How to Write an Effective Press Release – 9 Top Tips

  • Who? Who it’s about, who does it affect?
  • What? What is your news, what is it you want to tell people?
  • When? When is this happening?
  • Where? Where is it taking place (and be precise)?
  • Why? Why is this important, and why do people need to know about it?

Quote somebody, but not just anybody

You want to add credibility to your story and back it up with relevant quotes from someone in the know. A press release with quotes will stand out much more than one that doesn’t – and again it saves the journalist from making a phone call to get them.

But don’t just quote anybody, otherwise it could come across simply as PR guff. It wants to be someone directly related to the story – and that doesn’t always mean the MD or CEO.

Too often, quotes from the “suits” just come across as staid and stuffy, and are included purely to acknowledge their presence. It isn’t always about them.

Of course, if they genuinely have something worthwhile and relevant to say, then fair enough. Just don’t quote someone for the sake of it, they’ve got to add insight, a further explanation or express an opinion.

Use supporting images

If you have pictures related to you story, be it your product, your office, a key figure, then send them, because your press release stands more chance of being used if it includes supporting images.

If you don’t have any, see if you can get some taken. Or source something relevant from elsewhere, there are plenty of royalty-free image websites out there.

Always provide a caption with your images, and if there are several people included on a photo, ensure they are named from “left to right”.

When you attach your pictures, make sure they are low-resolution otherwise it will only make your file larger and take longer to send, and it will also clog up your recipient’s inbox, which is something they won’t appreciate.

Websites mostly use low-res images anyway, but if it’s a newspaper or magazine who want to print your pictures, make sure you have told them that high-res versions are also available on request.

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