24 Feb Writing Press Releases 101
As Media & Communications Manager, one of the biggest responsibilities of my job is writing press releases for not only our clients but also for 898 Marketing. From opening our new office to hiring new employees to gaining new clients, the news never stops around here.
One of the challenges many businesses face is spreading the word about events, sales, exciting news, and everything else going on with their business. The easiest way to get information out to the local news media is with a press release. Media outlets have multiple platforms and those platforms need to have current, relevant content for users.
Press releases should be simple and only contain the most important information. Newsrooms are constantly receiving information about various events taking place, so make sure what you’re sending is newsworthy. Local news outlets will never guarantee coverage. They are dedicated to covering the most pressing and newsworthy events of the day, and if something more out of the ordinary happens, they are obligated to cover that. Make sure you include all of the local media outlets when you send out your press release.
- Start with a headline with the most important information such as “ABC Opens New Location”
- A sub headline provides a little more detailed information for instance, “New Store Offers Twice the Square Footage Providing More Opportunities to Expand Available Products to Customers.”
- The first line of the lead paragraph should include the city, state and date of the press release using all caps or bold typeface.
- The first paragraph should include the main, key information you are trying to convey. In journalism, it’s the who, what, when, where, why or how of your story. This is the most important part of the press release and tells the reader everything they need to know.
- The rest of the paragraphs can contain any other information including quotes, background information, or anything else that is pertinent to what’s happening.
- The final paragraph is called a boilerplate and is titled “About ABC.” This is where you tell a brief story on the subject of the press release including when the business began, how many years of operation, location, hours, contact information, services offered, etc.
- The end of a press release is signaled by “###” centered at the bottom of the page. If the release has multiple pages, the bottom of the first page should include “-more-“ centered at the bottom so the reader knows to look for additional pages.
- Be sure to include full contact information for follow up questions, including the name, phone number, email address, etc. of the person they can reach out to directly.
So, that’s Writing Press Releases 101. Just a quick breakdown of how we tackle them on almost a daily basis. The next time your business has an important event going on, put all the information together in a press release and get it out to our local media outlets. You might just get the cover you need to take your business to the next level.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelly Fertig is the Media & Communications Manager at 898 Marketing. She is responsible for planning and executing media buys for a variety of clients as well as developing and cultivating relationships with local media outlets. A graduate of Youngstown State University, Kelly has over a decade of experience in media buying.