A Press Release by any other Name

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Despite the online revolution and some minor modifications, a press release is still a press release. Whether it is distribution by calling up reporters to pitch them, or by using an online distribution service, there are still certain structural and writing formats, and they must be followed.

. . . the order of the content must follow a “reverse pyramid” structure, with the most newsworthy material up front.

The rules start with the headline. It is generally a good idea to include your client’s name and, if applicable, the name of the product right up front. You can use a subhead to include other pertinent details.

The nature and order of the content differentiates the press release from other short publicity documents. The press release itself must contain only facts, leaving opinions or other superlatives for the quote (generally from the CEO in the third paragraph).

Moreover, the order of the content must follow a “reverse pyramid” structure,  with the most newsworthy material up front. The details can be filled in towards the middle and end sections of the release.

To write a good press release, you must think like a reporter. What developments will be of interest to the readers? What is the actual news in the press release? Or is it just a promotional document? Following the structural tips above will help you to focus on the news and increase the likelihood of publication.

Finally, one of the most neglected areas in press release submission involves graphic support. Press releases with a relevant graphic will improve the likelihood of publication as well as achieving a more prominent location.