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Press release template word


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Press release template word - guidelines on putting together a press release including a press release template in word.

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Press release template word

  1. 1. Press release template in word Copyright © 2013 – Debbie Leven Page 1 of 6 Press release template word Want to write a press release? Want a press release template in word? Let‟s assume that if you are reading this then that is exactly what you want to do. Today, you can use press releases to build awareness (media focus) but also to build back links (back links focus). We‟ll make another assumption before we jump in – that you are interested in the media focus i.e. writing and issuing a press release to target the press and media with the aim of getting coverage that will raise awareness and help you build your profile and your brand. So, you have decided that a press release is the most appropriate tool for getting your news to journalists. What do you do next? It‟s essential to break down the component parts of your press release: news value content structure format research pitching and targeting splicing and dicing. This paper looks, briefly, at news value, content and structure, with a press release template in word and accompanying notes to help you set out your news story. For more help on putting together your press release, including articles, tips and resources, go to: News value For your press release to hit the right buttons with journalists it needs to focus on the news and what will be of interest, and relevant, to them and their audience. It‟s important to remember that you don‟t have to use a press release to get your news out there, it‟s just one tool, although it‟s a very useful one. Understanding what
  2. 2. Press release template in word Copyright © 2013 – Debbie Leven Page 2 of 6 makes a news story is key. You need to think like a journalist and to tune in to what will interest them. „People‟ or „human interest‟ is one of the most important ingredients in news stories and this is what journalists will seek out. Your job is to identify your human interest angle and to package it and make it stand out for journalists. There are many other elements of a news story but human interest lies at the heart – without that there is a risk your news story will fall flat. Content - what to cover when writing your press release The content for your press release should aim to answer the following questions about your news story: Who? – Who are the key players – your organisation, anyone else involved with the announcement? Who does your news affect/who does it bring benefit to? What? – What is the story, subject of the news? Why? – Why is this important/news, why has this happened? Where? – Where is this happening/is there a geographical angle/is the location of the business relevant? When? – What is the timing of this? Does this add significance? How? – How did this come about? A useful starting point is to write down the answers to these questions. You can then start to build up the content for your press release. That sounds simple but it can be quite challenging. If you can‟t get the words right straight away then don‟t give up – keep trying. Structure A striking title is essential to capture attention and encourage the journalist to read the press release. But, don‟t get too hung up on making the title perfect. If your story does get used then it‟s more than likely the journalist or the editor will change the title anyway. Your aim, with the title, should be to capture the attention of the reader (i.e. the journalist you are targeting) and to get the essence of the story across as clearly and tightly as possible. The same is true for the subject line if you send the press release by email and also for the first paragraph in your press release.
  3. 3. Press release template in word Copyright © 2013 – Debbie Leven Page 3 of 6 You need to make your words work as hard as possible to attract and keep attention. A journalist will receive hundreds and thousands of press releases from businesses and other organisations, all competing with you to get coverage. So, you have to make your story stand out. The best way to do that is to show that you understand the ingredients they are looking for that are relevant to their audience. Ideally, for your first paragraph, you should be looking at no more than two sentences, each of 25 words or fewer. Space in publications is limited. If you have written a press release well then the news will be upfront with a bit more information further down the press release – think of an inverted pyramid. A journalist/editor works to this inverted pyramid framework and edits from the bottom of the story up. If they only have 25-50 words for a story then it may be that your first two paragraphs are considered, or even just the first. So, it‟s essential you get the essence of the news in as early as possible. After all, it‟s better to get your first paragraph printed than no paragraph at all. After you‟ve written your press release it‟s a good test to see whether that first paragraph could be pulled out as explaining the core of the story if it stood alone. Over the page is a template that sets out the structure for a press release, what goes where etc, and explains that structure. I‟ve underlined the main sections where there are explanatory notes at the end which match up by number. I hope you find this document helpful in putting together your press release and that it helps you to get profile for your business or organisation. If you have any questions then please do get in contact:
  4. 4. Press release template in word Copyright © 2013 – Debbie Leven Page 4 of 6 Layout for template press release Press release For immediate release or Embargo: not for publication before – insert date and time1 Title2 First paragraph – about two sentences of no more than 25 words each3 Second paragraph – further detail about the story4 Third paragraph – quote… John Smith, Director of Smith and Co Design said: “…………..” Typically, the quote might be two sentences5 NB – if it is possible to get a quote from a third party then this should go into the press release too. Fourth paragraph – further information6 Remember that a press release will be edited from the bottom up – so, your most important information needs to be at the top of the press release. Ends7 For further information, please contact:8 John Smith, Director, Smith and Co Design insert phone number (office) – indicate any timings re availability – Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm
  5. 5. Press release template in word Copyright © 2013 – Debbie Leven Page 5 of 6 Insert mobile number and availability Insert email address Notes to editors:9 Points under notes to editors would be numbered Include, in notes to editors, standard information which explains what your business does. Try to keep your press release to no more than two pages, if at all possible. Notes 1. Immediate release/embargo - You need to indicate on the release whether it is for immediate release or under embargo. If under embargo then you should indicate the relevant date/timings for the embargo. Embargo does not mean that journalists can‟t contact you about it. It means that you are asking them not to publish/broadcast the information before a particular date/time. Don‟t use embargo for the sake of it. Generally, immediate release will be sufficient. It can be frustrating for journalists to receive information under embargo which cannot then be put into the public domain for some time, particularly if there is no logical reason for the delay. But, if your news is „live‟ on a Monday then it may well make sense to issue the press release the previous week under embargo. That gives journalists time to put a story together – do their research, get interviews etc. 2. Title – the job of the title is to grab attention and encourage the journalist to read more. Don‟t labour over what title might look good in print. If you are issuing the release by email then it‟s a good idea to use the title in the email subject heading. 3. First paragraph – ideally no more than two sentences which answer the who, what, why, where, when, and how? questions of the story. Include as few words as possible to get your points across. Avoid waffle and lengthy explanation – the press
  6. 6. Press release template in word Copyright © 2013 – Debbie Leven Page 6 of 6 release just needs to give a taste of the story. Remember, the test of success is whether the story can be understood in its entirety if only the first paragraph was used/reproduced. Use double spacing with wide margins for hard copy press releases – this aids the journalist in making notes and helps present your news clearly. 4. Second paragraph - The second paragraph expands on information in the first, giving a bit more detail. 5. Third paragraph – this often provides a quote. 6. Fourth paragraph – gives any relevant additional information. Of course, you may need more paragraphs to get your information across but it‟s important to remember to keep the copy as tight as possible. 7. The end of your press release – you need to indicate to the journalist the end of the press release. The accepted form is to use the word „Ends‟ in bold text after the final paragraph – it is then clear to them what is the story and what is additional, or supporting, information. 8. For further information, please contact - it‟s essential to give contact details for someone who can provide further information about the story. You should also indicate the times this person is available and on what contact numbers. Availability and accessibility helps to make the journalist‟s job easier. 9. Notes to Editors – notes to editors is a numbered list which follows after the body of the press release i.e. the story. The list provides additional and background information to aid in understanding the story. Information in notes to editors might, for example, include a short description of the business/organisation (called the „boilerplate‟) and its website link – so the journalist knows where to get more information. For more help on putting together your press release, including articles, tips and resources, go to: