Anyone can write a great press release right? Wrong! Having had first hand experience of press releases in the past, some without headings, others without any quotes and even seen one promoting an event that didn’t include a date! This little walkthrough will help you write a great press release ready for publishing or use online.

Press releases should be clear, concise and should not exceed one page. When you are writing a release, you should also follow a basic structure. When creating any template, the key thing to remember is that it should be easy to edit and amend, with the key editable areas highlighted in some way. So for this, we are going to use form fields rather than just general text areas. This way you can lock down the template if you ever need to, to send it on to other people to use whilst ensuring the key elements of the release remain included.

For this, we’ll assume that you know how to add editable form fields to a word document. If you’re not sure, a tutorial on how to use form fields in Microsoft Word is coming soon!

  1. start by adding a company logo or image to the header of your document. Adding it into the header means that it will be replicated on each page of your release, if it spans more than a page.prtemplate1
  2. Next, at the very top of your press release you want something that will grab the attention of the person reading it. I like to have a bold heading of ‘For Immediate Release’.
  3. Below the immediate release heading we are going to add a text field where you should write the headline of the article; this needs to be something engaging and exciting. Write the headline as if it is going to be on the front page and try to paint a picture for the reader. We always like to try and include alliteration in our headlines if we can and particularly like the short punchy headline below.
  4. You are now ready to fill in the body of your press release, we would suggest splitting your article into different sections, and we’ll do this with individual text fields so that they can be edited independently, whilst the headings remain in the correct place.
    • Underneath your title we would always add a short summary highlighting what the main body of the press release will be about
    • Then add your body content. Remember to write this in the way that you would want it to sound in a news article.
    • Finally, add any additional information that is useful for a journalist to know and, very importantly, your company contact details. You should include a couple of sentences here describing what your company does, and a brief history as well as direct contact details and social media information.
    • If appropriate, you might also like to include a photograph or image of your product, service, award etc that the release is talking about. This can be included in the press release itself, but should also be send in high resolution alongside your release.
  5. If you are writing the press release to also be published on your own website (which we do advise) or as a PDF then you are able to add in hyperlinks into your Word document which will become clickable links once published. To do this, just add the URLs you need in the usual way:
    • highlight the words that you want to hyperlink.
    • Right click on the highlighted words.
    • Select hyperlink and either type, or copy and paste the web link that you would like to link it to.
  6. Once you go back to your press release you will now see the words are blue and underlined.
  7. Once you’ve added all of your form fields, the final step is to add protection to the file, so that only the form field can be edited.
  8. As a final step, you can save your file as a Microsoft Word Template (.dotx) – this then creates a read only file with editable fields, that will generate a new document every time it is opened. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a fully editable Press Release template ready to use over and over again to announce any number of exciting news stories!

Hopefully this has helped you with laying out your press release. It’s pretty simple to create your own editable press release template, however, if you don’t have time to do it yourself, in true VA Pro style, we’ve got one ready made for you than you can download to use any time you like.