Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release

October 31, 2006 by
  1. Just the Facts, Ma’am
    Don’t rack your brain trying to craft some clever lead. Just get to the facts. That’s all the reporter wants anyway. If you’ve gotten all your facts down and the information lends itself to a catchy lead then write one.
  2. Put the Most Important Information First
    Editors are busy. If your press release doesn’t grab their attention in the first paragraph it will never see the light of day. So don’t bog down the first paragraph with event details like registration deadlines or contact information. Save that for the last paragraph. Give your news angle in the first paragraph.
  3. Use Short Sentences and Paragraphs
    Why use a comma, when a period will do the same thing? You are not trying to emulate a Pauline Epistle here. Keep your sentences short and to the point.
  4. Always Use Active Voice
    A press release is a call to action. Use strong, vigorous language. Don’t say, “Won’t you consider joining us for revival next week?” say “Come to First Church next week for an inspiring revival.”
  5. Avoid Jargon and Cliches
    Don’t use “Christian-ese” in your releases. Don’t use “VBS”, say “Vacation Bible School.” Don’t say “he was saved in 1985,” instead try “he became a Christian in 1985.”
  6. Proofread, Proofreed, Proufread
    Obviously anything you submit for publication should be proofread. Find someone to proofread your release. Then find someone else. You aren’t going to catch your own mistakes, but someone else will.
Post By:

Kevin Peterson

Kevin wears several hats in the communications ministry at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Ky. He spends his free time loving his wife, obsessing over Lost and getting his fantasy football team ready for the weekend.
Read more posts by | Want to write for us?

4 Responses to “Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release”

  • brad
    November 9, 2006

    Well done, Kevin! Great set of tips there for creating effective press releases. Couple questions for ya (or whomever…). What kind of event or occasion warrants a press release? Who should they be sent to? Local paper? Magazine? What’s a good guideline for knowing what level to take it?

     | Permalink
  • Dr. Richard Zeile
    May 6, 2014

    These are good points. But what of the differing agenda of the church and the editor? What we as church publicists find interesting and what editors find interesting often differ, so we may promote the trivial as newsworthy…

     | Permalink

Public Relations