How to Write a Press Release

Getting The Most Out Of PWL: Press Releases

A well-written press release can be an effective way to promote your organization to a wide audience at no cost. Here at Prince William Living, we allow you to directly contribute news for consideration, and try to publish as much of your news as we can online. Sometimes a release may lead to an idea for a bigger story that we will have a writer follow up with. Here are some tips that will help you to get your releases published on and with other news sources.  (See sample release at the bottom of this article)

So what IS a press release? It is a concise, informative document that provides details about the topic and prompts the reader to take action. Writing a press release may seem daunting, but with the right structure and content, anyone can create an effective press release.

Here are the key parts of a press release:

Headlines can make or break your story. 

Make your headline honest, but catchy. Something that will make people want to know more. You only have a few seconds to capture the reader’s attention. The headline should grab the reader’s attention and summarize the news or event. Keep it brief and to the point, using active and compelling language.


The dateline includes the location and date of the press release’s issue. It should be in the first line of the first paragraph of the content.


The introduction provides a brief overview of the story. It should answer the who, what, when, where, and why questions in a clear and concise manner.


The body of the press release is where the details and context are provided. Write a brief description of the company, organization, or individual issuing the press release. It should be consistent across all press releases and provide key information about the organization’s history, mission, and accomplishments. Use quotes from relevant sources and provide statistics or data to support the story. Use paragraphs to break up the information and make it easier to read.

Call to Action

The call to action prompts the reader to take action, such as visiting a website, attending an event, or contacting a representative for more information.

Media Contact Details

The media contact details provide contact information for the person who can provide more information about the news or event. This should include the name, title, phone number, and email address of the representative.

Make sure your release is well written. Ideally, your release should be good enough to print “as is.” A poorly written release not only won’t get run, but will hurt your credibility. Most news outlets prefer AP style writing. At the very least, it should create enough interest to merit further investigation. It should read like a news story, written in third person, not as an ad or marketing piece.  Accompanying submissions of photographs and videos are encouraged. Have someone else proofread, spelling, grammar and clarity.

Check your style. Write your press release in the third person but with an active voice. Include quotes to create interest. These can be from “experts” or people who are part of the story. Never use all capital letters and do not mix your fonts. This makes the release hard to read. Do not use industry verbiage – use plain language that your audience and the editor will understand.

Make sure your press release is long enough, yet not too long. You want to make sure it is at least 250 words/three paragraphs long, yet no more than one page. If your press release is too long or not to the point, it won’t be read by editors or search engines.

Don’t write an advertorial . This is a story to share, not an advertisement. The media isn’t trying to sell your product or service. They want a story their readers will be interested in.

WHO is your audience? When writing a press release, it is important to keep the audience in mind. Use language that is clear and easy to understand, and avoid jargon or technical terms that may confuse readers. Use an active voice and keep sentences short and concise.

It is also important to proofread the press release before sending it out. Check for spelling and grammar errors, and make sure that all facts and figures are accurate.

Writing an effective press release is an important skill for anyone looking to communicate news or events to the media and the public. By following these key parts and tips, anyone can create a compelling and informative press release that captures the attention of readers and prompts them to take action.

For more information on the kinds of stories Prince William Living is looking for, please read: How to Get Your Story Published. Be sure to include contact information in your release in case we have questions or seek to have one of our writers do a follow up piece on your release.

Thank you for reading Prince William Living and for wanting to make your story a part of our publication. Prince William Living is YOUR community magazine, and we appreciate and your involvement in its continued growth as the lifestyle information resource in greater Prince William. Click here to submit your release for consideration. 

[Company Name or Organization Logo]


[Headline in Bold]

[City, State] – [Date] – [Company Name or Organization] is pleased to announce [news or event].

[Lead Paragraph]

The [news or event]is set to [what is happening and when]. This exciting [news or event]will [what will happen or why this is important].

[Additional Paragraphs]

[Provide more details about the news or event. Include quotes from company or organization representatives, experts, or customers. Explain how this news or event will benefit the company or organization, its customers, or the community.]

[Closing Paragraph]

[Summarize the main points of the press release. Provide contact information for company or organization representatives who can answer questions or provide additional information.]

[Company or Organization Boilerplate]

[About the company or organization, including history, mission, and key accomplishments. This paragraph should remain the same in all press releases.]

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

[Contact Name, Title] [Company or Organization Name] [Address] [Phone] [Email]