How to write a press release

Please don’t forget to download your free press release template at the bottom.

No doubt you’re familiar with the term media release or press release (they mean the same thing by the way!). It’s the formal document that you use to communicate your news to journalists.

So when should you use a press release and how do you go about writing one?

Using a release is a great way of delivering information quickly and succinctly to lots of publications. It contains all of the details the journalist needs to write their story, including quotes from you. So you use it when you have news to tell and if done properly, the journalist won’t even need to speak to you before publishing their story.

There is, however, a formula to writing a release. Remember you are not writing a finished story for the journalist, you are giving them the building blocks for writing their own version of the story. They will not simply copy and paste your release.

The key to getting it right is working on your story angle. What’s the news angle? Not what do you want the story to be about, but what would the audience want to read about? Even if you’re launching a new product, why should they care? What problem does your product solve? How can you turn what you want to say into something that’s newsworthy?

When you’ve worked out what your angle is, you have to get the point across quickly to grab the media’s attention. They may only read the headline and the first paragraph to decide if your story is worth writing about. So make it count.

Let’s start with the headline. If your business intends to disrupt a well-known model, make sure that’s clear from the start. Instead of simply writing, ‘Xx company launches in Sydney’, consider writing, ‘Xx company launches to change the way we do xx.’ Or if you’ve just secured funding, then the chances are that’s your strongest angle so shout it out upfront.

The first paragraph covers the what, who, why, when and where – this is your elevator pitch if you have one. Tell them the problem you solve and why you are different to everyone else out there. Consider using data if you have some to back up your story.

Then comes the rest of the information. In theory the information should be less important as the release goes on. Put in quotes from your spokesperson and your investors if you can to add a bit of colour. Don’t forget to include important facts on your product like where people can buy it, what it costs, your url etc. And of course, the media needs to be able to contact you if they need more information, so make your contact details are in there too!

Once you’ve written it and you’re happy with it, get a couple of people to read it over to check for typos.

Happy writing and please don’t forget to download your free press release template below.

About us

Our ballsy mission and about Sir Bob Geldoff

Is to level the playing field for small businesses, charities and startups so they too can have access to world class PR know how and a proven easy to use DIY PR tool.

The founders, Jocelyne and Nik, have advised and run PR campaigns some of the world’s most loved brands. They now love to hang out, as Apple so beautifully put it, with ‘the crazy ones’; those who risk it all to back themselves with nothing more than an idea and a suitcase of fearless passion.

One of Jocelyne’s many claims to fame is nearly ‘breaking’ the internet when she and her team launched Sea View with Underwater Earth and Google. The PR campaign reached 82 million unique users in 24 hours. She regularly contributes to publications like Anthil, Dynamic Business and Australian Bartender.

When time permits, Nik guest lectures at the University of Technology Sydney. Oh yes, and his claim to fame is that he convinced his old boss, Sir Bob Geldoff, to co-present his radio show on the Triple M radio network.

Through their online tool, they are working with and helping numerous startups, charities and small businesses to get exposure in the media.