Demystifying the Press Release Format + Free, Easy-to-Use Template

However, keep a couple of rules in mind to ensure your press release links get the most traction. Only include a link if it is valuable to your audience. For example, make your link more valuable by not just linking to your company homepage but, instead, linking to a page that is hyper-relevant to the topic discussed in your release. And, even then, only include one to two links within your entire press release.

Your boilerplate is the only place where linking to your website is an acceptable idea. Present it as a way people can learn more about the contents within your boilerplate. If you include a link to your website, also include a link to other business websites if they also have a boilerplate in your press release. Add social share links as an added way for readers to learn more.

Multimedia

Offering journalists multimedia resources in your press release allows them to choose the best format and details to provide their audiences when crafting a compelling story. Press releases with multimedia create more engaging stories across platforms like social media, blogs, and even print outlets. This is because journalists know that videos and other multimedia can increase engagement threefold[7].

While often offered only if you are willing to pay $100 to $200 extra via a press release distribution service, embedded videos or images are more engaging than simply an attached image or video. Embedded multimedia is viewable directly from published news wire stories, while attached multimedia is simply accessible in link form within the published piece. Still, many plans offer free multimedia attachments, which still provide journalists with visuals they can use to add depth to their stories.

Each service has its own guidelines for formatting your multimedia for attaching or embedding in your press release, including file size and pixel limitations. Be sure to include the original files so your media contacts can use these clips if they believe they will add to their story angle. If you are emailing your press release, include links to these assets so they are available in their original form and not just a copy (which is often of less quality).

Press Release Format Best Practices

Writing and distributing a press release can either propel your company toward meeting goals or fall on deaf ears. Given the funds and time you are likely to invest in your release, we know you would like the results to be the former. For this reason, focus on adding quality details to your release (e.g., correct document settings) as well as multimedia content and social media links. Then, choose a distribution service that makes the most of your attention to detail.

Set Correct Document Settings

For a professional press release, use one-inch margins around your entire press release document. Set your body paragraphs to single space and use an easy-to-read and standard business font like Arial or Times New Roman. Bold your header and dateline and italicize your subheader.

Include Multimedia Attachments or Embedded Content

While your press release should be no more than 500 words, you can add depth and perspective angles that could mean more coverage through multimedia. An image or a video offers more information journalists can use to craft unique angles that could better fit their readers than the angle you have provided. Journalists also know the added media formats could increase story engagement, meaning they are more likely to want to publish your story.

Create an Exploratory Journey

Remember that good reporting is not just rehashing other people’s stories but, instead, developing a unique one that can’t be found elsewhere. This means that not every journalist will want the same information. As such, as you craft your story, provide enough information that journalists can choose a unique angle that will appeal to their audiences, then dig deeper to fill in the details. Including content that helps them dig deeper into their chosen angles will mean more of a chance they will cover your story and produce a piece their audiences will actually read, thereby getting your news before more people.

To do so, while you want to keep your press release to just one page (or approximately 500 words), include ways journalists can go off the beaten path. For example, you could include a linked CTA that takes journalists to a landing page where they can download a report or e-book, or attend a webinar about your product. Or, you might include hashtags where journalists can follow the story on social media as it develops and learn what influencers they can contact who are talking about the story on said platforms. You could also invite them to a sampling event or a free demo.

Include Social Share Links

It used to be that people waited for their newspaper to arrive or picked one up in a coffee shop or gas station every day to consume the news. But, increasingly, people instead peruse social media feeds each day to receive their news. In fact, 55% of adults[8] now receive their daily news via social media.

Brands wanting to disseminate news would be wise to ensure it is present where people are more likely to consume it. That’s where social share links are valuable. Including them in your boilerplate is a great way to make this happen. Offer them as a way for readers to learn more about your business. Then, be sure to publish this and future press releases on your social channels as well as the stories that are created by reputable journalists around your press release content.

Choose the Right Distribution Service

While this may not seem related to your release format, choosing the right distribution service is a crucial step toward ensuring the formatting details you so meticulously included are put to good use. For example, some distribution services allow multimedia attachments or embedding as well as social share links in your press release, while others do not. Choose a press release distribution service that allows you to take advantage of the best formatting options.

For more insights like these, check out our more comprehensive guide on press release best practices[9].

Press Release Format Example

The following is an example of a press release that conveys the who, what, when, where, why, and how of their news effectively and clearly as well as key resources journalists can use to develop their stories—all in a properly formatted document. You can also find several more examples like this one in our article on The Best Press Release Examples by Type[10].

Thorn Launches New Initiative to Save Children

Thorn’s press release begins with a headline that compels readers to read on. It goes on to develop the story by announcing who will be involved in the efforts, what the initiative entails, why the effort is important, and how the organization will meet the goals proposed in the headline. It further offers quotes, images, and key bullet points to help journalists develop their stories. Then, key links, like their social media pages, offer further means to learn more.

The press release finishes with an about section—or boilerplate—for all companies mentioned in the release. These paragraphs include the mission of each organization, what makes the company stand out, what they’ve contributed to their industries, their prominent partners, and relevant links where readers can learn more about the company.

Bottom Line

A press release is a 300- to 500-word statement distributed by a business to the press to help generate media coverage and public awareness of specific news. It contains a compelling headline, a developed story with a newsworthy angle, multimedia, quotes, links, a CTA, a boilerplate, and contact information. If written correctly, it is an effective tool for businesses to earn press coverage that will, in turn, help them meet business goals like boosting leads.

If you need help incorporating all the best formatting options, eReleases[11] can help. With writing plans starting at $300, you can hire a professional press release writer who will write and format your release, then offer unlimited edits until you are satisfied with the final product. From there, starting at $299 per release, they will distribute your press release, including journalist resources like images and links. Click here[12] to get started with eReleases.

Visit eReleases[13]

References

  1. ^ DOWNLOAD – Free Press Release Template (PDF or DOCX) (fitsmallbusiness.com)
  2. ^ press release (fitsmallbusiness.com)
  3. ^ AP style guidelines (fitsmallbusiness.com)
  4. ^ eReleases (go.performi.com)
  5. ^ press writing services (fitsmallbusiness.com)
  6. ^ How to Write a Boilerplate (fitsmallbusiness.com)
  7. ^ increase engagement threefold (go.performi.com)
  8. ^ 55% of adults (www.forbes.com)
  9. ^ press release best practices (fitsmallbusiness.com)
  10. ^ The Best Press Release Examples by Type (fitsmallbusiness.com)
  11. ^ eReleases (go.performi.com)
  12. ^ Click here (go.performi.com)
  13. ^ Visit eReleases (go.performi.com)

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