How to Create the Ultimate Press Release

Do you have exciting news to share about your business, but you’re not sure where to start to get it out there? Don’t worry – we’ve created the ultimate guide to help you understand the structure of a press release to help you move forward. 

 

When sharing exciting news, the press typically likes it in a certain format. If it’s not clear and isn’t easy to read, no matter how good your story is, journalists may not be interested in publishing your story as it will take a lot of time for them to get the story right. 

 

With lots of press releases landing in their inbox every day, journalists are very frugal in their decisions of which press releases get published and which ones don’t. That’s what makes it so important to get the right press release created to give you the best chance of your news being published.

 

In this article, we’re going to talk about press releases, how to structure them, and key things to consider when sending them out for publishing.

 

Sound good? Great! Let’s dive into it. 

Our latest press release, celebrating 1 year as an #SBS winner

What is a press release?

 

When reaching out to journalists, there is a good format that you can use to make sure your story is as appealing as can be before they even read it. This is known as a ‘press release’, which comes from the term ‘press’ (deriving from the term used in a newspaper) and ‘release’ (to release your story to the world).

 

A press release is usually around 300-700 words and is direct to the point of the story. Anything more than this is usually seen as too long, and anything less than this is usually seen as too short. Therefore, it’s important to get the right detail into the right number of words.

 

So how do you do that? 

 

That’s where our handy press release structure comes into play. This structure is great for being flexible in your press release, so do make sure your story doesn’t get cut short or miss important details for the structure below.  

 

How to structure a press release

 

So, you’ve got some great news for your business, and you’re ready to share it out. Great! Here’s the structure to guide you into creating a great press release.

 

For Release

 

The first thing your press release should include is when you’d like it to be published. For small businesses, the sooner the better is often the case, which is where you’d put ‘For Immediate Release’ at the top of the press release. 

 

Otherwise, specify the date you’d like the press release to be published. 

 

Headline

 

Your headline needs to be short and snappy, but most importantly, attention-grabbing It needs to have a hook to get the reader to want to learn more and read your press release, and the first person to read it will be a journalist. If they aren’t hooked and want to learn more, why would they want to publish it? That’s why it’s so important to have a clear, catchy headline.

 

Here’s an example of one of ours:

 

Headline - 1 Year On; Lincolnshire Business Success Recognised by Theo Paphitis

 

This headline is the one we went for as it clearly explains the press release with a good hook but doesn’t give too much away. 

 

Here are some headlines that didn’t make the cut: 

 

  • Sentry Collective Looks Back on #SBS Award
  • One Year Later: Lincolnshire Business Looks Back on Latest Award
  • How Sentry Collective Changed After Becoming an #SBS Winner

 

Do you see the importance of a catchy headline?

 

Leading Sentence

 

Almost like a subheading, your lead sentence should be just as catchy as the headline but compliment it and hook your readers in further. 

 

Again, here’s ours: On the 14th of September, 2020, Sentry Collective were officially announced as #SBS winners. Read on to learn about how the award has helped their business and how they made the most of the opportunity.

 

Summary Bullet Point(s)

 

Summary bullet points allow you to add a couple of key pointers to your press release. They aren’t always needed, but they’re a good way of summarising key points of information in your press release if needed. 

 

Try to keep to three or less if you can. 

 

Introductory Paragraph

 

This is where you introduce the topic of your press release. Your audience should be invested to learn more from your gripping heading and lead sentence, and this started to fulfil their desire to learn more. Try to explain the full story here, but keep it short and sweet. You can then use the further paragraphs to add extra details. 

 

Quote #1

 

This is a good place to introduce a quote. Your audience now knows about your news and what this means, so a quote here allows you to keep it personal and add some emotion. Why are you proud of this news? How does this news make you and your team feel? These are key things that you could include in your quote. Try to keep this one in the present tense – what does this mean to you right now?

 

Second Paragraph

 

Here you can continue to add more information into your press release. Continue to add more information about your chosen topic and include all important details you need to. 

 

Third Paragraph +

 

Some stories are longer than others, and it’s important to let them be that way! Add a third and even fourth paragraph if you feel this is needed to tell the story in full, but make sure to keep it short and snappy as you do. 

 

Quote #2

 

This quote should look to the future – what will this mean for your business? How will this help you move forward? These are a few examples of things that you could include in the second quote. Perhaps this could come from somebody else who is involved in the press release too to give an extra angle. 

 

Boilerplate

 

This is a standard on the bottom of all press releases that your company sends out. If you don’t have a boilerplate yet, it’s simply a set of sentences that explains what your business does to give a background to your company. As it’s included on the bottom of all press releases, take the time to make sure you’re happy with the one you have! 

 

Contact Details

 

Always include some contact details in your press release so that people can get in touch with you. It may be a new customer, or someone looking to cover your story in local media. You never know what the next opportunity could be! 

 

You should aim to include:

 

Name of Press Release Contact

Phone Number

Email Address

 

Disclaimer 

 

Press releases are a great way of sharing exciting news, however, they all vary in different ways due to the difference in the type of story. The above structure doesn’t guarantee a perfect press release every time, but it should help you to share your exciting news in a well-formatted way and give you some ideas of how to share your story. 

Here's our structure condensed into an easy graphic. 

Key press release considerations

 

There are some important things to consider when creating a press release, which we have highlighted below. Please note this list isn’t exclusive, so do take some time to make sure you get everything right!

 

Intellectual Property

 

If you’re including images, quotes, or other content in your press release, make sure you don’t take anybody else’s work incorrectly. Always ask for permission and make sure it’s OK for you to use their content. Even with permission, it’s good to link back to the original source to show credit. 

 

Write in third person

 

Although it may feel strange, write in the third person for your business. 

 

Here’s an example:

 

First-person: We are celebrating our one year as #SBS winners ❌

Third-person: Sentry Collective are celebrating their one year as #SBS winners ✅

 

Triple-check your spell-checks and proofreads

 

Do as many spell-checks and proofreads as you feel necessary – we’d say two minimum. Also, after creating your press release, give it a day before you re-read over it. If you read it just after you’ve written it, you’ll often read what you want it to say and not read it for what it actually says. Give your brain time to relax and come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes. 

 

The best way to make sure it reads well is to get a second pair of eyes to read over it, so consider a trusted connection who you would be happy to share your press release with before it goes out to check over it. 

 

Keep quotes from being cliches

 

Avoid phrases like ‘we are delighted’ – be specific add extra value with your quote. For example, share how it makes you feel, or dive into statistics as to how this news is substantial.  

 

Formatting

 

Make sure your document is formatted well and is easy to read. Journalists are so busy, so unless they’re gripped and it’s easy to read, chances are they’ll move on to the next thing in their inbox. 

 

The time you send it out

 

Journalists are very, very busy people, and so are their inboxes. It’s important that you send your press release at a time that they are most likely to see it arrive in their inbox so you have the best chance of it being picked up. 

 

Based on information by prowly.com, a good time to send your press release is between 10:00 and 14:00 on a Thursday. 

 

Why? 

 

Because early mornings and late evening are usually busier for journalists, these are times when your press release is more likely to be missed. Additionally, Wednesdays and Fridays are typically the worst days for engagement (excluding weekends), whereas Thursday is often the best.  

 

The best time to send a release, however, always depends on your industry, media outlets, and other factors, but Thursday between 10:00 and 14:00 is a great time to get started.

 

Publish on your website

 

Make sure you publish your press release on your website. This way, you can share it on social media channels, link to it in your blog, and others can share it too! 

 

Consider connections

 

Do you know anybody who could share the press release to their network? They don’t have to be a media outlet to help – as long as they’re happy to share your news to their network that helps you get eyes on your press release! 

 

Don’t be disheartened

 

If you send your press release to media outlets but don’t hear back and it doesn’t get published, don’t feel disheartened by this. The important thing is you have exciting news for your business – how great is that! Try and learn from it and use it to go forward with any future press releases you do.

 

How Sentry Collective helps businesses with their press releases

 

As content creators, we specialise in creating content that is engaging for the reader. Many companies opt for the support of content creators like us with their press releases, so get in touch today to share your exciting news and we’ll help you create a press release to help you shout about your news in a way that’s worth your audience reading. Contact our team today for more information! 


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