Press Releases

Structure of a Press Release

All press releases are structured in the same manner as a standard newspaper article. Information is presented in an inverted pyramid, descending in a logical order, from the most important to the least. It is an anti-climactic method of presenting the facts of a story and the most common approach to news reporting.

The headline is followed by a lead paragraph containing one or two key sentences in which the end of a news event or story is announced first. The succeeding paragraphs make up the body of the press release and provide supporting information, followed by underlying background information.

Print and broadcast decisions are always made relative to the available media space and time. By telling the story backwards, the length of a press release can be adjusted, cutting the least important information from the bottom without compromising the integrity of the most important information positioned at the top.

When information is presented in this manner, readers get the gist of the story in a hurry. They can then make their own determinations as to a press release's importance or relevance and choose for themselves whether or not to read past the first paragraph.

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Introduction