If you’re a no-nonsense kind of person, you may benefit from the more streamlined press release template below. After reviewing the press release “template” I’d originally created in “A Modern Guide to Public Relations,” I realized it’s not a template. It’s a creative way to explain the inner-workings of a press release instead. So, if you like a little more explanation, be sure to check that out, but if you’re all about the facts, this is for you!
While this press release template is possibly more straightforward, I should warn you that there really isn’t a way to create a general press release template without knowing what the topic of the release even is! Hopefully soon we will be able to create templates for specific press release topics, as listed below:
The theme here is New because the News is about what’s New.
- New board/committee: either your leader has joined or your organization is announcing new member(s)
- New charitable donation: your organization either receives or gives more than $5,000
- New office opening
- New service or product creation
- New notable hire
- New development/building construction
- New scientific study launched or results announced
- New award win
- New or returning event announcement
- New funding received or going public
What’s New with your organization? That’s your press release topic, unless…. You are following up on previously sent news with a recap, such as:
- Recap event announcing results, i.e. funds raised or attendees drawn
- Recap community effort, such as how many bags of trash collected
- Recap organizational growth/hiring/funding efforts previously announced.
It is fine to “recap” news in a press release, it’s just more retro-active news. If you’re recapping news, you’re likely creating a follow-up press release to news you’ve already sent.
Photo opportunities/media events:
- Photo opps such as volunteering or groundbreakings could be written as straightforward media advisories or fun pitches that paint the visual if you’re inviting the press. A press release may not be needed as long as your invitation is clear and at the top of the pitch.
- Press conference announcement (if you need a template for this, you’re not ready to host a press conference on your own).
If none of these scenarios fit with your announcement topic, perhaps give more thought to whether your announcement should be formatted as a press release. Or, would it be better served by an email pitch? Many of our best stories were not generated from press releases, rather they were generated by pitches that were customized, not just by topic and client, but mostly for the press medium (TV, podcasts, or print/web, etc.) and/or press contact.
Headline Summarizing All Content with
Location or Industry Mentioned
[City], [State abbreviation], [Date] — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Today [insert organization name with link to website] announces [insert announcement]. [Insert one-two sentences about the announcement and/or when, what, where details. Include information about the organization, but don’t overshadow what’s being announced].
“[Insert how you, or someone else, feels about this announcement in quote format,]” said [insert first and last name, title, organization]. “[Insert how this announcement will help either people, local community/market, industry, or all of it].
[Add points of reference, such as research (cite sources), stats, etc. to back quotes].
“[Insert another quote if there is more to say or someone to highlight, such as a sponsor, community member, client, notable VIP, etc.], said [insert first and last name, title, and company if quoting a new person. If it is the same person as quoted above, only insert last name.]
More information could go in this paragraph, if necessary. If quoting a new person above, include their involvement with the announcement, either after or before their quote. If introducing them (with full name, title, and company) in text before their quote, only list their last name with their quote.
More about [insert organization name]:
This is the “boilerplate” meant to offer the organization’s background. It is the same in every press release. It can be updated as the organization evolves. [Insert 2-5 sentences about organization and link to website. Include services or products organization provides, location(s), and/or industry(ies)/ location(s) service or product it helps]. [Insert social handles].
[Insert Media Contact Name and Contact Info, including cell phone and email address]
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Video on the Types of Press Releases
Here is a video I recorded to support my book, A Modern Guide to Public Relations, specifically on the various types of press releases:
Feature image courtesy of Markus Winkler via Unsplash