Anatomy of a News Release


Whether you are announcing a neighborhood clean-up or launching a new company product, a good news release incorporates these basic elements. As a general guide, try to keep your news release to 400-600 words.

Logo image or letterhead

  • Header - Page 1

    Some news releases may be Embargoed until a specific date. The purpose of a news embargo is to alert media in advance, but requests the news is not printed until a later date you specify. Please note: use the news embargo judiciously. As a general rule, reporters and editors don't like embargoed news. Read more about news embargo here.


    Include your name and contact information at the top.

  • Headline

    Your HEADLINE should be relevant, creative and attention grabbing. Use 16-24 point sans serif font (Arial or Helvetica), bold, and center the text.


    The optional SUB-HEAD expands the Headline, perhaps adding date and time or special attraction. Sub-head should be bold, 14-16 point font.

  • Opening

    Place (and Date) Line: Written in capital letters, the Place Line identifies where the news originates. This is important to establish relevance to the reporter looking for local news. The date of the release is enclosed in parentheses.

  • Opening Paragraph

    Lead paragraph: Write it in a compelling style to make the reader want to read more. Include the five W's (who, what, when, where, why). Consider one-and-a-half-spaces between lines. Double-space between paragraphs. Use a simple, standard serif font (Times, Georgia, Palatino, etc) at 11 or 12 points (unless you are writing for a company that has a Style Guide that requires a specific font).


    If the opening paragraph is written as a tease, make it short. Incorporate as many of the five W's as possible and complete the information immediately in the second paragraph.

  • Body

    Body - Three to five paragraphs typically follow the lead paragraph and, depending on the topic of your release, may include a relevant quote or two from an organization official or expert in the subject.


    Place your most important information in the top paragraphs, with gradually less important information as you continue towards the end. This is known as an inverted pyramid. There is a very logical reason for this format: When an editor needs to cut a story, he or she cuts from the bottom up. Keep your important information near the top.

  • Footer

    Footer: If your text extends beyond one page, be sure to let the reader know at the bottom of each page. Place - more - in the area of your document footer, 2 spaces under your text.

Abbreviated Headline

January 1, 2013

Page 2


End Mark

Header - Page 2

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Suspendisse vitae neque mi. Curabitur molestie lacus eu ligula pellentesque condimentum. Aenean in gravida sapien. Integer aliquam dictum nulla, id mattis eros tristique id. Morbi pharetra, diam vitae pharetra sodales, enim tortor aliquet urna, sit amet molestie metus leo ac enim. Sed non nisl arcu, eu ullamcorper ante. Sed mauris libero, pretium eget fringilla nec, vulputate id purus. For more information, contact John Smith by telephone at 401-234-5678 or by email at


About XYZ

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras quis neque urna, id posuere nulla. Praesent scelerisque, orci eget rhoncus porttitor, purus neque mattis purus, sit amet venenatis sapien diam quis orci.  For more information about the services at XYZ, visit


#  #  #


  • Header - Page 2

    Page Header: Include your headline (or an abbreviated version of it if your headline is long) on the top line, the date on line 2, and the page number on line 3.


    Leave two lines / spaces between the page header and the continuation of your news.

  • Closing Paragraph

    Closing: The last paragraph should wrap up the story and may include contact information.

  • Boilerplate

    Boilerplate - This is a description of your company or organization and goes at the end of your release.


    Set off from the news release with two spaces/lines, this single-spaced paragraph can be identified with a header, such as "About XYZ Company," or by typing the paragraph in italics or in a smaller font size.


    The information should include a brief company history, services, and Web site URL. Reporters look for this to get a quick understanding of what exactly your company or organization does. Keep it brief, though, pointing to your Web site for more detailed information.

  • End Mark

    End Mark - All press release end with a standard # # # or - end - (the same format as the - more - at the bottom of the first page).


    You can add an editor's note after the end mark. Anything that follows the standard # # # is meant to be unprinted material.


Contact:   Your Name

                 Your Title




HEADLINE in Large Bold Type, Centered

Second Line Should Pyramid (Extend Beyond First Line)

Optional SUB-HEAD expands the Headline


PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND (January 1, 2013) – Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras quis neque urna, id posuere nulla. Praesent scelerisque, orci eget rhoncus porttitor, purus neque mattis purus, sit amet venenatis sapien diam quis orci. Vivamus mattis congue magna, tristique ultrices mauris posuere nec. Sed eu leo nisl, vel pretium augue.


Aenean pharetra augue sed nulla rhoncus at eleifend lectus congue. Suspendisse potenti. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum vitae consequat quam. Etiam ac tellus massa, ac porta turpis. Nullam et nunc quis nisi ullamcorper ullamcorper. Suspendisse sed velit a arcu venenatis adipiscing sollicitudin non mauris. Vestibulum vulputate elementum arcu et dictum. Quisque id enim massa, vel tempor ante. Vivamus nisl massa, tempor ac placerat eu, aliquam pharetra enim. Cras at leo tellus.


Suspendisse lacus libero, auctor eget consectetur eget, fringilla at tortor. Integer condimentum ullamcorper magna, vel tempor massa congue non. Suspendisse non ipsum magna, blandit pretium ante. Nam suscipit rhoncus enim a tincidunt. Proin felis turpis, posuere a tempor sit amet, accumsan eu nisi. Integer lacus velit, blandit quis lobortis vel, iaculis nec massa. Cras sodales congue ultrices. Maecenas pellentesque pellentesque suscipit. Suspendisse semper pellentesque scelerisque. Sed tincidunt, dui quis ultrices pulvinar, risus quam pulvinar elit, et semper purus purus id nunc.


- more -

Header - Page 1


Opening &

Opening Paragraph



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