Tips for press release writing


I've been doing a fair bit of media training recently, and therefore had cause to discuss the rule of the 5 Ws.

These are the elements you must include when writing a news story and, therefore, when penning a press release too.

As one participant told me after a session the other day, it's actually a good rule for wider communication too.




If an intro (and by that I mean the first sentence) to a press release misses any of these elements, you risk failing to land your message immediately, and many will simply stop reading and delete the email. Opportunity for coverage gone.
So if you do have cause to write a press release, or are packaging information up that you hope will lead to a press release, you must address the following points in the opening sentence - and preferably in no more than 25 words.
Who are you? What are you saying? Why are you saying it? When does it apply? Where does it apply?
These can take many forms (for instance, even the tense of the sentence can describe the "when") but each one is too important to omit.
This all comes quite naturally to anyone who's worked on a newspaper, but to many others it's hard and daunting.
If you don't get these key ingredients nailed down fast, your entire communications strategy will falter.

And in case you want an example...

Failure to include the five Ws✅ means businesses across the UK✅ are✅ missing out on media coverage✅, a PR company has warned✅.