Press Release Format

Organize your text using an inverted pyramid: start with most important and go to least important.

Paper: Use plain white 8.5 x 11 inch paper

Format: Type on only one side of the paper. Double space the copy, using upper and lower case letters. Frame the copy with generous margins. Indent each paragraph.

Upper Left: In upper left corner, single space your name, address, AND telephone number.

Release Instructions: Always type "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE". Indicate "Hold for Release" and the date if you submit copy early. However, don't expect editor to act as filing clerk by sending in a long time before the event.

Date: The date should be on all material sent.

Heading: The heading is usually left to the editor. Leave space on release for headline. If you can compose a succinct, catchy phrase that captures the essence of the release, use it.

Content length: If there is more than one page to release, write "MORE" at the bottom of the page. Don't end a page in the middle of a sentence or paragraph. "Slug" each page after the first (A "slug includes "date, topic, and page number" on the upper left corner of all pages except the first). Conclude release with an end mark ###.

Handling

  • It is a good idea to visit your local publications to get to know the copy editor and his/her preferences so that you can increase your chances of getting published.
  • Send in a week ahead, if possible, with release date of when you want it published.
  • Notify papers about errors in their printing of your information.
  • Use tact and diplomacy when dealing with editors.
  • Do all you can to make your work easy for them to use.

Style and Mechanics

  • Be careful about grammar and spelling.
  • (CQ) after special spellings indicates to news people that spelling is correct as given.
  • Avoid jargon, foreign words, and fancy speech.
  • Use active verb tense.
  • Identify people by first name, middle initial, last name. If using a nickname, put it in the appropriate place within the person's name in quotation marks.

Proofread, never staple the pages, and ALWAYS have more than one copy of the release for YOUR files.

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