March 7, 2019

Questions to Ask Before Writing a Press Release

By: Lauren Spinelli

Press releases are a hot topic in the PR industry – the debate being if they should even still be used. Here at Olive, we like to think of them as fact sheets for the media. We aim to help our media contacts as much as we can, which means providing them with the most important information in a concise manner.

It’s easy to compile all of the facts when writing a press release, but we always want to make sure those facts are being communicated in the most strategic way possible. Before kicking off a new client, developing press materials and an introductory press release, there are a few important things we address in order to make sure we’re providing all the pertinent information in the right order. Below are some questions we regularly ask in order to solidify the strongest angle, most captivating headline, supporting details and insightful quote from our client’s spokesperson. Answering these questions before writing a press release will aid in the process to ensure a strong strategic release.

What is the goal of this press release/announcement?

Is the announcement being made to raise awareness and attendance for an event, attract renters and buyers to real estate property or announce a new brand or company? Whatever the announcement, it’s important to lead with the information most aligned with the goal of the organization.

What audience is this press release/announcement for?

The announcement may be about a new brand or company but make sure to keep in mind who you are trying to reach when beginning to draft the release. Targeting your language to the correct audience is an integral part of your heading, subhead and lead paragraph. Let the other details form at the bottom.

What key information is the media going to need to complete a story?

When we kickoff a new client relationship, we always meet to flush out all of the details before we begin to draft press materials. The idea is to leave no stone unturned to be a resource for the media so they don’t have to do additional digging for simple facts. Its key to also have hi-res images pertaining to the announcement on file, and if the announcement is for a product samples should be available!

What kind of coverage do you want?

Where do you see this being placed? What does the headline read? Picture the ideal placement and work backwards from there by thinking about the most important information, what an editor would find interesting, if it’s a fit for that publication, etc.

Who will be the spokesperson available for timely interviews?

This is extremely important to determine before distributing any press release. We always include quotes from a spokesperson because it gives the media an approved quote they can use. The media moves quickly and so it is also imperative to have a media-trained spokesperson available to answer any questions or provide additional quotes for a story.

If you’re interested in making sure your next press release is all-inclusive and relaying all the right information to make the biggest impact, reach out to us at