The Anatomy of a Press Release
(EMAILWIRE.COM) A press release is a written statement about a product, service, event, an entity – a person or an organization. This written statement is presented to traditional media or distributed online. When a press release is distributed to media, it is hoped that a journalists will take the statement and formulate a story for a newspaper, magazine, television or online news site. When a press release is distributed online, the statement is published and is available to journalists, experts, businesses and consumers. The missive is available to everyone through search engines and news sites, aggregating and syndication services. A press release is considered newsworthy.
Whether a press release is sent to journalists or distributed online, it is considered newsworthy and comprises of a title, a subtitle, a body, about the company or organization, and contact information.
The title and subtitle of a press release tells the audience what the press release is about. The title should possibly answer the five Ws (Who What, When Why and How, and it should be 100 to 150 characters long. If your title does not answer the five Ws, the sub title should. If both title and subtle do not answer the five Ws, then you should include them in your introduction — first two paragraphs of your press release.
The introduction of your press release should have all the messages you want to convey. Journalists and online users, in most cases, may not have a lot of time to read all of your release. Getting them hooked in the introduction, keeps them reading. This method of providing most relevant information at the beginning of news presentation is known as inverted pyramid – the most important information is presented and the top and the importance of your message diminish as your releases moves into the body.
The body of a release expands your message. It should contain detail information about your message such as testimony or a quote from your customer or esteemed person from your organization. If you are writing about a product or service, state its characteristics and benefits for your audience.
As you state detail information in the body of your release, you elicit your audience to call you. In order for a journalist or online reader to reach you, you will have to provide them with contact information. Some people place contact information at the beginning of the news release, and some place it at the bottom.
If you are sending your news release to the media via the traditional method, place your contact information at the top left preceding the word “For Immediate Release.” If your press release is for online distribution, place your contact information at the bottom of your release.
In conclusion, a press release is a written statement that is newsworthy with the most important information presented in the title, subtitle and the introduction. This written statement is sent to journalists or media outlets so that they get in touch with you for more information. Today most press releases are published online. A press release should elicit calls. Placing contact information at the top or bottom enables journalists or online readers to reach you.
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