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Posted on 06.07.2016

3 Steps to Writing a Press Release Reporters Will Want to Read

Press releases are written with the intent of sharing news on a particular topic with your target audience through the media. Because the means of getting your message across is the media, it’s important to develop press releases with the reporter and editor in mind.

Here are three steps to do just that:

1.Determine your Announcement

First, ask yourself if your announcement is newsworthy. If not, it’s unlikely it will generate media interest. Some popular press release topics include:   

  • New product or service
  • Research/survey findings
  • Industry trends/predictions
  • Company/executive award or appointment
  • New hire/change of ownership
  • Company anniversary or milestone
  • Company rebranding
  • Company relocation
  • Event sponsorship
  • Charitable donation
  • Contest or sweepstakes

2.Get to the Point

Perhaps the most important aspects of your press release are the headline and leading paragraph. Catch the reader’s attention with a compelling headline and follow it with the key facts – who, what, where, when and why.

3.Tell Your Story

The rest of your release should provide enough information for reporters to write a story about your announcement. For the best result, write as if you are the reporter telling the story. That being said, it should contain at least one of the following components of a meaningful story:

  • Prominence: Is there a well-known person, place or event connected to your announcement?
  • Timeliness: Did the news take place yesterday or last month? Stories lose interest if too much time has passed.
  • Oddity: Is there something unusual or shocking about your announcement?
  • Human Interest: Will your story provoke an emotional reaction?
  • Impact: Who is impacted by your announcement and how so? The number of people affected and seriousness of an event impact a story’s newsworthiness.

Incorporate quotes from key stakeholders in your company to add a unique perspective to the narrative. Use quotes to add color and emphasis to the facts of your announcement, or to express an opinion about the news and its impact. And write it like real people talk – a quote shouldn’t be jargon-laden or stiff.

Finally, remember to always write like a journalist by following AP Style. (Did you know the 2016 AP Stylebook launched last week? Check out Dana’s blog on the latest AP Styles guidelines.)


Sam Prichard is a Senior Account Executive at Lovell Communications. Connect with Sam at Sam@lovell.com or @sammyprichard.

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