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How to Write a Press Release

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Whatever you are planning to announce to the media, whether it is a gig, a new mother and toddler group, a visit from a celebrity or big charity event, you will need to know what to write in the press release that you will use to promote it. This press release is what you will send out to your local newspapers, newsletters and radio stations in order to get people to attend. So you are going to need to grab their attention as well as making sure that you have all the facts and information ready for publication. Very often a publisher will be looking for something that will attract their listeners or readership, so your press release must be carefully directed as it is the main chance for you to have your say. Writing an effective, short and informative piece is a vital skill when trying to promote yourself or your event so here are a few tips to help you get the message home.
What you'll need: 
Computer or with a common 'word' package installed.
An email address
Other means of contact such as a mobile phone number
A good supporting image
A list of media outlets where you want to send your press release
Have a catchy title followed by a clear one sentence strap-line (a strap-line is a description of your event or news story in brief).
Keep your whole press release succinct – editors are on tight deadlines and wading through reams of writing to get at the facts may loose their attention right away. They have very limited space so lengthy press releases require more editing therefore far more work. Don’t forget they can always ask for more information if they have space available.
Supply a good, clear and interesting image for hardcopy publishers and an exciting sound clip for radio wherever possible. Remember you must be the owner of the copyright or have permission to publish any image or sound clip you supply.
Make sure you give all your contact details, so that writers / editors can reach you, if they have any questions they need to ask. Include your phone number, mobile and email and if you have submitted a press release check your messages and incoming emails regularly. If a writer/editor cannot get hold of you, to get a vital bit of information, that they think will make the news story effective, then they could easily start looking for another story to fill the slot that yours would have occupied.
Target the publications that you approach - look for whether they go out in the right locality and determine whether their readership may be interested in a news story like yours. It’s no good announcing your Meat and Game Fair through a Vegan newsletter even if they do show a mutual interest in food!
‘Where’, ‘What date’ and ‘What Time’! – It sounds surprising, but there are many press releases submitted that leave out at least one of these. Don’t forget if you want people to get involved or attend your event, you will need to state all of these in your press release in order for people to find it. If you have a web page, with more details about whatever you are promoting, then you will need to quote this as well to ensure people get all the information they need.
Make your piece fun, it encourages people to continue reading but will also encourage them to come along.
Avoid being too technical if you are explaining something specific about your event or meeting, you want it to appeal to as many people as possible. The last thing you want is to alienate anyone before they have a chance to come along and find out what it is about.
Always remember to spell-check your work – as sometimes the keenest of editors can let the odd mistake through.
Find out the print deadline for the publications that you are sending the piece to, then make sure you send it in plenty of time.
Writing press releases is very straight forward – keep them to the point, use plain English and make sure all the key information is easy to find. Research the best places to send it to and get to know your journalist / editor, if you need any tips to improve the impact of your work they will be the best people to ask.


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