How to Write a Press Release

How to Write a Press Release

The formatting for a press release is important, but if you want to get media coverage, content is more so.

First, be sure your news is "newsworthy". Ask yourself: "Why should anyone care?" For instance, an open house will get more notice and coverage if there is something "exciting" about it. Will someone famous be there? Are you partnered with a local charity who will benefit? Are you offering fabulous prizes? Are you celebrating some historical or current event? What is different or unique about your news?

Announcing a major renovation can be newsworthy -- perhaps you could target it toward local jobs created, or dollars spent on local products, or perhaps you had a famous designer select your new colors. Get creative and pick an angle. Always, tell the truth--reporters are skeptical and both you and the journalist must maintain credibility. Tell the good stuff, but be able to back it up.

Make sure you answer the "w" questions-who, what, where, when, and why. Make sure it reads like a news story, not like an advertisement. Write in a crisp, newspaper style--not a lot of flowery adjectives or tired clich├ęs. Be careful about using hotel jargon--believe it or not, the rest of the world has no idea what RevPar means.

Check your grammar, make sure you have more than one paragraph, and never send a hand-written press-release.

Quotes are great, by the way. If you quote anyone, get written permission, but putting a quote from your "celebrity" or the sponsor charity, or even your best customer, is a good idea. The beginning--headline and first paragraph--should tell the story. Flesh it out and add more details in the following paragraphs.

To Format Your Press Release:

At the top of the page, type:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (you can use all caps for this, mixed case for everything else).

Use a Headline--short, creative, catchy.

Then type City, State, Month Day, Year --i.e., Memphis, TN July 14, 2004 Contact: your name, phone number, email

Introductory paragraph--the who, what, where, when, why and how.

Second, third paragraphs--quotes, additional information.

Final paragraph: Summarize the information.

Then, put: For more information, contact:: and put your contact information. You can also add a line or two about your company--the slogan information, or your current unique sales point. Then, end with --30-- centered, or just type "The End".