The Roxhill Guide to Writing a Press Release

Home PR Insights The Roxhill Guide to Writing a Press Release

Unlock the secrets to writing a press release and making it shine

We’ve taken top tips from our daily newsletters written by RoxStar journalists Rosie Green, Tony Turnbull, Kate Finnigan, and Richard Mellor, and combined them into a definitive guide. Short, punchy sentences, usable quotes, and even a good-size font are all on their hit lists when writing a press release.

1. Killer subject line

A good subject line is just about as important as what’s in the main body of the text,” when writing a press release, says Tony. Rosie agrees: “Never underestimate the value of ‘at a glance’ information, making it simple and easy to digest.” If you don’t stand out, your email
is likely to be missed among hundreds of others – so make it count.

2. Summary bullet points

“Think like a journalist, sometimes less is more,” says Rosie. “What information do they need to know and how can you get it all across in a short brief?” “Make sure this info is to-the-point, includes a strong hook, and all the necessary details to try and leverage the client using that hook”, says Richard. Tony adds: “find the most important facts and focus on these in a straightforward fashion”.

3. Main body

“Remember to keep this short and sweet, you don’t want your press release being longer than a page”, advises Richard. “Talk succinctly and think about what you can do to stand out. You might convince your client to come up with a gobsmacking deal or make something about the release eye catching in every sense. Differentiating yourself from your competitors is the key to success.”

“You should try to include a quote or some juicy stats”, says Kate. “Maybe an unexpectedly-honest prediction for business in the next six months?” “And then there’s the golden rule of survey news,” adds Richard, “always have a noteworthy, unpredictable result. For news desks, it should be easy to lift directly, for short, fun copy.”

“Mentioning what the company does and some background information helps the journalist understand the nature of the business, making writing about it much easier,” says Rosie. “A brief history can be a useful added quirk, too”.

“Got more to say that doesn’t fit on the page? Attach a full release as a pdf,” says Kate. “Stylish in every way.”

Picture of Rosie Green

Rosie Green

Freelance Beauty Journalist

Picture of Tony Turnbull

Tony Turnbull

Food and Drink Editor, The Times

Picture of Kate Finnigan

Kate Finnigan

Fashion and Content Editor, and Consultant

Picture of Richard Mellor

Richard Mellor

Freelance Travel Writer

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4. Images

“Accompanying the press release with relevant and good quality images that grab attention and add value always helps to tell a story,” says Rosie. “It’s a great way to get your message across and can often be quite striking.” Do you have any images that might make the journalist laugh? Kate reckons to stand out in a busy market, you need to be a bit irregular.

5. Layout

Rosie talks about the importance of layout being, simple but effective. “Bolding keywords catches the attention of even the most flighty journalist,” she says. “This, along with high resolution images is an absolute win. As a journalist you can automatically assume the care that’s gone into the design and the thought around the release sets the whole standard.”
writing a press release

6. Contact details

“With contact info, keep it clear and simple,” Rosie tells us. “If I’m interested in the release but need more info, the best way to find out is from the horse’s mouth. So what’s the easiest way to contact your client for any enquiries?” Make sure there’s a full name, contact number and email.

7. Pricing

“Making your pricing very clear is important,” says Richard, “especially for travel or products where the price can vary. Choose one (starting) price and make sure it’s close to the top of the release.” And for products, don’t forget stockist information and links – they are essential.

Keep these tips handy & download the infographic.


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