At some point as a PR person, either as a student or professionally, you will have to write a press release. A press release is an announcement made by a PR agency issued directly to the media and other targeted publications to let the public know of a new product, development, or movement of a company or individual.
To have a proper press release, you must make sure it has several key components.
- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Lets the press know when they are able to inform the media
- Press Contact: Who the media should contact if they have further questions.
- Headline: Most important element of the announcement
- Subhead: Secondary message related to the headline
- Dateline: Location and date of release
- Lead paragraph (1/2): Specifics of the announcement. Who, What, Where, Why, When. Explain significance and impact of the announcement.
- Paragraphs (3/4): Quote (approved by individual) by important people related to the announcement (CEO, President, Expert, Scientist, Government Official)
- Boilerplate: A short “About” section talking about the background and current activity of the company, organization, or individual.
- End with ###: Signifies the press release is over.
Here is a press release I constructed about if I were hired for an executive position at the leading PR Firm in the world, Edelman PR. (Fingers crossed that this becomes a reality one day!)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 11, 2014
Edelman Hires Olivia Coflin as Global Chair, Creative Strategy
CEO Richard Edelman plans to take Edelman to the next level in innovation and perception
NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2014— Today, Edelman PR announced the new hire of Olivia Coflin to the role of global chair, creative strategy. Previously at the position of global chair, brand strategist at Finn Partners PR, Coflin is now also an executive member of Edelman. She will now be the principal creative resource for clients and increasing Edelman’s creative endeavors across the board.
“In the world of PR, the rules are ever-changing. We must learn to adapt and become more than just the background of communication with individuals, brands and organizations. For more than 60 years, Edelman has prided itself with the innovative and creative members of our team, but I truly believe Olivia will be able to convey the very best creative strategy to our clients and be open to the many opportunities that are emerging in the marketplace,” said Edelman.
Coflin has been known for her ability to create a shift from the typical perception of PR and creating a better self-image for the profession. She believes that in order to do that, Edelman will benefit from taking the focus out of advertising and focusing more on creative and new multimedia and digital content. Coflin is a brand-marketing specialist and has expertise working with both corporate and agency firms. She has provided extensive counsel on award winning campaigns including Apple’s Campaign Think Different, and CoverGirl’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire campaign.
“Creativity can sometimes be the weakest link in a PR plan,” said Coflin. “I hope to use it as a strategic business tool and utilize different ways of thinking to fuel new content for our clients. I look forward to beginning a new era in PR with Edelman.”
Founded in 1952 by Dan Edelman, Edelman has become the worlds largest public relations firm in the world. Current CEO Richard Edelman oversees his 5,000 employees in 67 offices across the globe. Recognized as one of Advertising Age’s “A-List Agencies” in 2010, and 2011, as well as “Best Places To Work” for the past four years by multiple publications. This year, Edelman was awarded with its seventh Cannes Lion in 2014 for the Grand Prix for PR. Edelman also owns several specialty firms including Edelman Deportivo (creative), Blue, (advertising), BioScience Communications, (medical) and Edelman Berland (research). For more information, visit http://www.edelman.com.
There you have it! All the tools and formatting practices you need to write your own properly constructed press release. Kind of makes you feel like Olivia Pope, right?
(Note: The above is a fictional press release with no actual facts about my accomplishments or knowledge of the field)