Chapter 9: Public Relations Writing

51 Writing the press release

Traditionally, press releases use the inverted pyramid style, which makes it easy for journalists and editors to receive the most essential information first. This means the news hook should be revealed in the headline and lead of the release. Journalists will not take your press release seriously if the content is not newsworthy and it is not written in an accepted style, such as AP style. Make sure that the press release contains attributed information with proper sources and is error free.

Before writing the release, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the announcement or event newsworthy? Does it appeal to the media outlet’s audience? Some announcements do not warrant a press release and can simply be posted on the company website.
  • What is the key message? What should the reader take away?
  • Who is the target audience for the release? Although you’re writing the release for the media, you need to keep in mind the kind of readers or listeners you hope to attract.

In this video, Gina Bericchia, senior media strategist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, discusses proper press release writing.

Discussion on Press Release Writing with Gina Bericchia

This article from Ragan Communications discusses when to send a press release to the media.


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Writing for Strategic Communication Industries Copyright © 2016 by Jasmine Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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