Press Release Writing Tips - Friday, December 26th, 2014 by

How to Write a Press Release Summary and Why It Matters

After your headline there is the opportunity to include a press release summary paragraph. This paragraph is often what shows up on search engine results. And depending on what service you use to distribute your press release, the summary paragraph and headline, along with a link, are the only pieces of information that they display. 

It’s important to not only capitalize on this opportunity but also to write a great summary that attracts attention, clicks, and visits. Skipping this opportunity may mean missing out and reducing the effectiveness of your press release. There are a few steps to writing a great press release summary. 

What is the Summary?

The summary paragraph in your press release is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a summary of your press release information. It’s positioned after the headline and before the first paragraph. Generally speaking, the press release summary is anywhere from one to four sentences. 

#1 Write the Summary Last

Write your press release first. Make sure the body and main paragraphs are quality. Include your quotes, facts, and supporting information. Then, when your press release has been written, go back and write the summary. You might also consider writing your headline after your press release has been written. As you write your summary, you’ll be able to make sure you’re covering the same material that you’ve addressed in your release.

#2 Keywords Can Be Included

In the body of your summary paragraph it’s a good idea to also include a few keywords. Write the summary first. Then return to it and look for relevant places to put a few top keywords. Make sure that your paragraph reads well and feels natural, not forced. Keywords can, and probably should, include your company’s name if it’s not already mentioned in the headline. 

#3 Format it Appropriately

While your headline is written in Title Case, where the first letter of each word is capitalized, your summary will be written in sentence case, the first letter of the first word and proper nouns should be capitalized. 

Finally, remember that the summary is just that, a recap of the information in your press release. Don’t add information. And because you only have a few sentences, it’s important to keep your sentences as clear and concise as possible. 

Spend time crafting your press release summary. If you’re using a press release distribution service, then it may very well be the difference maker. A good summary can be the information that attracts attention, motivates shares, drives traffic and increases sales. Test, track, and measure results based on the keywords you use in your press release to find the words that make the biggest impact. 

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