What is a Press Release

A press release is an announcement distributed to members of the press in order to supplement or replace an oral presentation. An official written statement that is sent to the media so that it can be publicized. The company sent out a press release announcing its new product.

Definition of Press Release: A written announcement that seeks to draw media attention to a specific event or product launch. A hand-out giving information about a public event

A news release, media release, press release or press statement is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value. Typically, they are mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to assignment editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, and/or television networks. Commercial press-release distribution services are also used to distribute news releases.

A press release is designed to be sent to journalists in order to encourage them to develop articles on a subject. A press release is generally biased towards the objectives of the author. A press release is written in order to highlight an important event, program, or piece of information by an organization that succinctly describes the who, what, where, when, why and how of the story.

While sometimes confused with more general articles, press releases should be written in a more journalistic style called the reverse pyramid, where the most newsworthy information is presented first. Press releases are kicked off with a headline, which is a catchy title designed to explain the general news angle while grabbing journalists’ attention. Press releases are dated, and also contain the hometown of the issuing person, company, or organization.

Writing quality press releases is a process requiring skill and experience. Because every word of a press release may be scrutinized, careful wording is essential. This is why many companies turn to outside public relation firms for official press releases and other media contacts. Inaccurate or poorly-worded information in an official press release can come back to haunt a company or organization. For this reason, most press releases are very succinct and businesslike in tone.