. Your press release headline should be between 90 and 120 character including spaces, with your most important keywords within the first 65 characters. Do not worry that the headline is so short because you can add details by adding a subheading. Headlines are written last. State your most exciting news, finding or announcement in as few words as possible.
Subheads are very useful tools. However, they are often overlooked by press release writers. The press release subhead gives you the opportunity to flesh out your angle and further hook the reader.
Main Body – Opening Paragraph:
Like any communication piece, your press release must always tell who, what, where, when, why and how. Start by writing the city and state for the story’s origin, which in most cases is where you’re located. The biggest facts and most important elements are first, and the rest of the paragraph supports or explains the first facts with less important information. The opening paragraph should continue where the headline left off, so use your most important keyword and optimize the first 250 words.
Main Body – Quotes or Other Information:
Quotes are used in the second paragraph of your press release to add credibility and human interest. Also add information that substantiates the claims you made in your headlines and opening paragraph. When using quotes, quote from people who are perceived as powerful or carrying weight, such as the company’s president, person who created the product or service, or a satisfied customer from a notable company. Always make sure you get permission to use the quote.
Call to Action:
The call to action should be included as part of the story, right in the middle of the release. Do not make your press release sound like a commercial, but include the necessary information for your target audience to contact you.
The final paragraphs of your press release include information about your company, product, service, supporting data and statistics related to growth in your product segment or industry, contact information, as well as the mention of awards your company has won if it adds credibility to what your press release is about. Signal the end of your press release with ### symbols, centered directly underneath the last line of the release. This is standard practice.
Your press release should be double spaced or 1.5 spaced, no longer than 3 pages, but preferably between 350 and 500 words because they get more exposure. If your press release is longer than a page, at the end of each page include (more) (10) so that the reader knows to continue reading.