The Anatomy of a Press Release and What it Contains

The Anatomy of a Press Release

A press release is a newsworthy document generally used to pique the interest of other publications or targeted media outlets. Press releases – which are usually written in third person – must contain at least six crucial bullet points (who is the story about? what is the story referring to? where is the event taking place? when is the event taking place? why is story relevant? how is this story relevant to the publication?) A press release must also contain relevant quotes, as it should feel like a story from a local newspaper.

What Goes at the Beginning of a Press Release?

In general, Public Relational (PR) professionals are in charge of writing press releases. Before the PR team tackle the body of the article, they must address what the press release is about in the headline. In addition, the company logo, the date of release, the contact information, and the sub-heading must go before the body of the article.

The items that should be listed before the body of the article are:

  • Logo: If your company has a logo, please place it at the top of your document
  • Identify the Release Type: What type of release is this? (ex: PRESS RELEASE, NEWS RELEASE)
  • Contact Information: List your first & last name, your company name, your job title, your phone number, and your e-mail address
  • Headline: It is imperative that your title grabs the reader’s attention
  • Sub-heading: This should be longer than your main heading. In one sentence, explain what your press release is about
  • Date of Release: When was the release issued? When was the release published?

What Goes in the Body of a Press Release?

  • Introductory Paragraph: The first paragraph must address who, what, when, where, why, and how of the press release. It is recommended to write a “hook” to capture the reader’s attention. Also include a URL, if available.
  • Body Paragraphs: Just like an essay, the body should contain 3-5 paragraphs. Write the most important information in the first couple paragraphs, and then the least important information in the last couple paragraphs.
  • Concluding Paragraph: Reiterate your contact information in your final paragraph.

How to Conclude a Press Release?

All press releases end with a ### or “–end–”. Press releases that are longer than a page require information, essentially placing a “–more–” tag on Page One.

TOPIC: The Anatomy of a Press Release