One of the most difficult parts of writing a press release is determining how long is too long and how short is too short. While there are no all-encompassing rules that must be followed, there are guidelines that are accepted industry wide. In reality, it all boils down to the information that your particular press release contains.
Generally speaking, a press release should be kept to one page or roughly 400-500 words. Writing an effective press release in only one page can certainly be a challenge. However, knowing what to include and what to leave out will steer you in the right direction.
What Should Be Included?
- Complete contact information
- The facts of your news – who, what, when, where, why and how
- Quotes are optional but can add support to the facts you have presented
- Let readers know how they benefit from your information
What Should Be Avoided?
- Fluff – any and all self promotion which in turn makes your press release sound like an advertisement
- Inflammatory comments, quotes or threats
- Avoid industry jargon that everyday people will not understand
Whether one paragraph or an entire page, the goal should be to write effectively; Make the information interesting, factual, and newsworthy. Keep it short, succinct, and simple. Don’t repeat yourself, use as few words as possible to clearly get your point across, and get to that point quickly. Focus on the forest, not the trees. Ideally, your finished press release should be fewer than 400 words. If it gets any longer than that, you likely do not have a clear enough focus.