How to write a press release

This is intended to model a "reveal" release, i.e. one telling the truth. Fake releases have a somewhat different logic from the below; for those, see for example Three Strikes You're In, Coal Cares, and GE. For a similar guide to making Video News Releases, see “How To Report the News” by Charlie Miller.

Tomorrow's date

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THRILLING HEADLINE YOU COULD IMAGINE SEEING IN THE PAPER

Slightly more informative sub-headline, that can fill in what actually happened

Contact: the person mentioned in the last paragraph

Photos and videos: at this URL

(Optionally, the location) A first paragraph that lays out, concisely, soberly, and with aplomb, what happened that is out-of-this-world newsworthy—or, at least, merits transmitting because it's so damned hilarious. It also says it in an unaligned way, and employs a tone suggesting detachment from the tactic in question—detachment that should actually be kind of real.

"Invented quote, which can, optionally, communicate the emotional importance of the subject introduced in the first paragraph to me," said perhaps a passerby, or perhaps John, a member of Group That Effected the Action, the group that effected the action. "Or it can fill in some bit of info that you really need—some added elements of the story."

"Or hell, why not both—and why not end with a five-word quip, perhaps including a risqué bit of language, especially if the action is a one-liner that doesn't need this precious press release real estate to explain, but can instead spend that space just providing a quotable bit of funniness," added the same person's last name.

Now, some bit of info that's really necessary to fully make sense of what that person just said—or what the quote said, as it probably never actually passed their lips—and, more importantly, why the action was done. There can be percentage figures, such as 35%, and there can be bits of fact that build quickly to a bang.

"Phew, that bang really hit me over the head, yikes," said a non-insider—perhaps an expert, or perhaps just a passerby, whose name you can furnish along with some relevant detail about them, like where they're from (if that's relevant) or what entity they're associated with. "Indeed I'm floored by that bang, which really makes the ramifications of this issue terrifically clear."

"And that makes me very happy, sad, or whatever emotion is most appropriate here," added another person—or perhaps it can just be mentioned that the person proceeded to weep uncontrollably or give an awkward giggle. Not that it's necessary to mention this.

Finally, there can be a few words about why it was necessary to employ such tactics as described in the first paragraph and filled out a bit below that. Hopefully the last sentence can pack a punch—or a pun, just like a cloyingly formulaic news story might.

For more information, if there's no "contact" line at the top, contact someone, maybe the person from the second paragraph. Depending on whether the non-insider in the fifth paragraph is likely to say the right thing in an interview, you can contact them too.

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