How long should a press release be?

Feb 07, 2018
How long should a press release be?

As we’ve explained in the past, press releases are no longer an effective way to get your message out in the modern era of public relations.

But if you’re absolutely required to write one under orders from your boss or client, you better make it count.

That means optimizing the content and the length of the press release to ensure it’s received as well as possible by the journalists reading it.

How long should a press release actually be?

Well, consider that on average reporters spend just one minute (or less!) reading your press release before deciding whether or not to throw it in the garbage.

With that in mind, you can write a quality press release that contains all the important details of your announcement in 300-500 words, which would ideally take a reporter about a minute to get through.

Get more great tips on how to make sure your press release is reporter-ready.

Your press release should fit onto a single-sided 8.5x11” sheet of paper. Any longer than that, and you’ve likely wasted your time with words that will never be read.

Not sure that a press release is right for your story? Try out one of these alternatives.

How to keep your press release length short

We know what you’re thinking: There’s no way I’ll be able to get my full point across in 300-500 words!

It’s possible.

Here are some pointers for cutting down the length of your press release.

1. Answer the five most basic questions: who, what, where, when and why?

You probably learned this formula back in PR 101 when you learned about the press release. Stick to it.

A journalist only needs the answers to these five questions (and sometimes less) to decide if they want to cover your story.

2. Cut the fluff

Don’t add any extraneous details to your press release that aren’t absolutely needed.

Remember the purpose of your press release is to open the lines of communication between yourself or your organization and a reporter. You don’t need to cram every detail of your announcement into your press release.

Check out some other potential blunders you may be making when crafting your press release.

3. Proofread your work

Proofreading is great for catching mistakes and typos, but it’s also a valuable tool for making sure your press release isn’t too verbose.

Repeat this step a few times and ask someone else from your team to help.

Think your press release is ready to go? Use our 6-step guide on how to send a press release to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.

Did we miss anything? Tweet us your tips for keeping your press release short.

Jessica Lawlor is the features editor for the Muck Rack blog and handles PR and social media for Muck Rack.

Photo via Pexels

About the author

CEO at JL&Co. Founder of the #GetGutsy blog. Managing editor at @thewritelife & @muckrack. @templeuniv adjunct, alum & @templewomen founder. Yoga teacher.

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