Read All About It: 5 Steps to Crafting the Perfect Press Release

The press release – sometimes called the news release – is at the heart of any publicity campaign. Its purpose is simple: it is used to alert the press that your business is seeking coverage.


Whether distributed by post, email or published online, the press release positions the news and information that you have to share with editors, reporters and producers in a read-to-print or ready-to-air format. Some businesses even choose to share a bio or additional materials such as facts, figures and FAQs as part of a press kit. However, the value of these materials is wasted if you don’t nail the press release itself. So, the question is: how do you craft the perfect press release?


Oftentimes, the idea of writing a press release is much more intimidating than the actual task itself. The process is quite simple and can be boiled down to a simple five-step formula which can be replicated for each individual publicity campaign.


  1. Get your thoughts and ideas on paper

Begin with a brainstorming session. Jot down any tidbits of information that you want to include in the release. At this point the writing itself isn’t important – it’s all about the creative process and creating a coherent structure for the release.


  1. Leverage any materials you may have

If you own a restaurant, this could be a menu or popular recipe. If you’ve written a book, it could be the blurb or one of your favourite excerpts from the story. Think outside the box – you’re looking for that special nugget of content that will form the basis of your press release.


  1. Start writing

Now that you know what story you want to tell, it’s time to begin the writing process. Try to begin with an engaging first sentence – a “hook” if you will. From then on it’s all about the five W’s: who, what, when, where and why. This will help tie your story together and create a compelling sequence of events.


  1. Edit, edit and edit again

Write the document, edit the document and then repeat this pattern over and over again until you’re satisfied that you’ve crafted a strong press release. Remember, your press release should contain three fundamental paragraphs (at least): a beginning, a middle and an end.


  1. Hey presto – the perfect press release!

A good press release will follow the following simple format:


  • Contact information (name, number and email address)

  • Headline

  • Opening paragraph

  • Main paragraph

  • Closing paragraph

  • Bio

Ultimately, the goal is to write the release so well that a member of the press who receives it uses it in their publication.

Have you ever got free publicity as a result of sending out a press release? Share your PR stories with us by tweeting @StaplesCanada!

By Andrew Patricio

June 17, 2015