Press release checklist: The ultimate step-by-step guide

  • Think of your first paragraph as your 30 second elevator pitch. Keep in mind you have a limited attention span and word count to make your message come across properly. Save a journalist valuable time by including the answers to the famous 5 W’s: who, what, where, when and why.
  • Dive into more details in your second and third paragraph. This part of your press release will give your story context and secondary details that allow a journalist to write their article. 
  • Mark the end of your press release with “###” centred above the boilerplate to indicate there is no further copy. 

Want to get a journalist’s perspective on your press release?[18] Check out our chat with Remy Ludo Gieling, Editor-in-Chief at Sprout and MT.

3. Writing style: keep it clean

  • It should go without saying but a golden rule in PR is show, don’t tell. Your press release should provide factual information about the product, person, or event that you are covering. Let journalists make up their mind about your news. Don’t overdo it with the adjectives and keep the fluff to a minimum. 
  • It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of breaking news inside your company. Before you get your creative juices flowing, ask yourself: How is this important to people outside of my organisation? Is this information newsworthy? To ensure that your news will get picked up by the right people, provide a captivating and unique angle through your press release. 

Many journalists appreciate a press release that follows AP style. This guide provides consistency in terms of spelling, punctuation, language use, formatting, and style of writing. Check out their guidelines here.[19]

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4. Boilerplate: AKA your ‘about’ info

Not everyone is familiar with your organisation. Therefore, it is important to give some background information with a short summary of what your company does at the end of a press release. 

Bonus tip: Purpose-led brands will be the only survivors in a new era of business – which is why showing readers the meaningfulness behind your work is always beneficial. Need some inspiration? Check out this article on brand activism on Unfold. [20]

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