Effective Press Release Style Formatting: Inverted Pyramid

Inverted Pyramid

Want a journalist or blogger to really read the meat of your release, but struggle with determining what goes where? Journalists often use a writing style for their news stories called the “inverted pyramid.” What this entails is including the most crucial information first in order to a) reduce reading time for those skimming or who are crunched for time and b) provide a hook for the audience to keep reading.

Along with the most crucial information, you should craft a creative headline and lead to draw the reader in—this one-two punch combo is simple and effective when writing a press release because it makes it easy for the reader to gather the information they need to make a quick decision: keep or toss.

What comes after the crucial info? Insert the additional info readers need to know about the story, topic, event or promotion. Include information that provides some background info on the initiative. Offer quotes, supporting information, sources and a summary that is easy to be shared socially and isn’t overly complicated. Lastly, don’t forget to add your contact information and company boilerplate at the end. Should they be interested or crave more information, they’ll look for it here.

Remember: If someone is reading your release and can’t figure out what it’s about after reading the headline and first sentence, they are likely to skip it.

What formatting do you use when writing a press release and why? Is there a format you particularly find effective? Share it with us in the comments section below.