Notified Blog

Press Release 101

Imagine this scenario: Your organization has exciting news to share with the world. It could be a big achievement, a new product launch or a special milestone.

How can you ensure your news gets to the right people, informs your audience and builds trust? The key lies in the art of crafting and distributing a press release.

In this blog, we’ll look at what a press release is, why releases are so important and how mastering press releases can drive business results.


What Is a Press Release?

A press release is an official statement a company or organization sends to the media to provide information or make an announcement.         

An organization's public relations (PR) team commonly crafts press releases. Typically, these documents span only one to two pages, providing clear and easily understood details.

Incorporating press releases into PR and marketing strategies offers numerous benefits. Most notably, press releases provide an excellent opportunity to foster connections with the media – which is important for any business.

Here are more reasons why distributing press releases are so important:

  • Expanded Reach: Share your stories with a broad audience.

  • Media Relations: Build relationships with journalists and media outlets.

  • Credibility: Establish your organization as a trustworthy information source.

  • Products/Services: Promote your company or brand.

  • SEO: Contribute to improved search engine ranking.

Now that you understand their importance, let's explore the best practices for how to write press releases.

How To Write a Press Release: What Should You Include?

While there's no fixed-formula for release content, certain occasions help define your focus and decide what information should be included.

Popular types of releases include:

  • New product/service launch

  • Mergers and acquisitions

  • Events

  • Partnerships

  • Rebranding

  • Executive promotions/hires

  • Awards

However, the best releases do contain the following elements to ensure clarity and consistency. Here's a recommended format for writing an effective press release:

  • Logo: Place the logo of your company at the top of the document, usually justified to the right or left.

  • Embargo: The embargo statement is typically placed at the top of a press release before the headline. It indicates whether the business wants the news to be published immediately or later date.

  • Headline: Craft a compelling and attention-grabbing headline in bold and larger font size. The headline should concisely convey the core news or announcement.

  • Dateline: Provide the city and state (or country) of the press release's origin, followed by the release date in parentheses. For example: "New York, NY (Month Day, Year)."

  • Lead Paragraph: Write a concise and informative opening paragraph that summarizes the most important details of the press release. It should answer the who, what, when, where, why and how questions.

  • Body: The main content of the press release follows the lead paragraph. Organize the body into logically structured and well-paragraphed sections. Include essential information, quotes from key individuals, statistics and relevant details to support your news. Include multimedia to bring your story to life.

  • Quote: Adding a quote to the press release offers valuable perspectives and enhances credibility. They are often attributed to key figures within the organization - including executives, spokespeople or experts in the relevant field.

  • Boilerplate: At the end of the press release, include a brief boilerplate paragraph that provides an overview of your company or organization.

  • Media Contact Information: Include your contact information below the release date or at the bottom. This typically consists of the name, title, phone number, email address and company name of the press contact. Journalists should be able to easily reach you for further inquiries.

Remember to keep your press release concise, focused and well-written. Follow any specific formatting and style guidelines preferred by your target media outlets or distribution platforms for the best results.

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What Should You Avoid in a Press Release?

While it’s important to know what to include, it’s also critical to avoid certain pitfalls when crafting your release.

Here are the top things to avoid:

  • Jargon and Buzzwords: Avoid jargon, buzzwords and excessive technical details.

  • Excessive Hype: Avoid overly sensational or exaggerated claims. Stick to the facts and maintain credibility.

  • Lengthy and Complex Sentences: Keep sentences concise and straightforward.

  • Lack of News Value: Ensure your press release contains genuinely newsworthy information. Avoid issuing press releases for routine or trivial updates that may irritate journalists.

  • Irrelevant Information: Stay on topic and avoid including unrelated information or unnecessary background details.

  • Incomplete Contact Information: Make sure your contact information is complete and up to date, making it easy for journalists to reach out for more details.

  • Inadequate Formatting: Ensure your press release is well-formatted, with appropriate headings, bullet points and paragraphs. A cluttered appearance can deter readers.

  • Factual Inaccuracies: Double-check all facts and figures to ensure accuracy. Incorrect information damages your credibility.

  • Ignoring Legal and Compliance Issues: Be aware of legal and regulatory requirements that may apply to your press release, especially if your company is publicly traded.

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can create press releases that are more effective, more engaging and more likely to grab the attention of journalists.

Get FREE press release templates from Notified.

TOP TIP: Use the inverted pyramid writing style, placing the most important information in the lead paragraph and gradually providing less crucial details as the press release progresses.

How To Distribute a Press Release

Distributing a press release involves getting your news to the right audience – including journalists, editors and the public.

When you distribute a press release, you should choose the channels that best suit your purpose, audience and budget.

Some of your options include sending your release directly to journalists or editors utilizing a press release distribution service (such as GlobeNewswire), posting it on your website/blog or sharing it on your social media channels.

Here's a step-by-step look at how to effectively distribute a press release:

  • Identify Your Target Audience – Research, segment and prioritize specific groups of people or entities you aim to reach.

  • Create a Media List – Make a list of journalists, editors and bloggers who cover topics related to your industry (Notified’s Media Contacts Database can help).

  • Select Distribution Channels – Choose the methods and platforms through which you will deliver your content.

  • Use a Press Release Distribution Service – Consider using a newswire or PR agency to help get your news in front of more people.

  • Post on Your Website – Publish your press release on your company's website so that anyone can easily find it.

  • Share on Social Media – Share your release on your social media channels to reach a wider audience.

  • Monitor and Follow Up – Keep an eye on media coverage and engagement with your press release. Be prepared to respond to inquiries from journalists or media outlets.

  • Track and Analyze Results – Use tools such as newswire analytics to measure the success of your release. This will help determine what worked well and what you can improve for the future.

Remember: The effectiveness of your press release depends on the quality of your content, the relevance of your news and the strength of your media relationships.

How to Email a Press Release to Journalists

You can also share your press release with journalists via email. Sending a release this way requires a strategic approach.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to send press releases to journalists:

  1. Identify the Targeted Journalists – Choose the journalists from your media contacts database and build your list for outreach.

  2. Write an Engaging Email Subject Line – Make sure your email subject line is clear, concise and attention-grabbing.

  3. Personalize Your Pitch – Craft a personalized email that introduces yourself, your company and the significance of the news.

  4. Format Your Email – Ensure your email is well-structured, easy to read and free of typos.

  5. Copy the Press Release in the Email Body - It's best to copy and paste your press release in the body of the email. Journalists may not open attachments due to concerns about viruses or malware.

  6. Send Emails Individually – Send your pitch emails individually to each journalist.

  7. Choose the Right Time - Journalists prefer weekdays, especially Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays for receiving press releases.

  8. Follow Up – If you don’t hear back, follow up with one polite and concise reminder email after sending the initial pitch.

  9. Respect Deadlines - Pay attention to journalists' deadlines and publication schedules.

  10. Be Available for Interviews - Be responsive and available for interviews or additional information.

  11. Maintain Relationships - Building and maintaining relationships with journalists over time can increase the likelihood of your press releases getting noticed and your news getting picked up.

Don’t forget - journalists are bombarded with press releases on a daily basis. To increase the likelihood of your news being covered, it’s essential to write a persuasive pitch, personalize your interactions and respect time and deadlines.

What Is a Boilerplate in a Press Release?

In a press release, a "boilerplate" is a standardized, brief section at the end of the release that provides essential background information about the company or organization issuing the press release.

It’s standardized copy, so you often see the same paragraph concluding every press release issued by the company. This ensures consistency and makes it easy for journalists to access background information.

Here's what a typical boilerplate includes:

  • Company Overview: A concise description of the company's history, mission and core activities. This provides context for readers who may not be familiar with the organization.

  • Key Facts: Relevant facts about the company, such as its founding year, headquarters location, key executives and the industries or markets it serves.

  • Achievements: Notable achievements, awards or recognitions received by the company that lend credibility and authority to its statements.

  • Website and Contact Information: The company's website URL and an individual’s contact information, including an email address and phone number, so that journalists can easily reach out for further inquiries.

Thank you for reading! We hope this article proves to be beneficial when writing your next press release.

Use GlobeNewswire Distribution for Your Press Releases

GlobeNewswire distributes press releases and multimedia content on behalf of thousands of clients every year, including growing businesses, agencies, non-profits and many of the world’s largest public companies.

We have options to fit your specific needs and our 24/7/365 editorial services are second to none. You can also take advantage of our AI Press Release Generator to safely and securely streamline content creation.

Learn more today!

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