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What’s hot and what’s grot: 10 press release rules

1.  Stick to who, what, when, why and how when compiling your copy.

2.  Try to hinge the story around a topical, newsworthy element – make sure the release passes the “so what?” test.

3.  Prioritise information and be concise.

4.  Avoid jargon and promotional language like the plague; clichés too.

5.  Consider the reader and the style of the media you target with the story.  Does the press release need adjusting for different journalists?


Think about your reader and keep it simple. Avoid jargon and nonsense language when writing press releases.

6.  Don’t send huge file attachments when emailing your press release to a journalist, unless you’ve been asked to do so.

7.  Is the press release time critical?  Check the publication dates and copy deadlines for the media you’re targeting if so.

8.  Stick to the facts and work to one clear idea or story.  Do not make false claims.

9.  Include contact details for the journalist to follow up, in case more information or an interview is needed.

10.  Could your story be better explained with an accompanying photograph?