A press release is a short article, news report, or announcement which is distributed to a large number of people via media outlets in order to gain exposure and interest in an upcoming event or in a new product (or service).
There is a much better approach than the “spray and pray” method of sending out a press release to everyone in the hope that someone will be interested enough to write about your new venture. There are six basic elements to a press release. These are:
- A teaser paragraph, designed to entice journalists interested in the story
- Image or logo
- Summary of your project or idea
- Contact information for further queries and information from the media.
This article outlines those six essential parts and what is important about each.
The title must immediately capture the attention of journalists. Think about what kind of headlines you would click on. This will help you with the headline for your press release. It is important to use keywords in the title. If you can’t use a keyword then at least try to incorporate a message into the title.
The sub-header is the beginning of a story. It should start with alliteration or another special wording and must convey something about the news you wish to report, not just that you are releasing a press release. It should be able to stand on its own. It can be humorous, controversial, or informative. It can even be negative or hostile if the point you are trying to make is strong enough. If it is offensive, ask friends and colleagues to look it over and let you know if they would have a problem reading it in the paper.
Your teaser paragraph is the beginning of the story. It should give a few lines about the story and what it means to you personally. It should be positive, encouraging, positive, and upbeat. The important thing is to give a good first impression and make sure that your reader continues reading to discover more information. It’s very important that you try to avoid negative or controversial first sentences.
Image or Logo
The image of your company should reflect your company’s qualities. There are companies that use symbols, images, or specific logos to associate themselves with their products. This is not always the best strategy. The first thing that people tend to do when they see the image is looking for a caption or name. Instead, use the image to make immediate contact with the reader so they immediately identify with your company’s values and mission. An example might be a company that uses images of cute animals as if it makes them more cuddly.
Summary of your project or idea
Your press release should summarize the purpose of your project and what you have to offer. If you’re in the business of providing services use a description in bullet-point style, if it is a product use a description that gives information on what it is and why it is important. It is important your information is concise, but don’t cut out any important facts. Remember this is a news story to be read by journalists and they need all the facts they can get.
Contact information for further queries and information from the media
Make sure that you have all of your contact information in one place. Include your name and title (if applicable), email address, phone number, address (including zip code), and website. This section should give information on where to find more information, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and website links. In some cases, you may wish to include your full name, address, phone number, and fax number.