3. Passing the "newsworthy" test.
Ask yourself: How many people would be interested in this? Would you be interested, if it did not concern you, your company, or your cause? If the answer is, "No," don't proceed.
4.The five Ws and the H.
Every press release must tell: Who? What? When? Where? Why? and How?
5. The style.
After gathering all the necessary information, it must be written in "newspaper," or "inverted pyramid" style. Arrange your information with the most important item first, then the second most important, and so on, in descending order. Now imagine cutting one paragraph after another off the bottom. Does the article still make sense and contain the necessary information?
Edit your information carefully, removing every unnecessary word, shortening and clarifying sentences until you have condensed the announcement to one double-spaced page, if possible.
Place the words "For Immediate Release," or "For Release on (date)" in the upper left corner of a standard size sheet of paper. Add "Pictures available," or enclose one, if suitable. In the upper right corner put "contact: (the company, title, name, and phone number of the person to contact for further information)."
Drop down several more spaces and write the title of your press release in capital letters. In a few short words, the title must convey the essence of your story: "RAY'S STORE CELEBRATES 50 YEARS," or "SCHOLAR WINS AWARD."
Conclude with a "throwaway" paragraph -- additional information that is helpful, but not strictly necessary, in case it is eliminated to fit the space available. Follow that with centered pound signs (###), or "continued on page 2," if necessary.
Make a list of every local news source, and those of surrounding areas: radio, television, and newspapers. Be sure not to overlook any weekly, monthly, or throwaway papers available in the area. Phone or e-mail each source to learn to whom your release should be addressed and how far ahead of the event it should be received. At this time, you may have an opportunity to invite a reporter to cover the event or to conduct an interview.
Finally, give this, and all your writing, the KISS of success -- Keep It Short and Simple!