Top 12 Do’s and Don’ts of Press Releases

The purpose of a press release is to communicate newsworthy and relevant information to the media and the general public. Unlike advertisements, you don’t pay for the publication of a press release; rather, its publication depends solely on the discretion of the journalist or editor.

In essence, a press release is an attempt to get a journalist, editor, or media outlet so interested in your news that they decide to give it press coverage. It’s consequently important that the content is newsworthy, relevant, timely, accurate and well-crafted to increase the likelihood of media pickup and favourable coverage.

Remember, it’s not about what’s interesting to your company; it’s about what’s interesting to the media and their audience, so think from the journalist’s perspective.


  1. DO create newsworthy and insightful content. DON’T use marketing or trivial content
  2. DO write content which is relevant to the media outlet and its audience, not your company
  3. DO present timely news, not outdated or recycled news
  4. DO present facts. DON’T stuff with fluff
  5. DO write in a focused and eloquent manner without unnecessary jargon. DON’T use pompous adjectives or self-promotion
  6. DO structure your story with context and a strong angle instead of purposeless paragraphs leading nowhere. Use the inverted pyramid structure: address the who, what, where, when, why, and how in the first paragraph and gradually provide more details in the following text
  7. DO include relevant quotes, credible supporting data, findings, statistics and research, if applicable, and name the source(s). DON’T manipulate data to suit your purpose, include statistics from dubious sources, or quote somebody without getting their sign-off
  8. DO pitch your content to specific journalists with an actual interest in your story, company, industry or topic instead of mass-distributing to everyone and anyone
  9. DO present your press release with titles, sub-titles, box-outs, and a selection of high-resolution images. Supplying the full package makes the editor’s life easier and increases your chances of getting published
  10. DON’T pitch a press release to media with grammatical mistakes and typos. Proofread and edit for understanding, grammar, spelling, and formatting errors. Edit again and again
  11. DON’T miss deadlines or expect media to adjust to your timeline
  12. DON’T contact or chase journalists only when you need them. Instead build long-term and mutually beneficial relationships with individual journalists and editors. DO thank your media contact if your release gets published

By Cristina Kristensen, Director of Communications

Top 12 Do’s and Don’ts of Press Releases

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