A press release is a versatile piece of writing in communications. Companies use press releases to announce a specific news or development. While press releases can be issued at many different times, such as when a company launches a new product or opens new headquarters, receives an award, or hires a new executive to lead, they all follow a common format.
These are the six essential components of most press releases:
A headline (or title) in a press release informs readers about the content of the release. A headline is the most important part of a press conference. It’s often the first thing people see. Keep it short and simple. A headline that grabs the attention of readers and makes them want to continue reading should be effective. Be careful not to exaggerate or over-promise the news in your headlines. This will make them useless click-baits. Make sure to capitalise all nouns and verbs. Avoid using closing punctuation in headlines and avoid exclamation marks in any press release.
This section summarises the main points of the press release. It also answers the “Five W’s”of Who (What, When, Where and Why). Readers who don’t have time to read the entire story can get an overview of the news in just a few sentences.
- Date and place
This section, as its name implies, indicates the date and the location of the announcement. The dateline is usually found in the first line of a press release. It is separated from the first sentence with an en dash and spaces. The dateline should include the name of the city in all capitals, abbreviated name of the state, and the complete date (including the year). Example: Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — First sentence in body copy.
The body copy is the most important part of a press statement. It provides the main information and details of the announcement in a clear and concise manner. A quotable is included in most press releases. This allows reporters to use the information if they want to make your news into an article. Citations are often sourced from key stakeholders and those directly involved with the announcement. Quotes are useful for reporters and add a personal touch to the announcement.
Boilerplate is basically an About Us section in a press release. This section gives a brief overview of your company as well as its activities. Boilerplates can be separated from the body section using an “About” line.
- End or Close
Press releases that are submitted to print media outlets must include the ### symbol at the end. This symbol is to be placed at the bottom of each page. By doing this, no additional text will be published in an official company announcement.
Do you need help with drafting a press release for your company? Drop us a line and let Red Banyan know what you need!