The Biggest Press Release Blunder

Despite today’s rapidly evolving technology, the good old press release is still one of the best ways to reach the media to gain publicity. However, most go straight into an editor’s trash bin because people make the mistake of sending poorly constructed, self-serving releases.

To create press releases that generate media attention, you must have newsworthy content organized into a logical, coherent format. And the best way to organize such a release is by following the inverted pyramid format.

The Biggest Press Release Blunder

With the inverted pyramid, the most important information is at the top:

1. Begin with FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, followed by adding the press contact’s information including his or her email address and phone number.

2. After the contact information, the title should be succinct, while the subtitle should be engaging and informative.

3. The content of the release will begin with the thesis statement followed by supporting details. So, the first paragraph or the lead will answer the five W’s – who, what, where, when, why, and how of the subject.

4. The next section or the body, which can consist of two or three paragraphs, will provide supporting detail about the subject, while the conclusion will recap the introduction and body.

5. The last section, the boilerplate, is the standard “About Us” paragraph that tells the reader who you are, what you do, and how they can get in touch with you.

Once you learn how to create press releases in the inverted pyramid format, you will have a much better chance of getting your story published.

What will you use the inverted pyramid format to promote in your next press release? Let us know below

Written by Kristin

Kristin Marquet, owner of Marquet Media LLC, a full service marketing and public relations agency, works closely with marketing and public relations directors at some of the largest consumer brands of today. To work with her on a PR campaign, send her an email or follow Kristin on Twitter.

6 Responses to The Biggest Press Release Blunder

  1. Besides being a glass artist, I help run a small artisan gallery and we’re having a sign design contest involving the local area high school students. We’re asking them to design a new sign for outside our store and giving prizes for the top 2 designs. The winner will have the opportunity to actually paint the sign and can invite a few of their friends to help and we’ll hold a pizza party for them while they do. We’ll invite his/her family to an evening celebration, write them a letter of recommendation and publish the contest on our website, blog etc….

    I think this event if press worthy and will actually be sending out a release this week.

    This is great info, I’ve actually been using a very similar approach to a press release; the only difference is that the contact info is at the bottom. I only started a few weeks ago but already succeeded in getting one event in the local papers.

    Best,
    Nancy

    • That’s great Nancy, I love how you have taken action and seen results! The contest definitely sounds newsworthy to me – such a nice thing you’re doing for the community, keep us posted on the results.

  2. I have been playing with the idea of writing a press release on our new line of “looking for” bracelets .

    However, I really didn’t know how to build the press release. Now, I will print this out and follow the format. I was thinking of the capture line, or the plug to say something like, “spring is the time of weddings and love, but what if you are still looking for…”

    Hmmm….

  3. I have yet to take the dive into sending out a press release about my upcoming projects (I have no idea why this is such a block for me) but I just created a new invitation suite inspired by Pixar’s UP ( ) that i’m paticularly proud of and think that ity could generate some good buzz and be poular.
    I am going to use the tricks you gave any other advice would be great.

    Michelle aka littletoad

  4. A journalistic approach for content creation greatly helps a press release. The 5 points you have mentioned here greatly helps to prepare a press release ensures that nothing is missed out. Thanks for sharing.

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