What is a Press Release? Definition, Elements & Tips

Press releases are a staple of public relations and corporate communication. They are written or recorded communications that are sent to media outlets to announce a newsworthy event or piece of information. Press releases serve to inform journalists, potential customers, and other stakeholders about your company, product, or service, and can help to generate media coverage, build brand awareness, and establish credibility. In today’s digital age, press releases can also be distributed online through press release distribution services and shared on social media platforms. In this article, we will explore the definition, elements, and examples of press releases, as well as provide tips and templates for writing an effective press release.


What is a Press Release?


A press release is a written or recorded statement that is shared with members of the media for the purpose of announcing something newsworthy or providing information about a specific event. It is an official statement that is prepared for delivery to the press, also known as the media.


In simpler terms, a press release is a document that companies or individuals create and share with professionals in the news media industry to make an announcement or provide information about an event public. This helps to give the event media coverage and reach a wider audience.


Although press releases are still important and useful today, they actually originated at the beginning of the last century.
The precise origin of press releases is estimated to be around the early 1900s, with the first being issued in 1906 in response to a train crash in New Jersey that killed over 50 people.
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Elements of a press release


Press releases typically include several key elements that help to structure the information and make it easier for media outlets to understand and use. These elements include:


Element #1: Headline


The headline is the most important part of a press release and should be attention-grabbing and clearly summarize the main point of the release.


Element #2: Dateline


The dateline includes the city and state where the press release was issued, as well as the date.


Element #3: Introduction


The introduction should provide a brief overview of the main points of the press release and set the stage for the rest of the content.


Element #4: Body


The body of the press release should provide more detailed information about the event or news being announced, including any relevant background information, quotes, and statistics.


Element #5: Boilerplate


The boilerplate is a standardized section at the end of the press release that provides basic information about your company, such as its mission, products and services, and contact information.


Element #6: Contact information


It’s important to include contact information in the press release so that media outlets can easily reach out to your company for more information or to schedule interviews. This typically includes the name, title, and contact information of a designated spokesperson or press contact.


6 Press Release Examples to Learn From


Press release templates provide a structure and guide for writing a press release, helping to ensure that all of the necessary information is included and presented in a clear and concise way. Here is a brief overview of three common press release templates:


Example #1: Inverted pyramid style


The inverted pyramid style is the most traditional and widely used press release template. It follows a structure that starts with the most important information at the top, and then provides additional details and background information as the release progresses. This structure allows journalists to quickly understand the main points of the release and allows them to cut the content down as needed to fit their publication’s needs.


Example #2: News brief style


The news brief style is a shorter and more concise version of the press release, designed to provide the essential information in a quick and easy-to-digest format. This style is often used for time-sensitive news or when space is limited.


Example #3: Feature style


The feature style is more like a traditional news article, with a narrative structure and more in-depth information. This style is often used for more complex or in-depth stories, and can be effective for showcasing the unique features or benefits of a product or service.

It’s important to note that press release templates are just guides and can be modified to fit the needs of your specific release. The key is to ensure that all of the necessary information is included and presented in a clear and concise way.


Tips for writing a press release


Here are some additional tips for writing an effective press release:


Tip #1: Keep it newsworthy


The most important aspect of a press release is that it is newsworthy. This means that it should contain information that is interesting, relevant, and timely to the media outlet’s audience. To ensure that your press release is newsworthy, consider asking yourself if the information is unique, surprising, or informative.


Tip #2: Use a clear and concise writing style


Press releases should be written in a clear and concise style that is easy for journalists to understand and use. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to your audience, and focus on clearly communicating the main points of the release.


Tip #3: Use quotes to add credibility and personality


Including quotes from company executives, industry experts, or satisfied customers can add credibility and personality to your press release. Choose quotes that support the main points of the release and provide additional context or insight.


Tip #4: Follow the standard format


Press releases should follow a standard format that includes a headline, dateline, introduction, body, boilerplate, and contact information. This format helps to ensure that the release is easy for journalists to understand and use.


By following these tips, you can increase the chances that your press release will be picked up by media outlets and effectively communicate your message to your target audience.




In conclusion, press releases are an important tool for spreading news and information about your company, product, or service. They allow you to reach a wide audience of journalists, potential customers, and other stakeholders, and can help to generate media coverage, build brand awareness, and establish credibility. By using a press release template and following best practices for writing an effective release, you can ensure that your message is effectively communicated and has the greatest impact. Whether you are announcing a new product, celebrating a company milestone, or promoting an event, a well-written press release can be a valuable asset to your public relations and marketing efforts.