How To Write A Press Release – Writing a press release but don’t know how to get started? If you’re looking to get media coverage for your small business, being able to write an effective press release is an essential skill. But how long should a press release be? And what kind of information should you include?

Getting a journalist to open your email is important, but if your first sentence doesn’t grab them, they may not read any further – which is why you need to get the “top line” (the most important bit) of your story right at the beginning of your release. Your first line should be a summary of the story (in no more than around 15-20 words) and read like the opening of a news story.

Journalists are generally taught to get as many of the “five Ws” (who, what, where, why and when) in the opening line of news stories, so if you want examples of great first lines for press releases, look no further than your daily newspaper.

Another trick is to imagine your story is going to be covered on a TV or radio programme. A presenter generally has around 5-6 seconds to introduce each item eg “And coming up next … why a local cafe owner is giving a free coffee this weekend to anyone born in July.” If your story was going to be featured on the radio today, how would the presenter introduce it? Asking yourself that question should give you the top line of your story.

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