The Art of Crafting a Compelling Press Release: Dos and Don’ts

In today’s fast-paced world, capturing the attention of journalists and media outlets can be a challenging task. However, with a well-crafted press release, you can effectively communicate your message and garner the attention your brand deserves. In this blog post, we will explore the art of crafting a compelling press release by discussing the dos and don’ts that can make or break your chances of success.

Press releases exist as a way to announce newsworthy information to media channels. As public relations professionals, it is important to construct clear, meaningful and direct releases that inform audiences about relevant information.

In most cases, news releases are subject to the mercy of an outside party, such as a journalist, to receive coverage. To increase the chances of earning coverage for your clients or company, consider the following during writing:

First Off, Don’t Forget The 5 W’s That Govern Writing

The 5 W’s of writing are fundamental questions journalists and writers often use to gather information and structure their work. They help provide a comprehensive understanding of a story or topic. Here’s an explanation of each:


This question seeks to identify the individuals or groups involved in the story. It focuses on the people or characters relevant to the events being discussed. It helps establish the key players and their roles, providing a human element to the narrative. 


This question aims to determine the main subject or event being discussed. It focuses on the core idea, action, or concept the writer wants to convey. It provides essential details about the topic under consideration.


This question establishes the timing or timeline of the events being described. It can refer to specific dates, periods, or even the sequence of actions. It helps provide a temporal context to the story.


This question focuses on the location or setting of the events. It seeks to identify the physical or geographical aspects relevant to the story. It helps readers understand the spatial context of the narrative.


This question delves into the motivations, reasons, or causes behind the discussed events or actions. It seeks to uncover the purpose or underlying factors that contribute to the story. It provides deeper insights and explanations.

Addressing these 5 W’s in your writing can provide a comprehensive and well-rounded account of a story or topic, ensuring you cover the essential aspects and answer readers’ key questions.

The Do’s Of Crafting A Bomb Press Release

Writing a compelling press release requires careful attention to detail and adherence to certain best practices. Here are some do’s to consider:

  1. Start with a strong and attention-grabbing headline: Craft a concise and captivating headline that immediately grabs the reader’s attention and entices them to continue reading.
  2. Provide a newsworthy angle: Ensure your press release offers something newsworthy, whether a product launch, an important announcement, a significant event, or a unique story. Journalists are more likely to cover your story if it has genuine news value.
  3. Write a compelling lead paragraph: The opening paragraph should summarise the key information of your press release concisely and engagingly. It should answer the essential questions of who, what, when, where, why, and how.
  4. Use a professional tone: Maintain a formal and professional tone throughout the press release. Avoid overly promotional language and focus on providing valuable information to journalists and readers.
  5. Focus on the most important details: Highlight the most crucial information in the initial paragraphs. Journalists often skim press releases, so ensure the essential details are easy to find.
  6. Include quotes: Including quotes from relevant individuals, such as company executives or experts, can add credibility and provide a personal touch to the press release. Quotes should be insightful, relevant, and well-written.
  7. Provide supporting facts and figures: Back up your claims and statements with credible data, statistics, or testimonials. This can help validate the significance and impact of your news.
  8. Keep it concise: Press releases should typically be no more than one or two pages long. Stick to the essential information and avoid unnecessary details or fluff. Journalists appreciate brevity.
  9. Optimise for search engines: Incorporate relevant keywords and phrases naturally throughout the press release to improve its visibility in search engine results. However, avoid excessive keyword stuffing, making the text sound awkward and reducing effectiveness.
  10. Include contact information: Provide clear contact details (name, phone number, email) for the media or public relations representative who can answer questions or provide additional information.
  11. Proofread and edit: Ensure your press release is free of grammatical errors, typos, and inconsistencies. Review it carefully, and have someone else proofread it as well.
  12. Format appropriately: Follow standard press release formatting, including a headline, dateline, lead paragraph, body text, boilerplate and end notation. Use professional font, clear headings, and subheadings to enhance readability.

The DONT’s

There are also several “don’ts” that you should keep in mind. Avoiding these common mistakes can help ensure your press release grabs attention and effectively conveys your message. Here are some key “don’ts”:

  1. Don’t make it overly promotional: A press release should not read like an advertisement. Avoid excessive hype, sales language, or exaggerated claims. Focus on providing valuable information to journalists and readers.
  2. Don’t neglect the headline: The headline is crucial for capturing attention. Avoid vague or generic headlines. Instead, craft a clear, concise, and attention-grabbing headline highlighting your news’s most important aspect.
  3. Don’t bury the lead: Journalists often receive numerous press releases, so quickly getting to the point is essential. Place the most important information in the first paragraph (the lead) to immediately hook readers and convey the core message.
  4. Don’t overlook the 5 W’s: Ensure you answer the basic journalistic questions: who, what, when, where, and why. Provide essential details about the event, announcement, or development in your press release. This helps journalists understand the significance and context of the news.
  5. Don’t forget about the target audience: Tailor your press release to the interests and needs of the journalists and their readership. Research the media outlets and journalists you’re targeting, and craft your press release accordingly. Personalisation and relevancy are key.
  6. Don’t provide excessive details: While it’s important to include relevant information, avoid overwhelming the reader with excessive details. Stick to the essential facts and focus on the most newsworthy aspects. You can always provide additional information upon request.
  7. Don’t ignore the inverted pyramid structure: Structure your press release using the inverted pyramid format, which means presenting the most important information first and following with supporting details. This allows journalists to easily extract key points for their articles.
  8. Don’t forget to include contact information: Clearly provide contact details of a spokesperson or media relations representative who can respond to journalist inquiries. Make it easy for reporters to reach out for further information or interviews.

By avoiding these “don’ts,” you can increase the chances of journalists noticing, reading, and covering your press release, ultimately helping you achieve your communication goals.


Crafting a compelling press release requires a strategic approach and attention to detail. Following the dos and avoiding don’ts outlined in this blog post can increase your chances of grabbing media attention, effectively conveying your message, and ultimately achieving your communication goals. 

Remember, a well-crafted press release is a powerful tool that can propel your brand’s visibility and success in the competitive media and public relations world.