Posted on June 28, 2013 · Posted in General

This is something any small business owner should know how to do. It might be that you eventually hire a public relations company to take charge of your PR but having this knowledge is great for those smaller news stories that need to be sent to the press.


You’ll need a headline that catches a journalist’s attention. There’s the risk of being too vague here, make sure you clearly explain what the release is about but give it enough of a hook that the journalists will want to read on.

Opening paragraph

This is the most important part of a press release. You need to be able to tell the reader everything they need to know in just a few sentences. Journalists are very busy people and don’t have time to read an entire release to get the gist of the story.

The basis of the first paragraph should be the five Ws (where, what, why, when and who).


Don’t use any over-the-top, flowery language. Keep your sentences short, simple and to the point. When people read the news, especially online, they want to get the information in as few words as possible.

A PR campaign can really benefit your online presence. Take a look at this article about Richard Schaeffer Liquid Holdings, for example.


These usually come in the form of bullet points and are easily scannable. This is another opportunity for the journalist to take in some important details from your release without too much effort.

Notes to editors

This section of the press release should give a bit more information about the brand. Include a web address where relevant.

Give some details of the brand even if it doesn’t relate to the story at hand. For example if you are writing a release about a new product you should include some details here about previous products, awards and the parent company.

Press contact

Make sure you let journalists know whom they can get in contact with should they need quotes, images or further details. Include an email address and a telephone number.

What’s next?

When you’ve written your press release you should distribute it to the press. You can find the details for most publications and blogs on their websites. It might also be worth uploading the release to a few news wire sites. A lot of these will ask you to pay for certain services but the basic uploading of a press release tends to be free.

Send the release to specific journalists who might be genuinely interested in the story. Try not to be too generic in your email and perhaps tailor the press release to specific genres of press. This is the best way to get a good response.

Don’t pester journalists but feel free to call them to ask if they are interested in the story. Most will be in touch if they are but a short, polite phone call can often be a good reminder for them. It’s also a good chance to offer further information or images.