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Components of a Press Release

Even though there are many different types of press releases, all press releases should include several common components. Here are the basic components of a press release, and what should be included in each section:

Release Time – The release time of a press release is where you would note “For Immediate Release” or “Embargoed Until” followed by a specific date (for releases that aren’t permitted to be published immediately).

Headline – The headline, or press release title, should be attention-grabbing while still telling journalists the essence of the news contained in the press release.

Summary – The press release summary should be a brief paragraph presenting more details about the actual news contained in the body of the press release. In online press release distribution, the summary is often displayed in listings with the headline.

Dateline – This will include the distribution date of the press release, followed by the hometown of the person or company presenting the news, and finally followed by the start of the first body paragraph.

Press Release Body – The body of the press release will go into further detail about the news. The who, what, when, where, and why questions should all be answered in the first paragraph if possible, followed by any quotes and supporting facts.

Boilerplate – A press release boilerplate is a paragraph after the press release body, often preceded with a line saying “About CompanyXYZ,” which gives general background (not usually directly related to the news angle) about the person, organization, or company issuing the press release.

Call to Action – Generally a one-sentence closer following the boilerplate of the news release, and starting with something like “For more information about CompanyXYZ or this news angle...” followed by a media contact person’s name and phone number, and sometimes email address.

Contact Info – Full contact info, or at least as much as possible, including a full media contact name, phone number, and email address. A mailing address, fax number, and cell phone number can also be included.

Closing – To close a press release (to let the journalist know there isn’t a second page), center ### or -30- at the bottom of the page.

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