Weird Press Release Formatting Rules You Probably Don’t Know

With all of the different types of content available to a marketing team, the press release is one of the most formal. Press releases tend to have a fairly rigid structure. This is because they were originally designed to provide succinct information to the news media. Today, press releases serve a myriad of purposes. They are used to drive traffic to a sales page, to grab attention on social media, and, yes, to win the eye of a journalist.

The varied nature of today’s press release means that some of the traditional formatting rules have been forgotten. However, they are still relevant and useful. When you understand the rules, you can strategically break them. So let’s take a look at those weird, and often forgotten, formatting rules.

Proper Quotation Format – Quotes play an important role in your press release. They add personality to a release, particularly when the quote is unique and written in a strong voice. You might be surprised to learn that when you quote someone you interviewed for your release, the attribution – the name of the person you’re quoting – should be placed at the end of the quote. For example, “Press releases are an effective marketing tool,” Jane Doe, Director of Press Release Marketing. 

Spell it Out – Data, statistics, and facts are an important part of a press release. You’ll use them to help support your claims. When you use numbers it’s important to know that there is a right way and a wrong way to include them in your press release. Spell out numbers and percentages less than ten. Numbers or percentages ten and above can be written as numerals. For example, nine and 11 are written differently in a press release. 

The Dreaded Double Space – It used to be that press releases were supposed to be double spaced. That is to say that there were two lines of space between each sentence. This made them easier for a person to read quickly. However, this is no longer necessary. You can single space as long as your press release is still easy to read. Use short paragraphs and formatting like bullets or numbers. Additionally, there used to be a requirement of two spaces at the end of each sentence. Today, that is also no longer necessary. One space is acceptable. 

Learning the rules for proper press release formatting is important. It demonstrates that you take your press release seriously and others, like the media, will follow suit. Additionally, once you know the rules you can make an educated decision about breaking them. After all, there are many reasons to write a press release and sometimes breaking a rule can help you better achieve your goal. 

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