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How to write a press release


Always date press releases with date of publication or embargo. Put date on top left hand side of press release.


The headline needs to summarise the news you want to get over in the press release. Do NOT attempt to use puns or replicate the headline style you see in newspapers, particularly tabloids.


Use a sub-headline if there is an additional focus to the press release.

Paragraph 1

Include a short succinct description of the news, written in objective non-flowery style within an opening paragraph.

Paragraph 2

Include a further description/explanation of the story. Try to use objective, succinct copy that details any of the following that may apply: size and reason for investment, location of development, purpose of visit, type of achievement any other positives.

It is recommended that no more than two sentences per paragraph if possible are used throughout the release.

Paragraph 3

Add further description/explanation of the story.

Paragraph 4

Include a quote from school/third party endorser explaining the news/the importance of the news from their point of view/the key points of the press release.

Always seek to utilise a quote from a representative from your organisation first further explaining the story.

Never split the quote from one person ie finishing a quote, including further non-quoted information and then opening the quote again. It is recommended that quotes are broken up into paragraphs to make it easier to read, with a maximum of three paragraphs for any quote.

Try to write succinctly. Do not try to write as people speak. Write something a journalist could possibly use directly in a story.

Always start the paragraph with the person’s name and job title, so the reader knows who is being quoted:

Eg Brendan Clover, Senior Provost of Woodard Schools, said; “”.

If the quote runs over two paragraphs, do not close the quotes at the end of the first paragraph, because the quote has not finished, but DO include opening quotation marks in the second paragraph of quotes.

Paragraph 5

A quote from a second person may be used. This quote needs to add significant additional material or a new angle.

Follow the same format as the example quote above.

Do not quote more than two people in any one press release unless it is absolutely necessary.

Paragraph 6

Further information about the story could also be inserted between Paragraph 3 and Paragraph 4.

At the end of the release

Always type ‘ends’ (centred and bold).

After ‘ends’

Always type: For further information, please contact …

Generally include at least two contact names and details. Ensure that you give numbers/email addresses where the contacts can be reached during the lifetime of the press release and ensure that they have a copy of the release for information before it is released.

After ‘for further information’

Include Notes to Editors (or a boilerplate) to provide further background to the press release. This typically comprises a descriptor of the organisation, any technical background/statistics on the topic concerned, summary biographical materials, previous awards or successes of relevance to the release etc. Please see the boilerplates section later for national and regional boilerplates/Notes to Editors.