Press Release Formatting Rules: A Rundown
Formatting a proper press release means all the difference between hitting your goals or failing miserably altogether. There are a few press release formatting rules that one should know prior to writing a press release. These are the basic formatting rules, one that every press release follows and every publishing service requires. These include word limits, how the text should move from the headline to the boilerplate and how to format basically the whole release.
Press release formatting rules are pretty much the same rules that every press release follows. Creative headline, concise, pithy statements and a detail-laced text. However, press release formatting goes beyond that. Here is a comprehensive list of press release formatting rules.
Press Release Formatting Rules:
A well-placed logo is imperative for the press release. It helps with the identification for both media outlets and the general public.
Add Contact Information:
The contact information can either be at the start or the end of the entire document. Wherever the placement, it needs to be easily identifiable and reachable.
Include Press Release Date:
Similarly, the release date (typed as FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE or EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE) needs to be in all bold, all caps and at the top right of the document.
Show the Headline:
The headline needs to be catchy, concise and comprehensive. Character length should be 65-80 characters. Than add the shoulder that should support the headline with additional information. Formatting a shoulder includes typing it in italics (to differ it from the headline).
The press release’s lead paragraph should start with the location and the date of the publication (preferably in bold). Much like a news article in a newspaper, the entirety of the document starts with this place/ date stamp.
Add 5 W’s in the Start:
The first paragraph should answer all the questions any reader might have about the press release (5W’s). Plus, it should build up on the headline and the shoulder. The rest of the text in the shape of paragraphs should not exceed more than 2 pages in total and should be limited to 500 words at the most. This will ensure that the text isn’t too heavy or the release does not look burdened with words.
Use Quotes to Explain the Press Release:
A good practice in press release formatting is including relevant quotes from the upper echelon of the corporation. This helps give the release an air of authenticity and newsworthiness and spruces up the entire release, especially if it’s a quote by a well-known industry leader.
Read More: Press Release Quotes: A Quick Rundown
Add Appropriate Boilerplate:
Less than 100 words, the concluding paragraph or the boilerplate is basically an ‘About’ section for the corporation. You can use it to write basically an introduction to the company, its ethos, values and its services.
In its final stages, the press release should include a Call-To-Action, a phrase like ‘Call us’ or ‘Got questions? Contact X at 123’ to ensure that the reader has enough information to contact or act on the information provided in the press release.
Hyperlinks are actually an important part of press release formatting rules, especially in internet applications. For example, when a press release is uploaded onto social networks, hyper-linking will help readers re-route to the company website or any other website the release intends to divert internet traffic to.
There are several other points considered good practices in the press release formatting rules. These are listed below,
Include Visual Media / Embedded Content:
Including visual media (pictures and videos) can help your press release greatly in getting the message across and can act as a catalyst to getting more people to read the entire release. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, you can actively substitute a thousand words from your release just by adding pictures or embedding videos, that can explain what the release is all about.
Link the Press Release to Social Media Websites:
Nearly all corporations and companies now have Facebook pages, Instagram accounts or Twitter handles. Including these in the press release is considered a good practice in press release formatting rules and can help people easily navigate to the company’s homepage or social media accounts just by clicking the link instead of searching for it in a new tab.
Choosing the Right Press Release Distribution Service:
This is the most crucial part of the press release formatting rules and should be given the most attention to. After you’ve written your press release, its then the distribution service’s job to get it out in the wild. No matter how good the actual release is, without a viable strategy from a press release distribution service, you can’t expect results to come pouring in. selecting the best Press Release distribution service means the difference between target achieved or target lost.
Keep it between 300-500 words, make it snappy and follow the rules. That pretty much sums up a good release following the press release formatting rules.