In the fast-paced world of media and communication, a well-crafted press release can be a powerful tool to convey your message effectively to the public and the press.
While the content of your press release is crucial, it’s equally important to ensure that its formatting is professional and visually appealing.
Read on to ensure your press release stands out from the rest, and for all the right reasons. We’ll let you into our guidelines and best practices to help you format a press release professionally and capture the attention of your target audience.
1. A ’Pun’chy Headline
The headline is the first thing that journalists and readers will see, so it should be attention-grabbing and an accurate summary of the main point of your press release. Alliteration, a play on words or a pun is great for a light-hearted piece or step up the shock tactics for a more serious press release. Use a bold font, Capitalize the First Letter of Each Word, and keep it brief, preferably under 100 characters.
2. Date It
A dateline helps establish the time and location of the press release. Most press releases begin with ‘For immediate release’ in bold, followed by a dateline. Typically, it includes the city and country, followed by the date in month, day, year format for example, LONDON, UK, Thursday 15th June 2023 – (and continue with the body of your press release here).
3. Knock their Socks Off in the Opening Paragraph
Your opening paragraph should be concise yet compelling, capturing the essence of your news in a few sentences. Journalists often skim through press releases, so make sure to answer the who, what, where, when, why, and how questions within the first few lines.
4. Make it Easy on the Eye
Subheadings break up the text, making it easier to scan and navigate. They help guide readers through the different sections of your press release. Similarly, bullet points are valuable for presenting key points or features in a clear and organized manner. Images can be helpful in keeping the reader interested and also serve as a text break.
5. Quote for Quote
Quotes add credibility and spark human interest to your press release. When including quotes from company executives or relevant individuals, use quotation marks and format them in italics. Additionally, clearly attribute the quotes to the respective speakers, along with their job titles.
Including links where possible will significantly improve your search engine rankings. Since you are going to provide the perfect copy, journalists will hopefully publish the release as it is, links and all, which can be a really efficient way to get brand exposure, generate backlinks, and increase search engine visibility.
7. Who You Gonna Call?
Make it effortless for journalists and interested parties to reach out to you for further information. Include a ‘Notes to Editors’ and ‘Media Contact’ section at the end of your press release, consisting of a brief overview of the company, a link to more images (if applicable) and the name, phone number, email address, and the company’s website.
8. Use a Consistent Writing Style
Maintaining a consistent writing style throughout your press release helps convey professionalism. Follow established grammar rules, use active voice, and avoid fluffy writing styles. Ensure your writing is clear, concise, and free of errors. Keep the font the same throughout, for example, Arial, 12 and justify the text to make it more aesthetically pleasing.
9. Check it, Double Check and Check it Again!
Before distributing your press release, proofread it carefully to eliminate any spelling or grammatical errors. It is a good idea to have a fresh set of eyes look over it, as they may see something glaringly obvious that you have missed. Ensure that all contact information is correct and up to date. A polished and error-free press release demonstrates professionalism, attention to detail and more importantly saves the very busy journalist from an extra job.
Formatting a press release professionally is a vital component of effectively communicating your message to the media and the public. By following our guidelines, you can create a visually appealing and well-organised press release that captures attention and encourages further engagement. Remember, while the content remains king, a polished and professionally formatted press release enhances your chances of success.