9 Guidelines Every Press Release Must Follow

There are a number of guidelines every press release should follow if you want it to look professional and grab attention.


1-It must be news

A press release is not an ad, and you will only get media coverage if the journalists and other media representatives who see it think it is worth running with. Answer the two main questions most journalists have – “Why should I care?” and “Why should my target readers care?” – and you should be able to start creating press releases that will get media attention.

2-A great headline

At most online press release services, the only thing the journalist looking for stories will see is your headline. Make it count. It should be intriguing, have a keyword related to your niche or industry, and offer a promise that will make them want to read more in order to satisfy their curiosity.

3-A great sub-headline

The sub-headline will support the headline and give a preview of what they will discover if they take the time to read on. It also offers a promise to entice the busy journalist to give your press release a chance.

4-A powerful opening paragraph

The opening paragraph should give as much detail as possible about what you are trying to convey. People are busy, and space in printed publications can be tight. The 6Ws of journalism is a handy formula to help ensure you don’t miss out any important details. In your opening paragraph, try to tell them:

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Why
  • HoW

Who did, it, what happened, and so on.

5-Information about your company

Information about the company puts the press release into context. It basically answers the question of why they should bother paying attention to you.

6-Contact information for following up

Include your name, email address and phone number/s so any journalists or other media professionals interested in running with your story can get hold of you to confirm facts and get more information as needed.

7-An image

A picture can be worth a thousand words. Online media is also more effective when it has a relevant image published with it. In fact, your press release is far more likely to be picked up if it has an image than a press release without one.

That being the case, take the time to get high-quality images of your new products, what to expect at an up-coming event, images of your latest event, and so on, to give a clearer picture of your business or brand.

8-Press release formatting

This will usually include the words “PRESS RELEASE” in all capitals. It will also usually include the date and the geographical location of the company issuing the release. If you want it published immediately, state that it is for immediate release. Otherwise, state the date you would like it released.

9-An effective call to action (CTA)

Your CTA will be based on the goal of sending out your press release. It might be “Visit URL to learn more” or “Click here for your free download.”

Use these 9 elements in your press release and you will impress media representatives with how professional your work is.

Call us today to speak to one of our PR specialists: 1-800-713-7278

Anthony Santiago is Director of Marketing at Newswire. With over a decade of experience in PR, he helps ensure that clients understand the value of brand messaging and reach.

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