How to Write a Press Release? [The Guide + Expert Comments]

How to format a press release, then? There are numerous ways of distributing a press release, but we’ll put aside faxes, snail mail, or messenger pigeons for now, and only focus on those most commonly used ones. So, here they are—press release formats that you might want to consider:

1. PDF

Sending out press releases in PDF files was very popular a few years back. Although they look the same on each device, they are rather problematic – they’re heavy, sometimes difficult to copy information from, and journalists don’t really seem to like this form. Since many companies still issue releases in this format, it is treated somehow as a standard, but it’s not a smart move to get used to something that is just too problematic for readers.

Advantage:
  • It’s compatible with nearly every device
Disadvantages:
  • It’s heavy, and there’s no journalist who likes having their mailbox blocked (it’s pretty annoying, and it lowers your success rate)
  • It’s hard to copy. Even if a journalist doesn’t want to edit it too much, they still have to go through all the hassle of copying or rewriting. When you send a file that is hard to edit, you’re sending a clear message that you don’t respect their time (which is not what you want to achieve, right?)
  • It’s difficult to measure—you don’t know how many people actually have read it

2. Plain text

The next press release format to take into account is plain text. It’s definitely a safe choice, but it’s also extremely vanilla. The whole idea of a good press release is that it will be so interesting/innovative/worth sharing that journalists will want to write about it. If the release looks just like all the other emails they read that day, most likely it won’t be remembered.

Advantages:
  • Easy to copy and edit
  • It’s light and doesn’t block the mailbox, which definitely makes it more journalist-friendly
Disadvantages:
  • It looks boring and doesn’t encourage reading
  • There is a chance that it will look bad on some devices
  • Similarly to PDFs, it’s hard to find out who actually saw the press release

3. Interactive press release

It’s most likely the newest press release format on the market. Although journalists may be a little bit hesitant in the beginning, they are definitely going to remember it. This also happens to be the user-friendliest form—it’s easy to copy, easy to download, and difficult to forget. If you’re unfamiliar with this type of press release writing, check out these press release examples[6] and you’ll quickly understand their PR potential.

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