A press release gives individuals and companies the opportunity to get their headlines on major media sites and in search engine news results, which can boost brand recognition and positive impressions.
But to gain these benefits, a press release needs to account for the interests and sensibilities of its targeted audience. This pertains to the content, tone, and structure of a press release, but also, its length.
The right length of a press release is about striking the right balance. You want to give your readers enough information so they come away informed and primed to learn more, but you don’t want their interest to slip away.
This article will discuss press release length standards and how to write a press release that efficiently shares news and is more likely to prompt a desired response.
Press Release Length – General Guidelines
The general word count range for a press release is between 300 and 500. This is the recommended word count for just the press release itself and does not include the summary, boilerplate, and headline.
You can view how all of these parts come together through various press release templates.
The 300-500 word count is distributed across an opening paragraph, several central paragraphs, and a closing. Each paragraph should be between 80 and 100 words each.
One of the primary goals of a press release is to answer key journalistic questions about a development and issue an official statement. The 300-500 word range should be sufficient to focus on the who, what, why, where, when, and how of a development and also give readers a means to learn more through a link to a targeted landing page.
The other components of a press release have their own length and content guidelines. Some press release distributors and publishing services will have their specific requirements, but these are standard recommendations for digital and marketing press releases.
- The Headline: An ideal press release headline grabs the reader’s attention in as few words as possible. It should be just 12 words or fewer or about 120 characters.
- The Summary: A press release summary sums up the main topic of the release and adds additional context to the headline. Depending on the news site, the summary may appear separately or directly above the press release. The ideal length is about 40 words or two sentences.
- The Boilerplate: A press release boilerplate functions like a bio for the person or company issuing the release. It’s a chance to add credibility indicators and information that will reflect favorably on the person or brand. It should be about 50 words or two or three sentences in length.
Make The Most Of Your Press Release Length
A press release’s standard length can feel limiting when you have a lot to say or it may feel like too much text to fill when you only want to issue an official statement or response. Here are some tips to help you make the most of the 300-500 word count range.
Outline The Facts First
Outline the press release before you start to identify the facts that will interest your targeted audience the most. This will enable you to sufficiently explain your development without giving excessive or unnecessary details.
Let The Press Release Be A Starting Point
Instead of trying to explain all of the details of a news item, use the press release to provide a concise overview and link to more detailed content. Examples of this are shown in a press release that shares case study findings and a press release that draws attention to a recently published article.
Use An Opening, Details, and Closing Structure
Structure the press release so that the opening paragraph leads with the most compelling information to hook the reader, followed by the central paragraphs that provide supporting details, and ending with a forward-looking closing paragraph. Also, include a brief quote from someone who’s integral to the news to emphasize why it’s important.