Press release is considered an important public relations communication tool. In this era of increased business competition most firms rely on press releases to boost their company's visibility. Writing press releases is a significant role of a public relations officer in any organization. As such it is necessary to have a PRO who is well versed in how to write a press release. A good press release should in cooperate all the basic tenets of news writing such as news worthiness. Remember millions of companies compete for the attention of the news media, therefore make yours stand out.
Guidelines in writing a press release
Indicate when the press release should be published
As a public relations officer, you should know whether the press release is for immediate release or not. If not for immediate release then it's important to include the date and time. Also know the best days for sending out a release, Monday is not very appropriate as the press have so much to cover.
Start with the headline
The headline should be short, on point and attention grabbing. Ensure you it captures the essence of the press release. Normally headlines written in bold are easily noticed compared to using just plain text. Generally the headline should summarize the content of the press release , at times reporters just look at the headline and decide whether the release is newsworthy or not.
Write the body
The body should also not be unnecessarily long, at most five short paragraphs. Short paragraphs are easily read and the sentences do not run on too long. It is the body that should elaborate more on the headline. The body should therefore
Contain the 5w's plus H
The aspects of who, what, where, when, why and how should come out clearly. By explaining these factors, the news release gets its sense of news value. These basic news values will bring out how unique your company is compared to the rest.
It is vital to consider the knowledge of the target audience since they are your final recipients. Desist from use of words that are difficult for the general public to comprehend.
Include company contact
This is crucial for any press release; information about the company must be availed. This will help in case of any future feedback from your target audience. Feedback in turn helps you assess the level of interest your supposed publics have in your organization. After the contact conclude with three ### signs, this is considered standard by media houses.
Do not leave it upon the journalist to make corrections on your copy. Some facts may be misquoted, therefore proof read and do the editing yourself. Thereafter the copy can be submitted to the chief executive officer for approval and eventually emailed to the news room.
In addition to these guidelines the standard news release format should be followed in writing the press release. A PRO ought to not only know how to write a press release but also how to format it. The format of a press release will make it be accepted or rejected by the media.