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Online Toolkit: Writing a Press Release

A press release communicates the details and important information associated with your event and/or activity. It also informs readers what the event or issue is, why your news is important, who is involved or making a statement, and how readers can get more information.

Because reporters receive hundreds of press releases every day, your release should cut through the clutter. Catch the attention of busy readers. Be simple, concise, and factual. Here are some tips on writing a press release. (View sample press releases.)

  • Print the press release on your local association's letterhead.
  • Press releases answer the questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how. Present the information in descending order of importance.
  • The last paragraph typically includes a statement about the local association.
  • Keep it short. In general, a news release should not be longer than two pages.
  • Use wide margins (1 to 1.5 inches on both sides) in order for media readers to edit.
  • Avoid self-serving comments and phrases, unsubstantiated opinions, and superlatives associated with marketing a product.
  • If announcements are being made or opinions are expressed, they should be attributed to the person who is saying them.
  • Ensure the release is grammatically correct. Double-check spelling.
  • After your story appears in your local paper, city magazine, community newspaper, or newsletter, send a copy of the story to your state affiliate communications office.

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