An effective press release (PR) is vital to your business. Especially, if you are a small business or a newly start-up operation, press release is an integral component in gaining some sort of recognition or publicity. Today’s business landscape is highly cluttered. In order to stand out from the rest of the companies aka clutter, you need to post an effective PR.

Here is how you can come up with and write a press release that is both, powerful and effective.

● Follow the standard PR structure

It is extremely important that you follow the standard structure and format of how a press release should be written. This ensures that your PR is easy on the eyes and is readable.

A standard press release starts with a headline, summary, and a dateline or the location. The content or body will be followed after this and should end with a boilerplate and contact information. A boilerplate is general information about the company issuing the PR, and should be no more than two sentences. Also, keep in mind to use double-spacing when writing a press release.

● Come up with an attractive headline

Since headlines are usually one of the first things that a reader is likely to see, it is important that your press release contains an attractive headline which compels the journalist to read it further. Thus, a good headline must be compelling, engaging and not to forget, accurate and direct. It should also fuel the curiosity of the reader by keeping him/her guessing. However, this does not mean that you should develop a vague or obscure message in your headline.

● Cover the five Ws

The five Ws are what the journalists look for when they read the first sentence of the press release. Basically, the five Ws cover the following; who, what, where, why and when. Thus, it would be wise that the first sentence of your PR covers as much of the Ws as it naturally can. A newspaper report or story is a good example to learn how to cover the five Ws in the first sentence.

● Keep it short and to the point

Since a press release should be no more than an A4 sized page, it is important that you keep it short and direct. In order to make it easy to read, you can add bullet points and paragraphs to your PR. If you find your PR is still running long, it is probably because of unnecessary details. Thus, you should proofread it and strike out anything obscure and unnecessary.

Even though the editor of the newspaper or magazine to which you are sending your press release will probably edit your PR and make some changes to it before publishing, it is important that you keep as close to the standard format as possible and follow all of the pointers mentioned above. This is because, you need to make your PR engaging enough for the journalists.