Writing and Distributing a Press Release

Press releases are an important part of your company’s overall public relations strategy. A concise, targeted press release can lead to media attention, increased sales and an enhanced public presence for your company.


A well-written press release can help boost sales, give your business greater public exposure, and enhance your company or product image.

Press releases can generate media coverage that tells millions of potential customers what’s new, different and exciting about your business or product. A product review or feature story on your product or company often acts as an implied endorsement or editorial recommendation from an independent third party. And, unlike advertising, this kind of publicity is free. Your main investment is time — plus a little money for stamps, stationery and photocopies — and the exposure you get may be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars in business.

Press releases can take various forms, including:

  • In-depth feature articles on your product or business.
  • Announcements of personnel changes, new hires, and any other news about your business that might interest the public.
  • Radio or television interviews, either with you or someone else connected with your organization.
  • New product reviews aimed for newspapers, magazines and industry journals.

In this Quick-Read you will find:

  • Key facts about press releases.
  • Tips for writing releases.

You may also be interested in Quick-Reads “Dealing with the Media,” “After the Story Runs: How to Get the Most From Your Ink” and “Launching a PR Campaign.”


Keep these points in mind when preparing press releases:

  1. The purpose of releases is to entice the media into reporting, in their own words, on your company or product. Unless it’s a simple announcement, the material in your release will likely be rewritten to suit media needs.
  2. Media people might call and ask for clarification or additional information. Provide whatever they request, and do it quickly, to accommodate deadlines.
  3. Inaccuracies, poor grammar and “muddy” writing guarantee that your release will be tossed. The media have no time to decode unprofessional submissions. Write clearly and concisely with minimal jargon so that your message is easily understood.
  4. Press releases can be as long as three pages, providing your information is newsworthy and clearly written. One-page releases are best for announcing new employees and straightforward business news. (Keep in mind your audience — local newspapers may care about new employee hires or promotions, but a larger city paper won’t — and be discriminating in sending out announcements of this kind.)
  5. Releases are valuable marketing tools. Make sure they reach as many potential customers as possible. Distribute releases at trade shows, mail them to associations, or hand them out at speaking engagements. Display recent press releases on your Web site so they’re always available to potential customers as well as the media.

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