A Quick Guide to Writing Press Releases [+ Templates Included]

If you want to stand out, you’ll have to be willing to create your own buzz at times. Facebook updates, Tweets, and Instagram Stories are great, but sometimes you’ll have to write more than just a 280-character tweet. By writing and publishing press releases whenever you have an important update or noteworthy event, you’ll not only connect with your target audience but also build valuable relationships with journalists, bloggers, influencers, and possibly even mainstream media outlets.

It might take a bit more effort, especially if you’re new to writing press releases, but it remains one of the most valuable channels for content marketing that can help you to generate leads. If you’re pressed for time, here are some tips and templates to help you get started with writing powerful press releases.  


A Quick Guide to Writing Press Releases [+ Templates Included]:


What is a Press Release?

A press release can go by a couple of names like press statement, media release, or press statement. Whichever name you prefer, it’s an official one-page announcement that a business shares with the news media about, for example, a product update, upcoming event, or merger.  

With a well-written press release, your business can gain valuable media coverage. What’s more, it can also increase awareness, communicate the values of your brand, boost traffic to your website and create outbound links which can help with SEO.  


How Do You Write a Press Release?

There’s no specific formula for writing press releases, but the consensus is that it should be two pages max. Here are a few key principles to follow: 

Use a powerful headline 

Your headline should evoke interest. Brevity is key. So, be sure to keep your language clear and include action verbs. If you’re familiar with writing blog post titles or email newsletter names, crafting a captivating headline that will grab the attention of journalists is nothing new. 

If you feel that you would first like to share a few extra details before your first all-important paragraph, you can also include a subheading. This is optional, but if you do decide to include one make sure that you keep the language clear like you’ve done when crafting your headline.  

Cover the most important info in the first paragraph

Your first paragraph should cover the who, what, when, where, and why. Start with the most critical information first. This way if readers don’t continue past the first few sentences, they at least have all the must-know details. 

In journalism, this succinct first paragraph that summarizes the most important details is called the lede. It typically follows the structure of an inverted triangle or reverse pyramid. In other words, the article progresses from the most critical information to the least important details. 

Include a quote 

After you’ve summarized the facts in the first paragraph, it’s a good idea to include a quote from a key figure in the business. It could, for example, be a member of the executive team or the person in charge of the specific project. This will help you to give more context behind the announcement and explain the possible impact on consumers or the industry. 

Offer background information

All the key information has already been shared in the first paragraph. This means that you can use the last part of your press release to add some value to your press statement. You can do this by, for example, briefly discussing potential future ramifications, how the project was developed, or relaying it back to a current event that your target audience will find interesting. 

The body of your press release should typically be restricted to 2-3 short paragraphs. As it’s aimed at the public, you should avoid industry-related jargon. Though, as a media organization will probably publish it, try to write it in a journalistic style by using third person (for example, he, she, they). This way, there will be fewer things that they first need to change which increases the chances of your press release getting published. 


Which Elements Should You Include?

Logo and contact details

As a press release is a chance to increase awareness about your branding, it’s a good idea to include the logo of your business at the top of the press release. Not only will it help with brand awareness, but it also makes it easy to identify who the writer is. 


Release date

When you send your press release to traditional distribution channels, it’s important that you make it clear when you would want it to get published. It’s best to send it a day or two earlier as opposed to making it available for immediate release. This way the distribution channels will have enough time to write a story about your press release. For this approach, the official PR term to use is “under embargo” which means that the information provided should be published only by a certain date. 


Boilerplate

The boilerplate refers to text that explains who your business is and what you do. It’s typically included in the last paragraph of your press release. Just like your headline, the language usage should be clear, straightforward, and succinct.  


End notation

Press releases are usually ended with “###”. No, it’s not supposed to be followed by trending hashtags in your niche. Instead, it simply indicates to the journalist that the press release has ended. It might sound old school, but this practice is still used widely today. 

How Do You Get Your Press Release Published? 

Unlike the regular content that you create for your business on an ongoing basis, you’ll need the help of a third party to get your press release published. From influencers to online newspapers, there are several avenues that you can explore depending on your industry. 


Contact a few journalists

The best approach is to identify a couple of journalists familiar with your industry or business. You can then include a personal note (or pitch) to your press release in which you explain how your press release is relevant to their niche. While it’s more convenient to send it via email, there’s nothing preventing you from sending it via post. In fact, it can be a good way to make sure your press release stands out among all the other emails. 

Also, by reaching out to a few journalists personally as opposed to sending it in bulk to hundreds, you can start to build a relationship with specific journalists making it easier to get future press releases published.

If a distributor agrees to publish your press release, see if you can request that they don’t publish your press statement on the hour. As most press releases get released on the hour, using a time like 2:16 p.m. will help you to stand out.

To give you an idea of how you can pitch your press release to relevant parties, you can adapt this template shared by CoSchedule, a leading social media management tool:

Hello,

[Organization] is getting ready for our launch of [Subject of Press Release]. We would love for you and [media publication] to run a story for us.

Attached is a press release and PSA that contains all of the information you would need to know about [Subject of Press Release].

If you have any questions or need additional information please feel free to contact me at [Phone] or [Email] at [Time] or [Time].

Thank you,

[Name]

Self-publish

If you don’t have any luck with traditional distribution channels like Business Wire and PR Newswire, you can always share your press release on your company’s website and social media platforms as well as email it to your subscribers. Even when your press release is published by a third-party distributor, it’s still a good idea to use your own social media channels to connect with your followers and subscribers.

After your press release is published, you can also share articles that were written based on your first press statement. This way, you can keep a sense of excitement going for longer.


 Press Release Templates

For announcing an event 

If you need to announce an event like a grand opening, you can customize this sample copy shared by Smartsheet, a software solution for work management. While this example is only the bare-bones, it’s a good example of how to structure the flow of information.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[Headline: {Company/Individual} Presents {Name and/or Description of Event}]

[City, State] – [Company/Individual] will present [Name of Event], taking place at [Location of Event] on [Date], and featuring [performers, guests, showcases, etc.].

[Company/Individual] is proud to bring [Name of Event] to [Location of Event] for [the first time, the tenth year in a row, etc.]. [Name of Event] will [further description of what will take place at event].

[More details about event, including ticket prices, if applicable, and where/how to purchase tickets]

[Quote from performer, guest, previous attendees, critics, etc.]

[Boilerplate about company/individual, event, and/or any prominent performers and/or guests]


For introducing a new product

If you need to announce a new product or service, you can use this press release template shared by HubSpot, a marketing, sales, service, and CMS software. It should be used only as a starting point that you adjust to match your goal, brand, and audience.  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: [Date]

[Contact Name] 

[Organization Name]

[Phone Number]

[Email]

[Press Release Title]

[Press Release Subhead (One Line Maximum)]

[City, State]: [Company name] today announced [name of new product/service], a new [product/service]. [Name of new product/service] is [description of product/service] and offers a new way for [target customer type] to [benefit or features].

“[Quote from higher-up in the company about the product/service],” says [name], [title] at [company]. “[Additional quote].”

Features and benefits of [product/service] include.

  • Benefit or feature #1
  • Benefit or feature #2
  • Benefit or feature #3

[Product/Service] will be available starting [availability date], at [price point]. For more information on [product/service], visit [URL of product page]. 

About [Company]: [3-4 sentence description of your company and its recent accomplishments, if applicable].

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common types of press releases?

There are several press release types that you can use as part of your outbound marketing strategy. Depending on the occasion, you can use a press release for:
- Events like grand openings
- New products 
- Acquisitions, mergers or new partnerships
- Product updates
- Rebranding
- Awards and accomplishments

What are the benefits of writing a press release?

A press release can help you to communicate important news about your company and help it to gain valuable media coverage. It can also be used to boost brand awareness, convey your brand values, increase traffic to your website, and create external links that are key for search engine optimization (SEO).

How many quotes should you include in a press release?

It’s best not to include more than 2 quotes in a press release. So, identify the most important key figures who are directly linked to the content of the press release. This is usually someone from the executive team or a project lead. The quotes that you decide to include should highlight the central message and share something about the stakeholder’s perspective.

How long should a press release be?

The majority of press releases are only 1-2 pages. Try to keep it between 400 and 500 words. Though, according to Cision, the average length of a press release is slightly longer – 686 words.

What are some tips for writing press releases?

One of the most important tips for writing a press release is to keep it brief. It applies to the headline, subheading (if you chose to use one), and the body. This means that you should include only crucial information to ensure your audience remains interested. While it should be succinct, you should avoid falling into the trap of simply listing the facts. Effective press releases have some kind of newsworthy angle that shows your audience why they should care about your announcement. 

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