What is a press release?

Posted on: 2012-06-10 in How To   |   Tagged: media release news release press release press release format

A better explanation of the press release than the one provided by Wikipedia. By @TopLineFounder

The subject might seem a bit elementary, but the term ‘what is a press release’ was searched on Google a whopping 110,000 times in the last month in the UK alone.  Furthermore, the explanation provided by Wikipedia is, as far as I’m concerned, sub-standard and targeted at an American audience. So I thought the B2B PR Blog could do better and have therefore offered a more UK-user-friendly alternative.

My definition of a press release:

A press release (also known as a news release or a media release) is a document written in a (relatively) standardised format that is designed to convey an organisation’s news easily to journalists. The idea is that journalists/broadcasters/bloggers can use the press release as the basis of their story.

A journalist should be able to gather the following information from your press release:

  • The newsworthy bit about the story (I’ll be blogging on what makes news tomorrow).
  • The facts of the story.
  • Where to get more information.

Format of a press release:

Most press releases follow a similar format, that will likely include these elements:

  • Heading
  • Date of release
  • Location of release
  • Announcement and description of news
  • Quotes (e.g. from CEO, client, analyst or other thought leader)
  • Contact details for additional information
  • Boilerplates (standard ‘about-us-style’ descriptions of the organisations involved). 

Read our other posts on press releases.

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About this blog


The B2B PR Blog is a resource for both PR professionals and people working in B2B industries on how to devise and implement successful B2B PR campaigns. The blog is managed by b2b pr specialist Heather Baker, founder TopLine Comms, an inbound marketing agency, and takes contribution from anyone sensible in the industry with something intelligent to say.  Follow Heather on Twitter @TopLineFounder or contact her via email on [email protected].


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