This article was written by Molly Mitchell, owner of

Are you thinking about informing the community about a new business initiative through a press release? If so, there are a few things you need to know before you write.

Press releases are often sent to the media for consideration, but they are rarely used. There are two main reasons why this is so; your press release is not newsworthy or it is not written well.

To help you organize your thoughts and create an eye-catching press release, use the following tips:

  1. Begin the press release with a headline title that summarizes the point of your press release. For example, if your candy factory will be opening its doors for public tours for the first time ever, you would want to write a headline that reads something like this; “For first time since opening in 1945, Cathy’s Candies will open doors for public tours.”
  2. In the first paragraph, begin by telling what your company’s name is and what it does. For example, instead of writing something like “we are happy to announce…,” write “Black’s Coffee House is a café in Friendsville that serves coffee beans that are roasted in-house.”
  3. In this same paragraph, briefly explain how your business affects the community. For example, write how many people are employed and how long the business has been operating in the community. Is it a family-owned operation that has been serving the community for 50 years? Do you regularly donate goods or volunteer time to a particular organization? These are the kinds of things that will help the media understand your business’ local impact.
  4. Your second paragraph should contain the reason why you are writing the press release. This reason should be something that a news reporter can use for an interesting story. If the reporter doesn’t think it will make a great story that will both inform and entertain readers, viewers or listeners, you won’t be getting any phone calls back. Unless it is really out of the ordinary, don’t send a press release about a great deal on a product or new stock. When writing this section, try to see it from the perspective of the reporter or the public. What would make you say, “That’s newsworthy”?
  5. End your press release with the name and contact information of your business’ media contact.

Additionally, if you operate a small business on your own, avoid writing “I.” You will want to refer to your business by its name and refer to the employed as “we.” This sounds more professional and keeps the focus on the business and not on you. Also, make sure you keep your press release short and sweet. Most media outlets prefer releases that are no more than a page long.

Leap of the Week:

Does your business have a new initiative to share with the community? What can you do now to be ready when you do have something to share? Typically a press release is not taken to a media outlet in person, therefore preparing by obtaining the fax numbers/email addresses for your local news outlets (radio, TV, newspapers, magazines) that you would like to submit your press release to is a good idea. Contact and press release information can usually be found on media outlet websites, and if not then let your fingers do the walking old school, and use the Yellow Pages to search for a contact phone number. Good luck!

Article written by Molly Mitchell, owner of