Press Release (PR)

Press releases or PRs are documents outlining a newsworthy event for a company.  Press releases are usually sent out to newspapers or news websites to be published.  Typically, they provide information to the public and may include a call to action of some type.  For example, a business may put out a press release to announce a new product or discuss an event (either one that has just happened or a planned future event).  The press release would explain what this product is, how it’s used, and why it’s important.  The press release may end by information readers of the places where the product can be purchased or where they can learn more.  Generally, press releases are written in a more neutral manner than advertisements, although they do often advocate purchasing a product or service in an indirect way.

The Writing Style of a PR

Press releases are written in a very specific way.  The first sentence needs to say exactly what the press release is for—who’s making the announcement and what the announcement is.  Often, it includes a time reference (when a product is being announced) or when the company released the information.  The rest of the first paragraph contains vital information such as who was involved, what the product is, and other important details.  If a reader were to read only the first paragraph of a PR, he or she should get all of the pertinent details.

The rest of the press release goes into more detail on the product, service, or event.  Often, press releases will include quotes from one or more people involved.  These quotes should be to the point and should be relevant to the story.  Quotes that are lengthy or contain extra information are often edited, although the press release writers have to be careful not to change the overall message of the quote.


A press release is immediately recognizable by how it’s formatted.  The PR often features the words “for immediate release” at the top followed by the company name and contact information on the next couple of lines.  This makes it easy for the publication to know who to contact in case more information is needed.  “For immediate release” can be changed to “For release on (date)” if the press release is being sent out early. 

The end of a press release often features what’s called a boilerplate.  This information is usually separated from the rest of the PR by a blank line or a special symbol (sometimes a centered hash symbol).  The boilerplate is a short paragraph about the company.  Traditionally, it’s followed by three centered hash symbols (###) to indicate the end of the PR.