Keep it short and sweet. Reporter have dozens if not hundreds of emails flooding their inboxes, depending on where they live. They do NOT have time to read your full five paragraph essay. Keep your press release to bare bones. Who, what, where, when, why. One sentence each. Maybe a few extra sentences to make it flow nicely. Seriously, no more than 10 sentences total. This can be really hard to do, WE KNOW. But if the reporter can ready it quickly and find it to be interesting then they will contact you for more.
Be ready to give them more. Even though you are sending out something that is short and sweet, have your full blown five paragraph, all the dirty details included, document at the ready for when they call asking for more. Be prepared for them to print verbatim what you send them.
Bold the important stuff. If you find yourself running a little on the long side, bold the extremely pertinent information. This isn’t rude. This is guiding their eyeballs to the good stuff.
Include a photograph with a caption. They may decide to run what you send and nothing more. So include a photograph. This will improve readership and draw attention.
When you put, “For Immediate Release”, you better mean it. Nobody likes it when people cry wolf. Reporters may find that your press release on hospice care in the community may fit better during hospice month (November) when they are doing an entire special segment. Let them decide when to post and share. If it is for immediate release be sure that what you are saying has some sense of urgency to it. A disaster relief fund, a special call to action, a grant deadline approaching, are all good examples of when you can use “For Immediate Release”.