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An easy template for writing an online press release

26 Feb, 2010 McKell Naegle

The following template is provided by PRWEBDIRECT. I have included it for easy referencing when writing an online press release.

These tips are useful in helping you get the best coverage for your news online!

Headline Announces News in Title Case, Ideally Under 80 Characters

The summary paragraph is a little longer synopsis of the news, elaborating on the news in the headline in one to four sentences. The summary uses sentence case, with standard capitalization and punctuation.

City, State (PRWEB) Month 1, 2006 — The lead sentence contains the most important information in 25 words or less. Grab your reader’s attention here by simply stating the news you have to announce. Do not assume that your reader has read your headline or summary paragraph; the lead should stand on its own.

A news release, like a news story, keeps sentences and paragraphs short, about three or four lines per paragraph. The first couple of paragraphs should answer the who, what, when, where, why and how questions. The news media may take information from a news release to craft a news or feature article or may use information in the release word-for-word, but a news release is not, itself, an article or a reprint.

The standard press release is 300 to 800 words and written in a word processing program that checks spelling and grammar before submission to PRWeb. This template is 519 words.

The ideal headline is 80 characters long. PRWeb will accept headlines with a maximum of 170 characters. PRWeb recommends writing your headline and summary last, to be sure you include the most important news elements in the body of the release. Use title case in the headline only, capitalizing every word except for prepositions and articles of three characters or less.

The rest of the news release expounds on the information provided in the lead paragraph. It includes quotes from key staff, customers or subject matter experts. It contains more details about the news you have to tell, which can be about something unique or controversial or about a prominent person, place or thing.

Typical topics for a news release include announcements of new products or of a strategic partnership, the receipt of an award, the publishing of a book, the release of new software or the launch of a new Web site. The tone is neutral and objective, not full of hype or text that is typically found in an advertisement. Avoid directly addressing the consumer or your target audience. The use of “I,” “we” and “you” outside of a direct quotation is a flag that your copy is an advertisement rather than a news release.

Do not include an e-mail address in the body of the release. If you do, it will be protected from spambots with a notice to that effect, which will overwrite your e-mail address.

“The final paragraph of a traditional news release contains the least newsworthy material,” said Mario Bonilla, member services director for PRWeb. “But for an online release, it’s typical to restate and summarize the key points with a paragraph like the next one.”

For additional information on the news that is the subject of this release (or for a sample, copy or demo), contact Mary Smith or visit www.prweb.com. You can also include details on product availability, trademark acknowledgment, etc. here.

About XYZ Company:

Include a short corporate backgrounder, or “boilerplate,” about the company or the person who is newsworthy before you list the contact person’s name and phone number.


Mary Smith, director of public relations
XYZ Company


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