How to write effective copy

The golden rule

If you learn only one thing about writing a press release, it should be this:

Lead with the most interesting part of the story

Journalists are busy people. They don’t read press releases from start to finish; they skim them at speed to decide whether or not they’re useful. You have approximately five seconds - i.e. as long as it takes to read the header and the first sentence - to grab their attention.

As such, the first sentence of a press release should serve as a brief summary of what’s to come. If you had just one sentence to pitch your story, what would you say? Anything that makes the products or story interesting, get it out there first before the reader loses interest.

Be succinct

Don’t use a lot of words where you could use fewer to convey the same point. A press release should be well-written but it’s not meant to be a long, flowery article. The objective is to clearly and concisely tell the journalist what’s special about the product/collection/story. Get to the point and be direct.

Include relevant background information

Background information belongs under the ‘Notes to Editors’ heading, near the bottom of your email.

Typically this will just be ‘About [company name]’ but occasionally it may make sense to include some information about another third party, e.g. if your collection is made in collaboration with an artist or designer.