Press Release Structure Guide

Basic structure to follow:

  • At the start: Type PRESS RELEASE and the date at the top of the page.

  • Headline: Catchy and attention-grabbing, this sums up what the press release is about.

  • Sub-heading: Possibly a sub-heading to add a bit more relevant information and encourage the reader to read on.

  • First paragraph: All the important information should be in this first paragraph, as editors cut from the bottom of the release if they need to reduce the word count. This paragraph should tell the journalist exactly what the news is. If it is not clear in this paragraph what the press release is about, then the journalist will probably not read on.

  • Second paragraph: More information (possibly statistics) to back up the first paragraph.

  • Subsequent paragraphs: More interesting and relevant information – including why this is of interest to the target audience. Use statistics or interesting facts. Also, try to use quotes here.

  • Last paragraph: Sum up.

  • At the end: Type -Ends- at the very end of the press release text. Also type: For more information, please contact…[give name, phone number and email address].

 

Other useful pointers:

  • Use 1½ line spacing.

  • Aim for one side, but definitely no longer than two sides, of A4.

  • Keep it as short as possible – less is definitely more. Use a punchy writing style.

  • Remember that the newspaper has complete editorial licence – they are not obliged to print all of your news release (or even any of it!) They may edit it down significantly. Know the difference between ‘editorial’ and ‘advertising’. The former is printed free of charge and it is entirely up to them what they choose to include. The latter is the only way in which you have control over what they print, because you are paying for it. Editorial has potentially the greatest value in the reader’s eyes, as they see it as the view of the newspaper and not a paid for advert.