What is a Press Release?

Press releases are the most common form of PR writing. Sometimes called news releases or media releases, press releases are a media relations tool used to pitch a newsworthy story about a business, website, or person to journalists and other members of the media. Press releases aren’t designed to be published as-is. Instead, the purpose of a press release is to inspire a journalist to research the story further or conduct an interview to write a unique news story.

What a Press Release Looks Like

Press releases generally fall in the 300-600 word range, and rarely exceed one print page if being distributed through fax or mail. The growing popularity of online press release distribution allows for greater flexibility in press release length, as well as the addenda that can be attached to press releases for distribution (such as photos, company logos, or other supporting documents).

While sometimes confused with more general articles, press releases should be written in a more journalistic style called the reverse pyramid, where the most newsworthy information is presented first. Press releases are kicked off with a headline, which is a catchy title designed to explain the general news angle while grabbing journalists’ attention. Press releases are dated, and also contain the hometown of the issuing person, company, or organization.

The Press Release Process

1. Do something newsworthy enough to be of interest to journalists and / or bloggers.

2. Come up with a catchy and concise headline.

3. Write a brief summary of the news, if using online press release distribution methods.

4. Write the body of the press release.

5. Write a boilerplate to close the press release (a background paragraph about the issuing person or organization).

Jenn Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. An active digital publisher, she runs numerous websites and blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, and NakedPR.

Jenn has over 20 years' experience working as a solopreneur running a 3-prong business of offering freelance writing and consulting services, running digital publications, and operating as an indie publisher of predominantly e-books.

This experience includes over 20 years working as a professional writer and editor, 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (specializing in areas like digital PR, online marketing, social media, and SEO), 18 years' experience as a professional blogger / online publisher (including web development), and around 16 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

At Kiss My Biz, Jenn shares stories, tips, and tools from her own adventures in solopreneurship, while aiming to help fellow solopreneurs and creative professionals succeed even where it feels against the odds.

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