What is a press release?

By Nicky Rudd
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We get asked a lot about press releases so we thought we’d share some of our knowledge to explain what a press release is and how it can be used. A press release is a short summary of a piece of news, which you can use to inform journalists about key developments at your company. Its most important feature is that it needs to be topical – it should make clear what is new.

You use press releases as part of a marketing strategy to let the media know what you’re up to: forthcoming events, new customer wins, new appointments, charity and community projects. (Read our earlier post to help you think about topics!)

A press release has a particular format (read more about this here) and as a writers and PR professionals, we also think about our audience – journalists.

PR professionals have to balance what a client is asking them to promote with what a journalist wants. In a nutshell, with a press release, this includes well-presented, clear, concise copy that:

  • saves the journalist time and energy
  • doesn’t require them to phone to establish key facts
  • is easily edited for use
  • has no grammatical mistakes
  • is relevant to their audience, whether that’s a reader, listener or viewer.

Read our next post to find out more about what a press release should include, how it should be written and laid out or come and join us on a press release writing course.

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