Press release is a written or recorded communication directed to the news media for purposes of announcing something newsworthy
The Internet has popularized the press release (PR) distribution industry, now making press release distribution more available to small businesses around the world. Once something that professional PR firms offered, many business owners did not known how to distribute them. However, in today’s technologically driven business world, business owners across the globe have access to major press release distributors online, making it easy and affordable.
PR’s are normally mailed, faxed or emailed to assignment editors and journalists at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, online media, TV stations and networks.
A standard format that is believed to be efficient and increase increase the odds of getting the publicity desired. Such format will help journalists press releases from other PR communication strategies, for example; pitch letters or media advisories.
A PR body should consists of 4 to 5 paragraphs with 400 to 500 words maximum. It is normal for PR’s to be 300 to 800 words.
Some more modern thoughts are to pitch the writer first with an approach specific to their beat.
Common structural elements include:
- Headline – grab the attention of journalists and summarize the news.
- Dateline – include the release date and the originating city. If a date listed is after the date the information was actually sent to the media, the the sender is requesting a “news embargo”, however, journalists are not obligated to honor.
- Introduction – the first paragraph should give the basic answers to the question of who, what, when, where and why.
- Body – additional explanations made, statistics, background or other details relevant to the news in the PR.
- Boilerplate – generally a short section about the topic, providing independent background on the issuing company, organization or individual.
- Close – “###” indicates the end of the PR.
- Media contact information – name, phone, email, mailing address or other important contact information for the PR or other media relations contact person.
Press releases are efficient and cost effective.
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