Writing the perfect press release is like baking a cake: you must follow the recipe precisely and it’s a good idea to steer clear of throwing in unnecessary ingredients that aren’t needed. Afterall, you don’t want all your hard work to have a poor outcome.

The good news is, it’s not rocket science. So to give you a head start, here are our best tips for writing effective press releases that are sure to get noticed by a variety of publications.

1. Have a striking headline

Just like a magazine or news article, a press release should have a strong title and opening line. This is a good way to not only grab the reader’s attention but also to keep them hooked. It should be as engaging as it is accurate, so that the reader is encouraged to proceed with the whole story.

2. Get to the point in the opening paragraph

Reporters are busy people so don’t spend too long explaining what your story is about. The main points that need to be included in the first two sentences are the 5 W’s:

Who, What, Where, When and Why…

Who – Understand who your press release is about. It could be your company, a specific colleague or a certain product.
What – What is it that makes this news?
Where – Where is this news happening? Is it a geographical or business location?
When – What date is your press release intended for? Does the timing hold any significance?
Why – Why is the information important?

3. Think about your target audience

Every press release should have a clear news angle in order to make it worthy of publication. The angle that is going to appeal to readers in a specialist magazine will differ to that of a local newspaper so think about what kind of audience you want to reach.

In fact, it’s a good idea to write different versions of your press release to accommodate for the various publications you wish to submit to.

4. Don’t waffle on

Probably one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to writing a press release is how many paragraphs should you use. The answer is how long is a piece of string?

Generally no longer than one page will suffice but the best way to look at it is by avoiding waffling on and writing lengthy explanations. Keep your story as tight as possible, retain as much information in the opening paragraph and use your remaining paragraphs to support the first one. This will ensure that your readers don’t lose focus.

5. Include quotes, links and images

No one wants to feel like a robot has written your press release. That’s why it’s useful to add quotes, as this will add a human element to your piece. It breaks the text up a bit and helps to make the reader feel involved.

Does your business have a website, a blog or a variety of social media profiles? Fantastic! Remember to link to these in your press release so that the reader can explore your company further.

Adding an image will instantly make your press release more attractive to the reader but remember opt for a high resolution image in a JPEG file so it’s easy to upload.

6. Proof, proof and proof again!

Even the tiniest error can dissuade a reporter from using your story. That’s why ensuring your press release is grammatically flawless is the most crucial final touch. Proof it yourself and then ask a couple of other people to have a look at it too. You never know, they might spot something that you’ve missed.

If you would like more information on how to submit press releases to huddled, contact Suzanne at suzanne.goddard@huddled.co.uk