A Step By Step Approach to Crafting Your Press Release Summary

There are many different components to a press release. With its formal structure, it’s important to have a clear understanding about how to write each section. From the headline to the biography, each section is important – but none may be quite as important as the summary.

What is the purpose of a press release summary?

At first glance that might sound like a silly question. The purpose of a press release summary is to summarize the information in the press release, right? Well, the answer is both yes and no. Yes, your summary will summarize the information in your release. However, the real reason that the summary is important is because it may be the first, and only, thing that your reader sees.

The Position of your Press Release Summary

Your press release has an order. At the very top of the page is the headline and, to be fair, the headline will likely be the first thing that a reader sees. However, directly under the headline is your summary. Your summary is a short, just a few sentences, and it is positioned between the headline and your first paragraph.

Press Release Distribution

When you distribute your press release, quite often the only thing that will show up on the page in their newsroom will be the headline, the date, and the summary. This means that if your summary doesn’t grab attention, it may not get opened, read, shared or published.

It should be noted that in some situations you might skip the summary and include a sub-headline in its place. A summary provides room to add a bit more information. A subheading is only one sentence. A summary provides you with about three sentences.

Step One: Write the Press Release First

Write your entire press release first. Write everything from the headline to the closing call to action. Don’t forget your quotes, your social proof, and your news. Once your release has been written, it’s time for the next step.

Step Two: Answer the 5W’s

Your summary needs to answer the 5 “Ws” of your news story. These are the “who, what, when, where and why.” Also include the “H” or the “how” of your story. The “how” is also your hook. It’s what will pull your readers into your press release. Think about how the news changes or improves your reader’s life.

Make sure to avoid sensationalism. You want your reader to be hooked, but you don’t want them to feel tricked or sold to.

Step Three: Placement and Publication

The final step is to position your summary in your press release. Remember that it is positioned under your headline and before your introductory paragraph. Publish your press release and consider using a distributor to reach a wider audience.

Your press release summary is perhaps the most important part of your press release. Spend time writing it. Make sure it answers the questions your reader wants to know and it answers them in a compelling way.

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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