A super quick guide to writing a press release

A press release is a written statement to the media announcing news. It may be published as is or the information in it may be used  by the journalist to write a news story.

Start by considering whether your story is new, unique, surprising, or interesting.
Next identify who are your target and what are their interests. Take a media angle which they will be interested in.

Lay out your statement in logical order. Making it easy to follow, stay on point, avoid excess detail, and keep it between 300 and 600 words. Keep it truthful and punchy with facts and figures. Short sentences, short paragraphs, no fancy jargon. Deal with who, what, when, where, why, and how. Remember to add human interest.

Get someone to check that your statement makes sense, is easy to understand, and has good grammar and no spelling mistakes. Journalists are very busy; so the more ready for press – the more likely it is to get published.

Follow this with some info about your organisation or group, if you are part of one. Add public contact details if you have these. Under this line, either type ENDS in bold or ###.

Make sure you send a phone number so the journalist can contact you easily.

Send your press release by email, in the body of the message rather than as an attachment.

There are various places you can publish your press release, including New Zealand’s Independent News Media Scoop, as well as Stuff and many other mainstream news outlets.