Whilst it is possible to find lots of guides online which will show you how to format your press release if you want to draft it internally, there are a number of things that are necessary to ensure your release obtains optimum communications efficacy. Those unacquainted with this type of document often worry about getting the “formatting right”, but in reality, this is one of a number of challenges that need to be overcome to deliver a strong release.

01. Press release format

It is essential to stick to industry standard rules regarding formatting for two reasons. One, it will indicate to recipient editors that the person sending the release has “perceived credibility” in what they are doing; whilst a great news release could feasibly be scrawled on kitchen towel in theory, using industry standard format will indicate to those receiving it that you know what you’re doing.

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The second point is the “gatekeeper” effect – a well-written release consistent to acceptable formatting is less likely to be immediately discarded by an editor.

02. Press release positioning

You should introduce your news story firstly by establishing who the company is which is sending it, and we do this through a short positioning statement. Your release will usually begin in a style similar to the below:

XYZ Co. Ltd., a leading supplier of renewable housing solutions to leading developers in Thailand, has just done something interesting XXX.

The part immediately after the company name tells the reader who your release is intended for (relevance) and where you believe you “exist” in the market, i.e.- your company and/or brand positioning. Always assume people have never heard of you, even if your company is huge and famous. This is intended for the convenience of journalists, and is therefore considered to be a professional intro.

03. Press release headline

Your headline should succinctly explain your key message and explain also the reason we are giving people the release. Avoid ambiguity and don’t make it too long – two lines max.

People often believe (and comment on blogs) that the reason we need an exciting and imaginative press release headline is to capture the attention of a busy editor in a packed mailbox, but this is untrue. If you (or more realistically, your PR firm) have a good relationship with the media organisation to whom you are sending the release, then the outreach already has relevance, and will be of interest to them as a result of your professional standing in the industry, the time you’ve spent cultivating media relations, and finally the fact that your news story is timely and newsworthy.

04. Contact information

It’s important to note on the release who the recipient can contact if they wish to follow up on the story and request more information. For clients using PR firms, this will usually be your media contact at the agency. It should also make a note of your main company URL (and global site, for multinationals) as this is the journalist’s fastest way of clarifying product info or any missing or seemingly contradictory facts (it happens). So, what are the common mistakes when writing a press release in this regard? Neglecting to include your social media account URLS, any campaign hashtags, and also an email address for direct follow-up contact.

05. Boilerplate

Below the close-out para of your main release, the boilerplate is one or two paragraphs of approved company info you wish to include in every release. It is “standard copy” which may evolve over time but gives you something on record internally to close out your releases quickly each time and simply clarify standard information on your company, solutions, products, market, credibility and interesting key facts at a glance. Again, the purpose is to provide time-saving convenience for editors and journalists, and Thai media, just like in any other market; they will be grateful for it and also rely on it when completing their stories on your company quickly.

Gemini is Thailand’s leading content marketing and design consultancy. Ask us about anything Press Release related using the contact form.

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