Press release checklist: The ultimate step-by-step guide

Amidst the turmoil of an interconnected digital world, businesses scramble to get the exposure they need to rise above the noise. Despite the growth of new communication technologies, press releases are more important than ever. They are a powerful tool that will help you communicate what’s happening at your company with those that matter most to you – that is journalists, bloggers and influencers, and ultimately the audiences they’re reaching.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to harness the power of media through a well-organised and effective press release.

A special thanks to Silvia Sarapuu[1], PR Executive at PRLab[2] for sharing her expertise on press releases.  

Jump to:

  1. Start with an attention-grabbing headline[3]
  2. Have a structured format[4]
  3. Writing style: keep it [5]
  4. Boilerplate: add your about info [6]
  5. Include a media kit[7]
  6. Add quotes[8]
  7. Share other coverage[9]
  8. Add your contact info[10]
  9. SEO and PR[11]
  10.  Click send[12]
  11. Bonus tips[13]

1. Grab ’em by the headline

  • As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That is why creating a headline that will snatch your reader’s attention is crucial. Summarise your main point in about 10 to 20 words while always keeping your reader and their interests in mind. 
  • Be data driven: What are users searching for when they look for similar content? How many people are looking for it exactly? Where are these users coming from? Being strategic in choosing your headline will get your content picked up. Experts recommend doing a keyword search not only to satisfy the reader’s needs, but also favour findability through SEO. 

Some tools we love using are SEMRush, Ahrefs, Answer The Public and UberSuggest.[14][15][16][17]

2. Have a structured format:

A  press release with a clean and structured format is essential as it offers reporters an organised setup for your story. 

  • The first line of your press release should feature the date and location of where the news take place. This is important to journalists because it helps them answer two essential W’s – where and when – right off the bat.  This will also allow them to avoid publishing news that is outdated. 
  • Depending on your story, using a couple of bullet points can be a great addition to your press release. They help summarise key findings, so for instance, they can offer a brief description of a new position that is being filled. Place these at the top of your press release to sum up your main points.


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