What Are The Key Components of a Press Release?
Press releases are designed to inform the public know of company developments, which can be key to garnering coverage by the media.
When constructing a press release, it is important it looks professional by adding elements like a headline, subhead and date line. By adding these key components as well as making the press release relevant, this will make journalists’ lives easier and lead them to use your press release and many others in the future.
- Headline and subhead: This is a requirement in any kind of writing — Start Strong! A few things to keep in mind — make it brief and to-the-point, use keywords related to the subject to increase search-ability and include a good overview — if these points are well-developed, an editor is more likely to read more of the release.
The sub-head provides a one-phrase summary of the release with a little bit more description than the headline, which helps the editor understand the content.
- Date Line: Used in between the sub-head and the first paragraph, the date line includes the date, the city and state where the press release has been issued.
- First Paragraph: The beginning of the release explains the who, what, when, where and why your reader should care about your press release, often referred to as the “five W’s” of press release writing.
- Keep It Simple! Avoid using unnecessary adjectives, flowery language or redundant expressions. If you can tell your story with fewer words, do it. Wordiness distracts from your story. Keep it concise. Make each word count.
- Boilerplate: In five to six sentences (or fewer), describe the company, products, services and a short company history. Include the contact information for the subject you are writing about in your release.
- Know Your Audience: Research the reporter or department to where you’re sending your release. Get familiar with what they have written and their area of coverage. This will help you better target your release or editorial pitch.
Once you put all of this information together, you’re ready to send out your press release to media contacts and look forward to your release being covered in the news.