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The Making of a Press Release: Part 3 of 3 (Content)

The press release is a very useful marketing tactic to get the message out about your cause, products or services. Careful attention must be paid to present the content professionally and in a manner that is worthy of getting "picked up" and published. So, what are some some of the do's and don'ts?

  • BLUF Bottom Line Up Front. You must be concise and to the point. The important message should be in the first paragraph. Don't create an elaborate and wordy introduction that says nothing more than read the whole thing. If you do that the whole press release will not be read. Through out the press release be sure to avoid filler words, phrases and sentences that don't add to your message.

  • Speak easy. Don't write like you speak or write poetry. Avoid using too many if any colloquialisms, cliches and technical jargon. Remember you are trying to get some one's attention usually an editor or a member of the press. They are looking for something to fill their publication or some air time. Using words that have to be deciphered will cause your press release to not even be read.

  • Include your organization's information. It is acceptable and expected that the press release include a short paragraph about your organization. Include this paragraph at the end of the press release. Be sure to adhere to the two previous points. Don't lose it now. If they have gotten to this paragraph, they like what they have read so far.

  • Relevance. Be sure your press release can pass the 'So what' and 'Who cares' test. Also, try to tie your press release to current events and news stories. Make sure you send your release to publications and news outlets that can use your story. In other words don't send your story about successful tests of your drug that cures a disease to Sports Illustrated or ESPN The Magazine.

  • Where's the news? Make sure to tell the news story and don't overtly promote your product or service. If you have a lot of information to put out use multiple press releases.

  • Interestingly brief. Use short headers and sub-headers to make your press release easy to read and skim. Write in a direct and active voice. Include important information with the fewest words. However DON'T forget to include important details about people, products, services, events, places etc that will make your press release interesting and news worthy.

To learn more about PLANNING a press release see Part 1 of 3; and to learn more about the FORMAT of the press release see Part 2 of 3.


  1. Emilio:

    I really enjoyed these three articles. I have passed them along to our PR Person. I found the BLUF acronym very helpful.

  2. Great comments.

    How do you handle the press' need for sensationalism? It seems now a days that is all the press is looking for.