How do I write a press release?

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The first step is to determine if you really have something newsworthy to share in a press release. Now more commonly called a news release, as the name implies, it’s something newsworthy. What makes it newsworthy? That ultimately is determined by the news media writer who will either be interested in learning more than what is included in your news release. Typically, this means this person will personally follow up with you to gather more details and to conduct their own independent research to gather more facts and to interview relevant subject matter experts or opinion leaders. With that said, the basic steps to writing a news release involve writing in a journalistic style known as the inverted pyramid, where you include the most relevant facts up front, usually in the first two paragraphs. In this process, you will want to include the who, what, when, where, why, how and so what elements so the reader or viewer has the most important details at the top. Usually you will want to follow this with a quote from a senior-level person at your organization who can add appropriate comments to validate and emphasize the points made in the first two paragraphs. If appropriate, you can add more detail in the fourth and fifth paragraphs for context, and if appropriate a secondary quote and data that supports the content in the main body of the news release. Finish it with a summary paragraph (known as the boilerplate) about your organization and type three hashmarks or the number 30—a journalistic style that indicates the end of the news release. As a final step, compose a short headline at the top, the city, state and date proceeding the first sentence and don’t forget to include your contact information below the words news release in bold print in the top left margin.

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