How to Write a Press Release – The Press Release Format

A press release aims to report in writing an event or another occurrence by a third party and is sent to news media so that it will be promoted. It is always written in the “third person”. A press release differs from a news article given that news report facts that are gathered and put together by journalists and are published specifically as news content. A press release, however, is not compiled by journalists, but sent to them or to media outlets (magazines, newspapers and TV stations) so that they develop news based on the release.

A press release can be more subjective than a piece of news, as the authors will follow their own promotional purposes through it. The business or person interested in sending a press release will sometimes use a press releases service so that a press release is written by the professional service to their benefit.

The press release format is fairly standard and should include:

1. “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE” or “HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL…” – One of these two will be written at the top left of the page, and should appear in upper case.

2. The headline – It will be created similar to the headlines in the newspapers. It must be suggestive for the content of the story, as good content writing is often not enough without good headline writing.

3. Location and date: city, state or country – month, day, year – These are details that must precede the story so that the reader knows where and when to locate the story

4. Body of the article – The actual story fits in the body of the article. More than one paragraph is recommended to be used, and paragraphs should be kept short for easy reading. When more than one page is needed for the press release, one will write “More” at the bottom of each page.

The first paragraph should be a strong introduction that can capture the attention of readers. It must include the most relevant information to the message, like “the five W’s”: Who? What? When? Where? Why? This paragraph is a summary of the press release.

The following paragraphs are more detailed than the summary one. Information from the first paragraph is developed upon here and quotes from key persons can be featured here, like staff or experts in the field. The ending paragraph should be a re-statement and a summary of the key points.

Using correct grammar is vital. Also, the facts presented must be accurate and the used angle must be made to be appealing to the journalists. Being concise is also important. A press release is best kept under 500 words.

5. Data about the business, person or organization – Here, background information about the business, person or organization that the press release is about will be offered. The reader must easily understand whom the release is about.

6. Contact details – A good press release also requires that a contact person be specified, the company name, phone number and/or fax, email address and postal address. If further information is needed by media that has received the press release, they can contact the author for questions.

7. ### or ENDS – This marks that the press release has ended. So that one is sure that no data has been lost in the delivery process, the number of words included in the press release can also be specified here so that it can be used for verification.

Press Release Format Sketch:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

SEO International and Virtual World announce merger

Albany, New York – April 7, 2013 – SEO International, SEO services and online marketing provider has announced today that it will merge with Virtual World, web design and web optimization services provider, effective August 22, 2013. Company officials are expected to meet with their employees later this month so that employee benefits be discussed.

SEO International expects it that this merger will bring a wider customer base. Clients in need of new websites expect a great design and functionality of their website, but also that their site be easily found by their target audience. That is why SEO services are also required by them and they will be able to obtain both all these from a single source starting with August this year.

The merger is to be to the advantage of the two companies but also of their clients’. More information about the merger of SEO International and Virtual World will be released at the beginning of August 2013, when most formalities will have been completed.

About SEO International

SEO International has been launched on the market in 2000 and is owned by Jamie Callahan. Based in Albany, New York, it has gathered important experience in SEO services during its years of existence. For more information, visit www.seointernational.com

About Virtual World

{the same kind of information as in “About SEO International. More details can be added.}

Contact

To learn more on the subject of the merger, please contact:

Name and Function

Address

Office number: …

Fax:…

you_re-mail@yourdomain.com

ENDS

Lately, the Internet has blurred the lines between news articles and press releases. A press release can be used by websites to promote the launch of new products or services and is published on those websites to spread out the news. They can also be part of SEO article writing, being built around keywords for website promotion purposes. All in all, though, a press release with its common press release format aims to reach media so that they report a particular message that a business or a person wants to be available to the public.

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