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Press Release Writing

Writing press releases Journalists are bombarded with press releases; most they ignore. To command attention, the right story must be submitted in the right way. When this happens, the results can be spectacular.

This in-house press release writing course will help your staff ensure that their announcements get results. It will show them how to identify news stories, angle them for different media (including the web) and write in a lively, engaging style.

They will learn to structure press releases for maximum impact, to prepare effective quotes, to handle interviews and to meet journalists’ needs.

This is a very practical course, with plenty of examples and exercises. Participants will have the opportunity to write a press release from scratch and assess it against criteria they have identified during the training.

To help them develop their skills further, they will receive a year of free support from their tutor and a detailed course manual, packed with tips and professional advice.


  Objectives     Example programme     Client comments     In-house course  

Learning objectives

By the end of this course your staff will be able to:

  • identify news stories, angle them for different media and present them as well-written press releases
  • structure press releases for maximum impact
  • write in a lively, engaging style that will help to attract editors and journalists
  • commission or write quotes and incorporate them effectively
  • target and distribute their releases
  • build relationships with individual journalists
  • handle interviews professionally
  • evaluate and learn from their results.

Morning session


  • The purpose of a press release
  • The advantages of a press release
  • Why journalists and press officers need each other
  • The differing needs of press, TV, radio, and news websites

Is it news?

  • What makes a news story?
  • The difference between news, features and advertising
  • Why using a ‘non-story’ can be damaging
  • The power of human interest

Structuring your press release

  • Formatting
  • Using the inverted pyramid structure
  • Keeping your release brief and accessible

Writing the story

  • Knowing your audience
  • Identifying key messages and spokespeople
  • Giving your release a title
  • Getting your core information across - using the 5 Ws
  • Writing in a lively, engaging style
  • Using quotations effectively

Afternoon session

Preparing the other elements

  • Incorporating your logo
  • Adding contact details
  • Using ‘notes to editors’ to give further information, web links, photo opportunities, invitations, etc
  • Writing your organisation’s ‘boilerplate’
  • Illustrating your press release

Distributing the press release

  • Checks to make before you distribute
  • Timing - points to consider
  • Using an embargo
  • Targeting named journalists
  • Getting the most out of your story - publishing online and in newsletters

Following up

  • Contacting journalists - approaches that work
  • Handling interviews - essential preparations
  • Meeting journalists - do’s and don’ts

Learning from experience

  • Evaluating the results
  • Identifying the lessons

Further development

  • Reference sources
  • Post-course support

More information

The Press Release Writing course is available as an in-house course, which we would run at your premises. For more information, click here.

“The workshop-style of training worked really well: the case studies, the group discussion and the feedback on our own press releases were all very valuable.”

Suzy Lucker
Client Services Coordinator & PR Manager
Social Ltd

“For me, the best thing was being able to write my own press release and get the tutor’s advice and feedback on it.”

Karina Vanadzina
Editorial Assistant
Lancaster University

“I picked up lots of great tips that will help me to write better press releases.”

Christine Thorpe
PR & Communications Officer
The Housing Plus Group

Running the Press Release Writing course in-house

The Press Release Writing course can be run as in-house training anywhere in the world. If you have a group of staff who need the same skills, this option is cost-effective and convenient.

Tailored to your needs

The length and content of this course can be tailored to match your needs. In addition to covering some or all of the topics given in the example programme, you may want to add topics that are particularly relevant to your organisation.


An in-house course is fully flexible. Tell us what you want to achieve and we will work with you to design a course to match. Tell us when you would like to run it and we will find a date that suits you.

Free support

Every course we run comes with a year of free support for each participant. We recognise that people do not think of every question on the day of the training. Our support service gives them the opportunity to ask their tutor an unlimited number of questions in the year following the course. In this way they continue to build their skills and confidence.

Ask us for a quotation

The cost of an in-house course depends on a number of things, including its length, its location and how much preparation we need to do. We can readily give you a quotation, so please contact us to discuss your needs.


In-house course

This course is only available as in-house training. The length and content of the programme can be tailored to match your needs.