Press release template word
Press release template word - guidelines on putting together a press release including a press release template in word. http://www.prcoach.co.uk/pr-tips-and-resources/press-release-template/
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Press release template word
Press release template in word Copyright © 2013 – Debbie Leven Page 1 of 6
Press release template word
Want to write a press release? Want a press release template in word? Let‟s
assume that if you are reading this then that is exactly what you want to do. Today,
you can use press releases to build awareness (media focus) but also to build back
links (back links focus). We‟ll make another assumption before we jump in – that
you are interested in the media focus i.e. writing and issuing a press release to target
the press and media with the aim of getting coverage that will raise awareness and
help you build your profile and your brand.
So, you have decided that a press release is the most appropriate tool for getting
your news to journalists. What do you do next? It‟s essential to break down the
component parts of your press release:
pitching and targeting
splicing and dicing.
This paper looks, briefly, at news value, content and structure, with a press release
template in word and accompanying notes to help you set out your news story. For
more help on putting together your press release, including articles, tips and
resources, go to: http://www.prcoach.co.uk/pr-help/
For your press release to hit the right buttons with journalists it needs to focus on the
news and what will be of interest, and relevant, to them and their audience. It‟s
important to remember that you don‟t have to use a press release to get your news
out there, it‟s just one tool, although it‟s a very useful one. Understanding what
Press release template in word Copyright © 2013 – Debbie Leven Page 2 of 6
makes a news story is key. You need to think like a journalist and to tune in to what
will interest them. „People‟ or „human interest‟ is one of the most important
ingredients in news stories and this is what journalists will seek out. Your job is to
identify your human interest angle and to package it and make it stand out for
journalists. There are many other elements of a news story but human interest lies
at the heart – without that there is a risk your news story will fall flat.
Content - what to cover when writing your press release
The content for your press release should aim to answer the following questions
about your news story:
Who? – Who are the key players – your organisation, anyone else involved
with the announcement? Who does your news affect/who does it bring benefit
What? – What is the story, subject of the news?
Why? – Why is this important/news, why has this happened?
Where? – Where is this happening/is there a geographical angle/is the
location of the business relevant?
When? – What is the timing of this? Does this add significance?
How? – How did this come about?
A useful starting point is to write down the answers to these questions. You can then
start to build up the content for your press release. That sounds simple but it can be
quite challenging. If you can‟t get the words right straight away then don‟t give up –
A striking title is essential to capture attention and encourage the journalist to read
the press release. But, don‟t get too hung up on making the title perfect. If your
story does get used then it‟s more than likely the journalist or the editor will change
the title anyway. Your aim, with the title, should be to capture the attention of the
reader (i.e. the journalist you are targeting) and to get the essence of the story
across as clearly and tightly as possible. The same is true for the subject line if you
send the press release by email and also for the first paragraph in your press
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You need to make your words work as hard as possible to attract and keep attention.
A journalist will receive hundreds and thousands of press releases from businesses
and other organisations, all competing with you to get coverage. So, you have to
make your story stand out. The best way to do that is to show that you understand
the ingredients they are looking for that are relevant to their audience.
Ideally, for your first paragraph, you should be looking at no more than two
sentences, each of 25 words or fewer. Space in publications is limited. If you have
written a press release well then the news will be upfront with a bit more information
further down the press release – think of an inverted pyramid.
A journalist/editor works to this inverted pyramid framework and edits from the
bottom of the story up. If they only have 25-50 words for a story then it may be that
your first two paragraphs are considered, or even just the first. So, it‟s essential you
get the essence of the news in as early as possible. After all, it‟s better to get your
first paragraph printed than no paragraph at all. After you‟ve written your press
release it‟s a good test to see whether that first paragraph could be pulled out as
explaining the core of the story if it stood alone.
Over the page is a template that sets out the structure for a press release, what goes
where etc, and explains that structure. I‟ve underlined the main sections where there
are explanatory notes at the end which match up by number. I hope you find this
document helpful in putting together your press release and that it helps you to get
profile for your business or organisation. If you have any questions then please do
get in contact: http://www.prcoach.co.uk/pr-help/
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Layout for template press release
For immediate release or Embargo: not for publication before – insert date and
First paragraph – about two sentences of no more than 25 words each3
Second paragraph – further detail about the story4
Third paragraph – quote… John Smith, Director of Smith and Co Design said:
“…………..” Typically, the quote might be two sentences5
NB – if it is possible to get a quote from a third party then this should go into the
press release too.
Fourth paragraph – further information6
Remember that a press release will be edited from the bottom up – so, your most
important information needs to be at the top of the press release.
For further information, please contact:8
John Smith, Director,
Smith and Co Design
insert phone number (office)
– indicate any timings re availability – Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm
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Insert mobile number and availability
Insert email address
Notes to editors:9
Points under notes to editors would be numbered
Include, in notes to editors, standard information which explains what your
Try to keep your press release to no more than two pages, if at all possible.
1. Immediate release/embargo - You need to indicate on the release whether it is
for immediate release or under embargo. If under embargo then you should indicate
the relevant date/timings for the embargo. Embargo does not mean that journalists
can‟t contact you about it. It means that you are asking them not to
publish/broadcast the information before a particular date/time.
Don‟t use embargo for the sake of it. Generally, immediate release will be sufficient.
It can be frustrating for journalists to receive information under embargo which
cannot then be put into the public domain for some time, particularly if there is no
logical reason for the delay. But, if your news is „live‟ on a Monday then it may well
make sense to issue the press release the previous week under embargo. That
gives journalists time to put a story together – do their research, get interviews etc.
2. Title – the job of the title is to grab attention and encourage the journalist to read
more. Don‟t labour over what title might look good in print. If you are issuing the
release by email then it‟s a good idea to use the title in the email subject heading.
3. First paragraph – ideally no more than two sentences which answer the who,
what, why, where, when, and how? questions of the story. Include as few words as
possible to get your points across. Avoid waffle and lengthy explanation – the press
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release just needs to give a taste of the story. Remember, the test of success is
whether the story can be understood in its entirety if only the first paragraph was
used/reproduced. Use double spacing with wide margins for hard copy press
releases – this aids the journalist in making notes and helps present your news
4. Second paragraph - The second paragraph expands on information in the first,
giving a bit more detail.
5. Third paragraph – this often provides a quote.
6. Fourth paragraph – gives any relevant additional information. Of course, you
may need more paragraphs to get your information across but it‟s important to
remember to keep the copy as tight as possible.
7. The end of your press release – you need to indicate to the journalist the end
of the press release. The accepted form is to use the word „Ends‟ in bold text after
the final paragraph – it is then clear to them what is the story and what is additional,
or supporting, information.
8. For further information, please contact - it‟s essential to give contact details
for someone who can provide further information about the story. You should also
indicate the times this person is available and on what contact numbers. Availability
and accessibility helps to make the journalist‟s job easier.
9. Notes to Editors – notes to editors is a numbered list which follows after the
body of the press release i.e. the story. The list provides additional and background
information to aid in understanding the story. Information in notes to editors might,
for example, include a short description of the business/organisation (called the
„boilerplate‟) and its website link – so the journalist knows where to get more
For more help on putting together your press release, including articles, tips and
resources, go to: http://www.prcoach.co.uk/pr-help/