Back to the Basics: PR Press Releases

So for this Saturday I’m going take you back to the basics with PR press releases. A press release is a major responsibility for PR practitioners to write for their client or company. Its had many different titles over the years from news releases to press statements. But basically a press release is a written document that is provided to the media that contains information about a certain subject to be announced to the public.

Here is an example of an event press release I wrote for my class client, a wedding company.

When you begin to write your press release it’s important to include the following items.

1. Contact information.
2. Headline and sub headline.
3. Answer the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How in your lead paragraph (This helps the media to quickly understand the purpose of the press release).
4. Consider adding a quote about the topic from a key company figure. This can be helpful for reporters to add to their story.
5. Company bio.
6. And always remember to write everything in order of importance!

Here is a link to a press release template that might be helpful for you.

In order to quickly spread the information in your press releases, consider adding some of the information to company’s social media channels. This will help to inform your current public about the company news, while the media can help to reach out to a new audience.

Now if you’re new to writing press releases or you want a refresher course here is some advice to improve on your PR writing skills.

• Write different types of press releases (events, sales, products, new hires, retiring company officials, etc.) this will help you to become familiar with new subjects. After all you never know when you might have to write on a topic out of your comfort zone!
• Choose topics that have been in the media recently, and write your own press release version. Or take a product you are familiar with and write a press release on that item. The purpose is to stay current and keep familiar with events that are happening.
• Ask a friend, family member, or teacher to look over a press release you wrote to see if they can understand the topic completely. If they are still left confused, then go back and rewrite it with a clearer mind-set.
• Don’t force yourself to write if you can’t. As writers, you will experience “writers block” try focusing your attention on something else or relax. Then when you return to the task, it might be easier to form your thoughts together.

Well that’s it for today! I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts about press releases or what you enjoy or hate about them. Please comment below with your thoughts!


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