6 Essential Parts of a Press Release

In communications, no piece of writing is more versatile than a press release. Press releases are official announcements that companies use to inform the news media and the public about a particular news or development. Although press releases can be issued on a variety of different occasions, including launching a new product, opening new headquarters, receiving an award or hiring a new executive, most of them adhere to a similar format.

Here are the 6 essential parts most press releases possess:

1.    Headline
The headline, or title, of a press release tells readers what the release is about. Being the first thing that people see, a headline is very important part of a press release. Try to keep it concise and engaging. An effective headline should grab the reader's attention and make them want to keep reading. However, do be careful not to overpromise or overinflate the news in your headlines, as doing so will turn them into worthless clickbaits. Remember to capitalize the first letter of all nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs, as well as any prepositions that are four letters or longer. Do not use closing punctuation in headlines, and avoid using exclamation marks anywhere in your press release.

2.    Summary
     This section summarizes the key points of the press release and answer the “Five W’s”of Who, What, When, Where, and Why. This way, readers who don’t have the time to read the full story could get a general idea about the news in two or three sentences.

3.    Date and location
As its name suggests this section indicates the date and location of the announcement. The dateline usually appears in the first line of the body of a press release and is separated from the first sentence by an en dash with spaces. The dateline should list the city name in all caps, the abbreviated state name, and the full date (including year). For example: Deerfield Beach, FL., Month XX, 20XX – First sentence of body copy.

4.    Body Copy
Body copy is the main part of a press release. It details the announcement and provides all the necessary information in a concise and effective manner. Most press releases also include a quotable that reporters can use should they decide to turn your news into an article. Quotes are usually cited from key stakeholders or those directly involved in the announcement. Besides being useful to reporters, quotes provide a human touch to the announcement and underline its significance to the organization.

5.    Boilerplate
A boilerplate is essentially an About Us section of the press release. It provides a quick overview of your company and what it does. Boilerplates are usually separated from the body section by an “About (Company name)” line.

6.    End or Close
For press releases submitted to print news outlets, it is essential to indicate their ending with the following symbol - ### - which is to be centered at the bottom of the page. This way no extra text can be mistakenly published as part of an official company announcement.

Need help writing a professional press release for your business? Give us a call and see what Red Banyan Group can do for you!

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