Who, where, what, when, why

Have you got something to shout about? Want to send out a press release, but not sure where to start? Writing a press release isn’t as simple as it sounds.

Some clear rules apply to press releases, from structure to angles. Not only has your content to be newsworthy and engaging, it also needs to be in a format which makes it easy for journalists to use. Keep your copy tight, your sentences punchy and get your facts right. Oh, and ideally you need to tell your story in less than 500 words.

Sound complicated? Use this list as a starting point:

  • Is there news value in this story? What’s the human interest angle? How will it impact individuals?
  • What’s the audience and what do they need to know? You might want to put out different versions of your release depending upon which channel you’re targeting.
  • What’s my headline? Keep it simple and make it a hook into the rest of the story. Journalists are pelted with emails – you need to make yours stand out.
  • How’s my first paragraph? This is all important and needs to contain the salient information, including key facts and figures.
  • Have I got the structure right? Present your information in the right way and you’re halfway there to getting your release published.
  • Do the quotes add interest and information? Too bland, or too over the top, and they won’t be included.
  • What images am I including with this release? These should be high quality and clearly captioned.
  • What’s the timescale? Is this for immediate release or under embargo? Can I meet the print deadlines of my target publications?
  • Is my boiler plate doing what it needs to? If a journalist can’t get hold of the right information or the right person to speak to, they may well drop the story. Make sure your boiler plate template is up to date and includes the relevant contact details.

Writing press releases isn’t for everyone. If you’d like us to help you out, give us a call on 01452 379 980 or email us at hello@energycreative.co.uk

Who where what when why