Formatting Your Press Release? A Checklist to Make Sure It’s Perfect

Before you distribute your press release, it’s important to make sure that it’s properly formatted. Whether you’re distributing your release using a service or you’re sending it to journalists or an email list, people have expectations for press releases. If your release doesn’t fit the expectations and the proper format, you’ll confuse people and possibly lose some credibility. The following checklist will help you make sure your release is practically perfect.

A Strong Headline – You have just a few seconds to capture attention. Make sure that your headline is attention-grabbing and relevant to the information in your release. You can follow a strong headline with a subheading, which should naturally lead into your first paragraph. 

Compelling First Paragraph – The first paragraph of your press release needs to tell readers what your release is about. This is the most important paragraph, so it needs to be the strongest. Be sure to tell readers who you are and what your release is about. 

No Slang or Jargon – Begin reviewing your press release not only for grammar and spelling errors but also for any unprofessional words or phrases. Make sure that your press release is written in a language that can be read by anyone in or outside of your industry. 

Triple Check All Information – Make sure that all of the facts in your press release have been triple checked for accuracy. And it should go without saying, but use the most recent data available. 

Triple Check Your Links – Any links in your release, including call to action links, social media links and even email links, need to be in perfect working order. The last thing you want is someone to land on an error page. 

Avoid Clichés and Vague Information – In addition to making sure that you don’t use jargon and tech speak, also make sure that your language is clear and succinct. Clichés are often vague. Remember that a press release is a news document; there’s little room for figurative language. 

How’s Your Hook – Read your release again and make sure that your message is engaging and relevant to your readers and audience. Ask yourself, “Why would they care?” If you can’t answer that question, then it’s too early to publish and distribute your release. Keep working on it until you’re certain you’ve presented your information in a way that your audience will care about it and feel it’s important to them. 

Check Your Multimedia – If the distribution service you’re using supports multimedia files like video, images, and other formats then make sure your images are relevant and support your release, rather than detracting from it. Use anchor text and hyperlinks with your important keywords in the body of your press release. 

Clear Problem and Solution – Make sure that your problem is clearly illustrated with examples and that your solution is just as powerfully illustrated. 

Just the Facts – Make sure that all of your press release information is fact-based, and not hype or fluff. 

Clear Call to Action – Make sure your call to action is relevant and clear to your audience.

Contact Information – Is your contact information in the release? Is it easy for a reader to reach out and connect with you?

Keep this checklist handy and run through it before you publish and distribute any press release. It’s a handy way to make sure your release is perfect and that you achieve your press release goals. 

Catch up on the rest of your content marketing news and strategy