Knowing how to write a press release can be an excellent addition to a marketer’s skillset.
Press releases are just as relevant as ever, if not more. 82% of U.S. adults say they often or at least sometimes get news online from digital devices. Knowing how to be relevant in the news media via press releases can earn your way to your clients and customers.
In this post, you’ll learn how to write and format press releases in a way that gets you media coverage and attention from prospective customers. You will find a list of press release examples and templates you can apply to specific brand scenarios.
Let’s learn how to write press releases, shall we?
Press Release Foundations
What Is a Press Release?
A press release, also known as a news release, is a formal announcement made by a company that contains the most pivotal information about its latest business development.
Its purpose is to collect all relevant details from the story in one source. A well-written press release can garner valuable media attention yet leave the company the option to shape the story the way they want.
Regularly optimizing press releases as part of your content marketing efforts can benefit your overall strategy. Press releases can generate demand organically, thanks to interest from reporters.
Press Release Templates
Want to jump right in and write your own? You can download a bundle of editable and customizable press release templates from this blog post.
This bundle will help you format and create killer press releases quickly and efficiently for almost any scenario. The templates include a variety of layouts and formats, so you’ll be sure to find one that works for your needs.
You can download the free bundle below.
Here’s a press release example for inspiration.
The press release example above is yours when you download the press release template bundle. This straightforward template will help you format a formal press release that will catch an editor’s attention.
30 Examples of Well-Written Press Releases You Can Emulate
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. See how the big players are doing press releases currently and adjust yours accordingly.
You can announce different types of news using this medium. But simply saying, “here’s my business; check it out!” is not enough. You need to have a good reason for putting out a press release on your press page.
Below, you’ll find a list of the 14 most common types of press releases. Learn about best practices for each, or adapt the examples provided.
1. Company Breaking News
In times like recent years — when COVID-19 affected almost every business in the world — breaking news-type press releases were coming out every other day.
Aside from the topic of the coronavirus, it’s still highly beneficial to learn how to write such a release. In case an urgent matter needs to be communicated ASAP, it’s best to be prepared ahead of time.
Pro Tip: The only way to efficiently convey sad news is by stating the facts and providing a clear explanation. It’s even okay to omit any striking imagery, as the focus should be on sharing all the necessary information.
2. Mergers & Acquisitions
You'll usually write press releases regarding mergers and acquisitions after a deal has been finalized. The best way to write such a release is by presenting the facts first, then explaining why this merger or acquisition will benefit both companies involved.
Other important elements of a merger announcement may include several quotes from each party. Mentioning figures from recent reports of the acquired entity adds an optimistic tone to the release.
If there are any changes in leadership or management, you should mention those, as well.
A press release about a new partnership is similar to a merger or acquisition announcement, but it usually carries less weight.
You should still include all of the same elements from an M&A release, but you may need to be more concise.
Instead of listing all the benefits for both companies involved in a merger or acquisition, focus on how they'll work together and why their unique skill sets make them a great fit.
4. Product Launches & Updates
We know from studies on customer psychology that one of the most important brain triggers is the “first and last” effect. This means that a product launch press release (which would be the first message in the campaign) should be a crucial element in your strategy.
Pro Tip: Highlight a quote from your CEO to clarify your intentions through a personal voice. Having a PR calendar in place is also an essential addition to your marketing plan.
You can also include some statistics about how this product launch will help your customers have a better experience.
Whether your event is open or closed to the public doesn't matter. You can utilize a press release either way.
For example, if you’re hosting a charity gala or fundraiser for a local cause, you may want to have a big crowd for the most impact (and more donations). Therefore, a press release could be an efficient tool in your event planning.
Private events can also benefit from a press release, even if the public is not invited. It will elevate the event's exclusivity and your brand's recognition.
Pro Tip: If your event has a highly visual aspect, play it up in your press release. That could be a particular theme, an interesting dress code, a light show, or a grandiose stage.
6. Grand Openings
Do you have a new facility or location? A press release covering your grand opening may be your ticket to success.
Include details about when and where it’s happening, why people should attend, and how they can get more information about tickets.
Add key figures of recent achievements or milestones in the press release to entice your audience even more. For example, a new fulfillment center may have brought about new investors and jobs for the local workforce.
Pro-tip: looking to make your grand opening an exclusive event? Consider offering VIP tickets to the local media.
7. Crisis Communications
Having a PR plan in place is great, but there are times when internal or external events go awry, and you need to do some damage control.
Whether it’s a product recall, an apology for offensive remarks, a reaction to a global crisis (think: COVID), or something else entirely, clear communication about the topic is always the best policy.
When writing a crisis communications press release, it’s best first to provide a clear and concise explanation of what happened. Then, describe your plans on what you’re going to do to fix the problem.
Pro-tip: if you’re not sure how to word something, err on the side of caution. You should handle sensitive topics in crisis communication cautiously.
8. New Hires
Whether you’re announcing a new CEO or celebrating a new addition within your company, a press release is a great way to get the word out.
Pepper your press release with past professional achievements of the new hire and what they will bring to the table at your company. Adding a couple of quotes from the person who made the hiring decision will give more weight to the announcement.
SourcePro tip: if you can, try to tie this press release in with a current event or trend. For example, if you’re hiring a new social media manager, you could mention how they’ll be helping you with your latest digital marketing campaign.
9. Leadership Changes & Promotions
When the head of a company changes, it can also bring about new decisions in the organizational direction. This is an advancement that journalists and some consumers like to know about.
Pro Tip: If it’s more than one change in executive-level staff, try to include all of their headshots on the same banner. This will give them all equal footing during the announcement campaign.
Make sure to add quotes from either the new appointees, another executive, or the outgoing leadership.
10. Awards & Accolades
When a company receives recognition for something, a new communication opportunity emerges. What’s most important in an award announcement press release is to define how it impacts the end user.
Pro Tip: Use high-impact keywords, such as “high performer,” “14th consecutive quarter”, and “best,” to add depth to the company's achievements.
11. Rebranding & Branding Updates
When a major change happens at your company, a press release is a good place to start informing the public. One of the most notable branding updates could be a rebranding campaign.
At the same time, people will want to know what is changing and why. Reasons for a rebrand could be a change of marketing direction, product direction, or the acquisition of a new market.
Pro Tip: Keep the buzz going by implementing 1–3 call-to-actions in your release. If undergoing a rebrand, include images of your new brand identity.
12. Original Research
If your company has conducted original research, you can share the results with the public through a press release. Sharing will show that you’re an authority in your industry and that people should pay attention to your words. It’s also another opportunity to gain valuable backlinks.
When writing this type of press release, make sure to include a brief overview of the research findings, some context (what inspired you to do the research?), and the implications of the results (how will it change the status quo?).
13. Sustainability & Company Initiatives
If your company is working on being more sustainable or giving back to the community, share it with the public!
In fact, 55% of consumers would pay extra to a company that contributes to positive change.
In your press release, include an overview of the initiative, how it will benefit the community, and quotes from experts involved in the project.
Pro tip: including images or videos in this type of press release can be a powerful way of showing people what you’re doing instead of just telling them.
14. Charity & Causes
Is your company involved in charity work or supporting a cause? A press release could be a great outlet to show that you care about making the world a better place.
Timing the announcement to coincide with an ongoing fundraiser or an upcoming event can help to increase its impact.
Pro tip: try to include an emotional angle in this type of press release. This can be done by including stories from people who have benefited from the charity's work.
Press Release Formatting
Once you have all the content for your press release, it’s time to start putting it into a format that will make it easy for journalists and other media outlets to use.
In the following sections, we’ll go over the critical components of a press release and how to format each one.
1. Contact & Organization Details
The first thing to include in your press release is your contact and organization details. This information should be at the top of the page and include the following:
Your organization's name
Your organization's website
Your email address
Your phone number
If you have a media relations contact, it's best to include their information here.
2. For Immediate Release & Dateline
The next element to include is the phrase "for immediate release" and a dateline. These two pieces of information should be at the top of the page.
The "for immediate release" part is self-explanatory - journalists can use the press release immediately. The dateline should include the date of the release.
For time-sensitive pieces, you may include "Embargoed until..." followed by the date and time you want it to be released.
3. Headline (May Include Kicker & Deck)
The headline is one of the most important parts of your press release. This is what will grab people's attention and make them want to read more.
Press release headlines are like a love child between a blog post title and a description - they're longer than usual but just as catchy.
Feeling stuck? Use this handy press release headline template:
Entity + action + object + details
For example: "Local company XYZ [entity] helps fight [action] global warming [object] with new products. [details]"
Pro-tip: some press releases come with a kicker (a short tagline that connects to the headline) and a deck (a secondary headline after the main one with a smaller/thinner font).
One of the first things that stand out in a press release is the location, and the date noted at the beginning of the lede. This is how it should look:
New York, April 6, 2021 —
Simply copy and paste the above template and switch the information to yours.
5. Organization Introduction & Most Important Information
After the location and date, you'll want to include a brief introduction to your organization.
This is where you can give some context about who you are and what you do. You should also include any relevant information about your organization that would interest journalists or the general public.
Your organization's history
Any awards or recognition it has received
Any recent newsworthy events or developments
The size of your organization (employees, revenue, etc.)
After the introduction, get into the most critical information in your press release - aka, the "news."
6. Quotes & Facts
To add credibility to your press release, include quotes from relevant people in your organization.
Use this section to include relevant facts that would interest journalists and the general public, such as revenue figures or data on new hires. You can frame these inside a quote from the CEO or Product Owner.
"Thanks to our recent merger," said Tom Thompson, CEO of Vinyl Records Ltd, "our revenue is up 45% year-over-year. At the same time, we also expanded our number of salespeople to over 2,000."
A boilerplate is the short bio of your company. Think of it as a very concise version of your About page (the boilerplate that will appear on every release you publish). Keep it around 100-200 words.
Ensure to include the following information:
The name of your organization
Your mission statement
An update on the mission statement
Here’s an example from Quebec retailer Simon’s:
Lastly, spacing formats must also follow specific rules in a press release.
Most press releases call for two lines of space between each paragraph. Ensure to follow this rule to make your press release as presentable as possible.
5 Steps To Write The Best Press Release
1. Create a Stunning Headline
A killer headline upholds top priority in online marketing. Without it, there is no reader. Without a reader, there is no conversion. The same idea can apply to a press release headline.
Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind.
Write 10+ Versions for Your Headline
You’ll be surprised how your best idea will not be the first one. It might sound like overkill, but coming up with a snappy press release headline can pay for itself tenfold.
Add Numbers or Other Exciting Elements
Numbers are still one of the best ways to catch the reader’s attention. Why? Quantifying a statement acts as a visualization tool. It also shows a level of authority for the topic.
Include Your Keyword
“Although not as important as it once was, your title tag remains an important on-page SEO signal,” says Brian Dean from Backlinko. He also encourages bringing the keyword closer to the beginning of the title tag to improve performance further.
Copy and paste this template to craft yours:
“[WHO: COMPANY] today announced it will [WHAT] at [WHERE] on [WHEN]. The [EVENT/ANNOUNCEMENT] will provide [BENEFIT] for [AUDIENCE].”
2. Formulate a Newsworthy Angle
Every good news story has an angle, or in other words, a perspective that your story will take. By setting up a clear perspective, you can attract more journalists looking for something newsworthy.
Great angles can include:
Local impact: How is your story impacting the local community?
Conflict: Is your press release giving another side to a conflict?
Progress: Is your press release highlighting progress made toward a specific problem?
Drama: Does your press release evoke an emotional response for readers?
An effective press release format follows the “inverted pyramid”:
The most critical information (i.e., the 5 Ws)
If you want to create a succinct press release, following the 5 Ws in the first half of your structure is especially powerful.
The 5 Ws of the inverted pyramid are:
Who is the story about?
What is happening?
Where is it happening?
When will it occur?
Why is it important?
If you include a quote from the company, writers can use it in their own stories. Keep in mind that reporters and writers are already super busy; the more work you create for them, the less chance they will cover your story.
A press release is the type of content where you need to put on your best copywriting hat. Keep it short and to the point — ideally, no longer than 500 words. It’s also important not to bury the lead for your reader.
In short, write a press release that’s upfront about its purpose.
Follow AP Style
Journalists follow AP style, and you should, too. This will make your information easier for them to use.
Visit APStyleBook.com to buy a physical copy or digital subscription, and make sure your writing conforms to this common standard.
Press releases sometimes employ bullet points at the start of the release to summarize the essential details. These quick points make it easy for the journalist to grasp the story and the angle.
Here’s a Business Wire press release example that only uses a one-sentence summary under the title.
On the other hand, NIVEA’s news release uses all three spots to lead up to its story.
The summary occupies the beginning of a press release, so it’s the one that gets pulled into the search results the most. Therefore, writing it well is doubly essential.
Here are the best practices for a summary:
Keep bullet points to 1–3 medium-length concise sentences.
Incorporate the 5 Ws.
Add keywords and supporting keywords.
Help the reader understand the story.
Make the angle clear.
Get the reader excited to learn more (e.g., state a question).
Ideally, you should write the body of the press release first and leave the summary last. That way, you can summarize the main points with more insight.
5. Add Media Contact Details
The reporters at news outlets, who are reading your press release, will need to know who to contact for more details. You can provide this information at the end of a news release.
Make sure to include the following details:
Point of contact: This should be a name and job title for who to reach.
Email address: Give them the best one to reach the preferred point of contact. You could also include a mailing address.
Phone number: If they'd like to call rather than email.
Here’s the contact info section from the previously shown NIVEA press release. Some companies also include a link or two to downloadable media assets.
Mackenzie Wutzke is currently a marketing generalist at Dakota Fence Company. She is also a former content specialist at CoSchedule. Mackenzie attended Minnesota State University Moorhead and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations. In her free time, she enjoys listening to true crime podcasts, baking, and composing new songs on her ukulele.