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Press Release Writing Tips by Evertise AI PR

Lessons from the first-ever press release


A former journalist named Ivy Lee wrote the first-ever press release on behalf of his client, the Pennsylvania Railroad, in response to a 1906 train wreck. To ensure that the media had accurate information about the accident, he wrote a statement, and the New York Times ran his release verbatim.


The very first press release teaches 2 key things about what they should always provide:


  1. Timely background on a compelling story
  2. Impartial, factual details that allow for honest coverage

Press releases have grown and changed in a variety of ways over the years, and they have proven to be a vital tool for many businesses and organizations. Yet, these two key lessons have persisted to this day.




Best Tips To Write A Press Release



Press releases are a vital tool for communicating your news, achievements, and opinions to the media and the public. They can help you generate publicity, enhance your reputation, and attract new customers. But writing a good press release is not as easy as it sounds. You need to craft a clear, concise, and compelling message that grabs attention, conveys your key points, and motivates action. Here are some tips on how to write better press releases.


  • Write a clear, captivating headline. Your headline should convey the point of your story and capture your recipient’s attention. Think about the headlines of articles in the publication you’re writing to and try to craft something similar.
  • Include the date and your location. Let the recipient know the date the press release is being issued (or the date of the event you’re notifying them about), as well as where your business is located. This helps establish its relevance.
  • Quickly tell them what they need to know. The opening paragraph should contain the five Ws, telling a journalist all the most important facts:
    • Who is this story about?
    • What is happening?
    • Where is it going on?
    • When will it occur?
    • Why is it important?
  • Then give more context. In the paragraphs that follow your introduction, include other details of the story in descending order of importance. Keep it simple and straightforward. Write about what you do and why you do it, but don’t write an exhaustive history of all that you’ve ever done.
  • Be honest and unbiased. Journalists won’t be fooled or amused by a press release claiming that your product or service is the “best.” Unless you’re notifying them about an award that entitles you to the claim, watch out for hyperbolic language. When in doubt, just state the facts.
  • Eliminate industry jargon. Make sure your press release isn’t laden with industry jargon that doesn’t mean anything to the average person. To check, ask a friend who isn’t in your field to read your release. If they find it boring or complicated, edit for clarity and conciseness.
  • Include relevant, colorful quotes. To add color to your press releases, include bold, purposeful quotes. If you are the business owner, it could be something in your own words, or you could include a quote from an employee who’s important to this specific news item. It can be personal and opinionated, but make sure you attribute the quote.
  • Sign off appropriately. This part of the release differs depending on where you are in the world, but you should sign off in a way that indicates the press release is over. Some common options include ###, XXX, or -30-. Do a little research about what’s industry standard for the country where you’re sending the release.
  • Tell them who to contact (and how). At the bottom of the press release, be sure to include contact information for the person you’d like them to follow up with, whether that’s you or someone else in your business. Include a name, email address, and phone number. Also include URLs and social media handles for your business.
  • Summarize your business in a boilerplate. At the bottom of your press releases, include a short business biography, the equivalent of what you’d write on your website’s “About” page. This is called boilerplate text; it’s the information that rarely changes, but you should always make sure it’s still true before you send a new release.




Remove All Superlatives



This is probably the biggest mistake I’ve seen when it comes to writing a press realize so let’s just address it off the bat. A press release is not a marketing document. You should not be using superlatives in the release. It is not your job to tell the journalist how revolutionary the news is or how your product is going to disrupt a trillion dollar industry. Let the journalist reach that conclusion.


A press release, if done right, is as dry as a legal document. It should tell the story to the audience and should answer the question, “Why do I care?”


If your company raised money, for example, the release should include information like how much was raised, who invested, what that money will be used for, and how much money the company has raised to date.


The release should not include how huge the news is and how the company is changing the world.




Keep it Short and Sweet



This is a general rule of thumb with communication. Always assume that the recipient is busy and does not have time to read long texts. The press release should be brief and concise. It should tell the audience what the story is and why they should care.


The format of a press release is straightforward and easy to follow. It should include a title, a subtitle, a date, a location, a single page of text that should include a paragraph about the company.


Anything besides that is unnecessary.


The title should tell what to expect.


Unlike the subject of an email that’s intended to get me to open the email, the title of a press release should sum up the story.


“Company raises capital to expedite growth.” “Company signs strategic deal to bring its product to new geographies.”


Just tell what the story is and let me determine how significant it is.




Include A Relevant Quote About the News



Somewhere in the text, add a quote from the CEO or another executive. The quote should address the news and how that news will impact the company. The quote, like the release, should be short and sweet and should reflect the opinion of the executive.




Add Contact Information In The End



Remember the goal of this release is to convey important information to your intended audience. If someone goes over the release and wants to learn more, you want to get them that chance by telling them who to contact for more information.


Generally speaking, when writing a press release, always remember what the goal is and anything that doesn’t help you accomplish that goal should be avoided.


Adding contact information is a no-brainer and should allow the audience to inquire about the story in more detail.


Most of the guidelines of writing a press release are good to follow when communicating in general.


State your goal, keep it short, think of the other side, and don’t keep me wondering what you want.