Oakville • Burlington • Milton • Halton Hills

A Press Release is business or organizational news that is intended for the media. Press releases are designed to be sent to media outlets and journalists in order to assist and encourage them to develop news articles on the subject. The quality and effort you put in to writing a professional and well structured press release will pay off in the consideration you will receive from journalists in using your release as legitimate "raw" material for news articles and stories.

Here are some tips to remember

You must report in the third person
Avoid the use of "I", "we" and "you" unless used in a direct quotation.

Use mixed case
Except for the headline which uses "title case" the body should be in "mixed" or "sentence case".

Follow a standard format
Your press release should look like a press release. You can use the following as a template for preparing your press release.

Your Headline Should be in Title Case and Usually Around 80 Characters

This first paragraph (summary paragraph) is a short synopsis of the news, elaborating on the news in the headline in one to four sentences. The summary uses sentence case, with standard capitalization and punctuation.

City, State (HWY52.COM) Month 1, 2008 -- Use this sentence to grab your reader attention by clearly stating the news you have to announce. Try to keep it under 25 words.

Your news release should be made up of short sentences and paragraphs - about three or four lines per paragraph. Use the first couple of paragraphs to answer the questions - who, what, when, where, why and how. A news release should not be confused with a news article.The news media, however, may use information from a news release to craft a news article and they may use information in the release word-for-word.

The standard press release is 300 to 800 words and is written using word processing program. Please use your word processing spell and grammar check prior to submitting to Hwy52.com. This template is 427 words.

An ideal headline is around 80 characters long. Hwy52.com will accept headlines with a maximum of 125 characters. Many people write their headline and summary last to make sure the most important news elements in the body of the release are included in the headline. Use title case in the headline only, capitalizing every word except for prepositions and articles of three characters or less.

The rest of the news release provides additional detail on the information provided in the lead paragraph. You can use quotes from senior staff, customers or experts.

Examples of news release topics include, new product announcements, the receipt of an award, the publishing of a book, the release of new software or the launch of a new Web site. The tone should be neutral and objective. Do not include the hype that is typically found in an advertisement. Speak in the third person and avoid directly addressing your audience. The use of "I," "we" and "you" outside of a direct quotation is a signal that you have written an advertisement rather than a news release.

The final paragraph of a news release can be used for additional information and to restate and summarize the key points of your release. You can also include details on product availability, trademark acknowledgement, etc. here.

About ABC Company:

Include a short corporate profile about the company or the person who is newsworthy before you list the contact person’s name and phone number.

Contact:

Joan Smith, public relations director
ABC Company
555-555-5555
http://www.abc-company.com

###