What is a press release?

A press release, also called a media statement, news release or media release, is typically a brief news story written by a public relations professional and sent to targeted members of the media. 

  • In this informative communication, the writing should be good and clean, and overly formal and flowery language avoided.
  • A press release is not necessarily a marketing tool to help increase sales or a fact-filled news article. It should provide answers to 5W1H questions (what, where, when, why, who and how) about the news story in the lead paragraph. 
  • The key message in the headline and subhead should be communicated in a manner to pique the interest of the media or the target audiences.

A press release is a communications tool used to deliver information about companies, individuals or projects to the media to be featured in the news. One of the most common tools used in relations with the media is a press release. Widely preferred in public relations activities, this communications tool contributes to building the intended perception and reputation among target audiences. Press releases may also be in the form of press statements and media alerts. 

  • A press release is typically a one-page news copy.
  • It is used to provide information or announce some fact to the target audience.
  • A press release is not intended as an advertisement or to increase sales and therefore words of praise or a style addressing the consumer should not be used.
  • Press releases have a standard format and guidelines.

Features of a Press Release

A press release or press statement is a news copy delivered to members of the press to communicate the features of institutions, organizations or individuals in order to bring them to the forefront in the media. Press releases, also known as press statements, are used to inform the target audience and make announcements. In press releases, the topic as well as the intended image of the organization and/or brand are expressed and represented directly. Since the objective is not advertising or increasing sales, words of praise or elaborate, consumer-focused writing language is not used. Press releases prepared with the aim of announcing newsworthy information, events, strategies and situations to the media are informative and communicated at specific times since they constitute the cornerstone of the press release content.

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Requirements of a Press Release

Press releases can be distributed on a weekly or monthly basis, or to announce a specific event at any time. A press release, due to its nature as news, needs to be objective in line with journalism principles while the content should be current and reliable. The text that forms the press release should contain information about new, different and current events, mention people of importance for the event, be relevant for the target audience, include elements to draw people’s attention, have a political and social aspect, not present conflict and provide new scientific, medical, ecological etc. information.

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