How to Write Press Releases With 21 Examples and 7 Templates

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Writing a Press Release in 7 Simple Steps

Now you’re ready to buckle down and write your release. Follow this process to get the job done.

1. Find Your Angle

Every good news story has an angle. An angle is the perspective your story will take. Some common angles are:

  • Local impact. How is your story impacting the local community?
  • Conflict. Is your press release giving another side to a conflict?
  • Progress. Is your press release highlighting progress made towards a certain problem?
  • Drama. Does your press release evoking an emotional response for readers?

When constructing your angle, remember the 5 W’s:

  1. Who is this story about?
  2. What is happening?
  3. Where is it going on?
  4. When will it occur?
  5. Why is it important?

Try following this template:

[WHO: COMPANY] today announced it will [WHAT] at [WHERE] on [WHEN]. The [EVENT/ANNOUNCEMENT] will provide [BENEFIT] for [AUDIENCE].

2. Write Your Headline

Your headline should grab the attention of your audience. That could include a reporter, editor, business partner, or a general audience.

For headline writing help, use CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer[13].

3. Write Your Lede

The lead of your press release is the first paragraph that appears underneath your summary bullet points.

The most critical information should be in this first paragraph, including:

  • An angle or a hook. This is what will get your audience interested.
  • The 5 W’s (as many as are relevant). It’s an old school journalism best practice, but it’ll make sure your release is informative.
  • A reason for a reporter or editor to care. They get lots of pitches every day. Put them first, and only send something they will be interested in.

Here is an example from Doctors Without Borders[14]:

This lede includes each of the following:

  • A clear explanation of the 5 Ws. The who (Doctors Without Borders), what (an awareness campaign), when (International Chagas Disease Day), where (Latin America), and why (severe public health issue) are laid out in a logical progression.
  • A hook. Typically, when one hears the phrase “big heart,” we think of something positive. However, this campaign uses this turn of phrase to explain the dangers of Chagas disease (heart issues).
  • A reason to care. It’s a major health concern, affecting more than 6 million people globally. That certainly sounds relevant.

This is a perfect example to emulate when writing ledes for your own releases.

4. Write 2 – 5 Strong Body Paragraphs With Supporting Details

The next several paragraphs should tell the complete story (in a concise way). The most important supporting details should be included. Each paragraph should be concise, ideally keeping your release under a page.

5. Include Quotes

Your best bet is to write the quotes yourself then send them to the subject you’re quoting for approval.

Quotes don’t have to be complicated. In fact, there are three things you can do to ensure that you have the perfect quote in your press release:

  1. What purpose does this quote serve? Is it helping tell the story of your press release?
  2. Sound like the person you’re writing the quote for. Don’t use big elegant words if the person you’re writing your quote for doesn’t.
  3. Always attribute your quotes. Tell them who is saying what and why.

How to Use the Perfect Quotes

Think about the style and language that your subject would use and once you have two or three potential quotes written, send it to them for feedback.

6. Include Contact Information

The people reading your press release need to know who to contact for more information. Include the following information:

  • Point of contact: This should be a name and job title for who to reach.
  • Email address: Give them the best one to reach the preferred point of contact.
  • Phone number: In case they’d like to call, rather than email.

You might also include a mailing address.

7. Include Your Boilerplate Copy

According to PRowl Public Relations[15], a boilerplate is:

“A boilerplate is usually found at the end of a press release, and briefly describes the company or organization related above. The short paragraph consisting of just a few sentences concisely explains the company or organization.”

The boilerplate should appear on every release you send. Include the following information:

  • The name of your organization
  • Your mission statement.
  • Founding dates.
  • Company size.
  • A brief statement on what your organization is doing today to fulfill the ideas in your mission statement.

Here are a few of examples:

Apple Boiler Plate Example:

Apple[16] revolutionized personal technology with the introduction of the Macintosh in 1984. Today, Apple leads the world in innovation with iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS — provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud. Apple’s more than 100,000 employees are dedicated to making the best products on earth, and to leaving the world better than we found it.

Target Boiler Plate Example:

Minneapolis-based Target Corporation[17] (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,834 stores and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to communities, which today equals millions of dollars a week. For more information, visit Target.com/Pressroom. For a behind-the-scenes look at Target, visit Target.com/abullseyeview or follow @TargetNews on Twitter.

Theatre B Boiler Plate Example:

The purpose of Theatre B[18] is to invigorate civic conversation through intimate and transformative story-telling. Since 2003, the Ensemble and guest artists of Theatre B have brought to life a wide variety of the latest award winning plays and bold new works. Theatre B prides itself on removing barriers between actor and audience, creatively using space and intimate storytelling to intensify the audience experience. Theatre B productions are timely and relevant, inspiring a sense of community, engaging conversation, and prompting viewers to contemplate the stories long after they have left the theatre.

When Should You Send Your Press Releases?

Sending your press release at the right time is crucial to help get the release you wrote the maximum amount of exposure. The most important stories get sent early in the week, while stories companies want buried usually goes out on a Friday afternoon (don’t do this). Editors typically assign stories early in the week, so aim for Tuesday, beating the Monday rush while still getting in front of them at a good time:

Best Days and Times to Send Press Releases

Sources: http://www.shiftcomm.com/blog/the-worst-times-and-days-for-press-releases/ https://prinyourpajamas.com/when-to-send-your-press-release/ http://www.ereleases.com/pr-fuel/whats-the-best-time-to-publish-a-press-release/ https://www.prnewswire.com/blog/the-best-times-to-send-a-press-release-globally-12563.html

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How Should You Distribute Your Press Releases?

You’ve now written a perfect press release. Now, it’s time to make sure it gets read. This will most likely entail:

  1. Pitching your story directly to a few carefully selected editors. Editors like having exclusives. If your story is perfect for one particular publication, consider offering it to them alone.
  2. Blasting it out using a wire services. This way, it can get picked up by tons of different outlets.

Or, you might do both. Services such as Cision[20] make it easy to find reporters and deliver press releases en masse.

If you don’t have the budget for Cision, consider building your own database of reporters and editors manually. This can be something as simple as a spreadsheet.

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Review Your Work With This Checklist

Before sending your release, double-check that it’s error-free:

  • Is the release date correct?
    • For immediate release in the top corner?
    • Is the publish date correct?
  • Is the contact information in the right-hand corner?
  • Is the location of the organization in the correct all caps format?
  • Is all the relevant information in the top paragraph of the press release?
  • Is the boiler plate at the bottom of the template?
  • Are the pound signs in the correct places?
  • Is the spacing formatted correctly?
    • Two lines between each paragraph?
  • Is the press release error-free?
    • Spelling
    • Grammar
    • Any incomplete sentences?
  • What time is the press release being published?
  • Are the contacts in our media list up to date?

Plan Each Press Release On Your Editorial Calendar

Journalists and editors use editorial calendars to plan stories and themes months in advance. You can do the same using the calendar template included in this post. Here’s what it looks like:

Map out ideas and denote send dates for media pitches across your calendar. For more info on using a calendar, check out these posts:

Where Should You Send Your Press Release?

If you decide to send your press release to different new outlets or publications make your list in advance. Some potential ideas to look into are:

  • Industry publications.
  • Local newspapers.
  • General news sites.
  • Bloggers.
  • Industry partners.

Start small and build your list of trusted contacts over time. Eventually, it’ll be easier to get bigger publications to write about you.

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Now Go Write An Awesome Press Release

Now you have all the tools you need to create an amazing press release and get the recognition your company deserves.

See how CoSchedule can help you plan and deliver all your press releases from start to finish by signing up for a demo[23] or starting a two week trial[24].

Have a few of your own press release tricks? Tell us about them in the comments below.

This post was most recently updated with new information on June 25, 2018.

References

  1. ^ Journalists (coschedule.com)
  2. ^ best pitches (coschedule.com)
  3. ^ here. (coschedule.com)
  4. ^ Back to the Top (coschedule.com)
  5. ^ all sorts of goals (coschedule.com)
  6. ^ Back to the Top (coschedule.com)
  7. ^ Back to the Top (coschedule.com)
  8. ^ Back to the Top (coschedule.com)
  9. ^ Back to the Top (coschedule.com)
  10. ^ Bobcat Company (www.bobcat.com)
  11. ^ Visit APStyleBook.com (www.apstylebook.com)
  12. ^ Back to the Top (coschedule.com)
  13. ^ CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer (coschedule.com)
  14. ^ Doctors Without Borders (www.doctorswithoutborders.org)
  15. ^ PRowl Public Relations (prowlpublicrelations.blogspot.com)
  16. ^ Apple (www.apple.com)
  17. ^ Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (corporate.target.com)
  18. ^ The purpose of Theatre B (www.theatreb.org)
  19. ^ Back to the Top (coschedule.com)
  20. ^ Cision (www.cision.com)
  21. ^ Back to the Top (coschedule.com)
  22. ^ Back to the Top (coschedule.com)
  23. ^ signing up for a demo (coschedule.com)
  24. ^ starting a two week trial (coschedule.com)

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