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  • Press release checklist

    • Assess if the story has news value and if a release is appropriate.
    • Research the target press and media. Review publications to get a feel for the tone and style. Identify deadlines.
    • Identify the key facts – ask who, what, why, where, when, how?
    • Draft a template structure for your story.
    • Decide who should be quoted from your organisation and if third-party quotes would be useful.
    • Check whether a photo can support the release.
  • What is the aim of a press release?

    • Your aim is to get coverage and raise awareness among your target audiences.
    • There are key elements that a journalist looks for in a story — and the human interest angle is key.
    • Do you have a human interest angle, and can you show that your news has an impact on people?
    • Release must be drafted along very clear guidelines designed to make it as easy as possible for journalists to use your material.
  • What should go into a press release?

    Answer the following questions about your news:

    • Who? Who are the key players — your company, anyone else involved with the product? Who does your news affect/who does it benefit?
    • What? What is new?
    • Why? Why is this important news — what does it provide that is different?
    • Where? Where is this happening/is there a geographical angle/is the location of business relevant?
    • When? What is the timing of this? Does this add significance?
    • How? How did this come about?

    • Write the answers then compile in short, punchy (no more than 25 words) sentences.

    • Getting benefits of your news across is key.
    • If you can capture the essence of the story in less than 50 words you’re on the right track.
    • First paragraph should be max 2 sentences, each 25 words or less.
    • Info needs to flow logically from the intro.
  • What angle should I focus on in the release?

    • Most important thing in a press release is to write for your target audience.
    • To do that you MUST know your target audience.
    • When thinking about your target audience, consider the knowledge they have about your product/company and the language they’ll understand.
  • How do I structure and present the release?

    Key ways to structure and present your press release are below:

    Timing — for immediate release or embargo?

    • Indicate at the top whether for immediate release or to be released on a given date.
    • Immediate release is preferred by journalists as it requires less planning.

    Give the release a title

    • Just as with any written piece, it will require a title.
    • Job is to grab attention and encourage the journalist to read more.
    • Double spacing and wide margins
  • How many paragraphs?

    • As few as needed to get the point across.
    • Avoid waffle and keep the copy as tight as possible.
    • Key information needs to be put in the first paragraph
    • Test of Success: Can the story be understood from the first paragraph alone?
    • Second paragraph expands on the first by providing detail
    • Third paragraph often contains a quote.
    • Fourth paragraph outlines final information
  • How to end the press release

    • Signal it with the word ‘Ends’ in bold.
    • Follow with ‘For further information, please contact’ and provide details.
    • Provide a mobile number.
    • Further information can be provided in a ‘Notes to Editor section.
    • Example: background info on the company (boilerplate) or notification that photos are available.
  • What writing style should I use?

    • Sentences that are 25 words in length, preferably fewer.
    • The release should give the journalist the essence of the story.
    • Get the content right and write to publication style.
    • Factual tone, short and concise.
        • Structure and presentation?

          Title

          • ‘Newsy’ title providing a taster of what’s to come and engaging the potential readers.

          Subtitle

          • Further elaborating on the header and providing a lead-in to the body copy.

          Body copy

          • About 300 words including pieces from the quote at the bottom.
        {"cards":[{"_id":"46109cf7d3ad949e3d00006f","treeId":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c08007e","seq":314673,"position":0.5,"parentId":null,"content":"**Press release checklist**\n\n- **Assess** if the story has news value and if a release is appropriate.\n- **Research** the target press and media. Review publications to get a feel for the tone and style. Identify deadlines.\n- **Identify** the key facts – ask who, what, why, where, when, how?\n- **Draft** a template structure for your story.\n- **Decide** who should be quoted from your organisation and if third-party quotes would be useful.\n- **Check **whether a photo can support the release.\n\n"},{"_id":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c08007f","treeId":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c08007e","seq":314514,"position":1,"parentId":null,"content":"**What is the aim of a press release?**\n- Your **aim is to get coverage** and raise awareness among your target audiences.\n- There are **key elements** that a journalist looks for in a story — and the **human interest angle is key**. \n- Do you have a human interest angle, and can you** show** that **your news has an impact on people?**\n- Release must be drafted along very clear guidelines designed to make it as easy as possible for journalists to use your material.\n"},{"_id":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c080080","treeId":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c08007e","seq":314548,"position":2,"parentId":null,"content":"**What should go into a press release?**\n\nAnswer the following questions about your news:\n- **Who?** Who are the key players — your company, anyone else involved with the product? Who does your news affect/who does it benefit?\n- **What?** What is new?\n- **Why?** Why is this important news — what does it provide that is different?\n- **Where?** Where is this happening/is there a geographical angle/is the location of business relevant?\n- **When?** What is the timing of this? Does this add significance?\n- **How?** How did this come about?\n\n- Write the answers then compile in short, punchy **(no more than 25 words)** sentences.\n- Getting **benefits** of your news across is key.\n- If you can capture the essence of the story in **less than 50 words** you're on the right track.\n- **First paragraph** should be max **2 sentences**, each **25 words or less**.\n- Info needs to **flow logically** from the intro."},{"_id":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c080081","treeId":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c08007e","seq":319835,"position":3,"parentId":null,"content":"**What angle should I focus on in the release?**\n\n- Most important thing in a press release is to **write for your target audience**. \n- To do that you MUST know your **target audience**.\n- When thinking about your **target audience**, consider the **knowledge they have** about your product/company and the **language they'll understand.**"},{"_id":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c080082","treeId":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c08007e","seq":314652,"position":4,"parentId":null,"content":"**How do I structure and present the release?**\n\nKey ways to structure and present your press release are below:\n\n**Timing — for immediate release or embargo?**\n- Indicate at the top whether for **immediate** release or to be released **on a given date**.\n- **Immediate** release is preferred by journalists as it requires **less planning.**\n\n**Give the release a title**\n\n- Just as with any written piece, it will **require a title**. \n- Job is to **grab attention** and **encourage the journalist** to **read more**.\n- Double spacing and wide margins\n"},{"_id":"461389e487585d8b97000029","treeId":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c08007e","seq":317087,"position":1,"parentId":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c080082","content":"**Structure and presentation?**\n\n**Title**\n- **'Newsy'** title providing a taster of what's to come and **engaging** the potential readers.\n\n**Subtitle**\n- Further elaborating on the header and providing a **lead-in** to the body copy. \n\n**Body copy**\n- About **300 words** including pieces from the quote at the bottom. "},{"_id":"46107dcbd3ad949e3d00006c","treeId":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c08007e","seq":314656,"position":5,"parentId":null,"content":"**How many paragraphs?**\n\n- **As few as needed** to get the point across.\n- **Avoid waffle** and keep the copy **as tight as possible.**\n- **Key information** needs to be put in **the first paragraph**\n- **Test of Success**: Can the story be **understood** from the **first paragraph** alone?\n- Second paragraph **expands** on the first by **providing detail**\n- Third paragraph often **contains a quote**.\n- Fourth paragraph outlines **final information**"},{"_id":"46108a58d3ad949e3d00006d","treeId":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c08007e","seq":314666,"position":6,"parentId":null,"content":"**How to end the press release**\n\n- Signal it with the word **'Ends'** in bold. \n- Follow with **'For further information, please contact'** and provide details.\n- Provide a **mobile number**.\n- Further information can be provided in a **'Notes to Editor** section.\n- Example: background info on the company **(boilerplate)** or notification that **photos are available.**\n"},{"_id":"461095b5d3ad949e3d00006e","treeId":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c08007e","seq":317155,"position":7,"parentId":null,"content":"**What writing style should I use?**\n\n- Sentences that are **25 words in length**, preferably fewer.\n- The release should give the journalist the **essence of the story.**\n- Get the **content** right and **write to publication style**.\n- **Factual** tone, **short** and **concise**.\n"}],"tree":{"_id":"53ce6aa0631acaa33c08007e","name":"Press Release Template","publicUrl":"bp-press-release"}}