Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Young Lawyers Conference

A Conference of the Virginia State Bar.

How to Write a Press Release

  • A press release is a report of an organization’s activities submitted to a media outlet/news source with enough information for the news outlets to have material to publish their own article
  • A press release should be straightforward and precise.
  • A press release should never be more than a page long.
  • NO FLUFF, only facts!
  • Clarity is key-- make the “Who” and “What” obviously jump off the page.

The Process:

Write a Catchy Headline - Use action verbs and clear understandable language in one line. This is more intriguing to the reader and will stand out amongst others.

Tell the Details Up Front - The first paragraph needs to cover the who, what, why, where and how of the event, update, or launch. Reporters do not want to sift through tons of detail, so give just the facts. All new and important information must be covered in the first paragraph.

Give a Quote - Always include a quote emphasizing the core of the announcement from a key leader in the organization or the project to underline the importance of the development. Use one or two quotes at most that paint a picture of how your news will affect the industry.

Provide Valuable Background Information - In the second to last paragraph, after the reader has the most important details, offer concise and helpful details that strengthen the news. Include noteworthy things, like creative ways the organization developed the project or a comment on the future implications of the announcement.

Clearly Explain The Organization - At the end of the press release explain what the organization does in straightforward and clear words (i.e., not jargon). Include a link to the organization’s homepage.