What is a Press Release: Definition, Functions, Formats.

Press releases are formal announcements or news items on business issues to communicate essential or noteworthy information through media coverage. Companies can share their data directly via an online media outlet or distribute it to other interested individuals. However, the main goal is to share the information via media coverage.

The word “formal” in its definition means that a press release is written in a formal way that usually follows a strict structure. A typical press release has four principal parts.

  1. Dateline

  2. Header

  3. The Body (lead paragraph as well as body paragraphs)

  4. Boilerplate

The Importance of Press Release

Press releases are to be among the most reliable resources for information. Sharing information isn’t an act of deceit, and individuals who work for other businesses and regulators take press releases seriously.

Here are the 4 reasons why press releases are essential:

1. Media Engagement

Press releases are traditionally only available to journalists and media professionals. Still, thanks to the rise of social media platforms, companies can publish their press releases through websites for social media.
Nowadays, social media is a fantastic opportunity to reach out to people across the globe and to share important information with a specific or broader public. But it’s essential to promote your press release correctly.

2. Crisis Management

Press releases can be beneficial in handling crucial circumstances. For instance, a company could issue a press release responding to a rumor of false information. Companies can also give press releases to publicly apologize or announce the details of an unusual situation before it gets controversial.

3. Public Relationship Building

Press releases assist a business organization in connecting with journalists, the general public, and business writers. Journalists and business writers frequently select press releases that align with their needs.

4. Credibility Building

Credibility is an essential element of organizational success and press releases can be utilized to gain more credibility. As we said earlier, people view press releases as a reliable information source. Hence, press releases allow companies to reach out to critics, writers, and journalists.

Types of Press Release

It’s hard to list the various types of press releases since there are so numerous. Press releases are designed to convey important information. But here are a few of the most popular kinds of press releases.

1. Event Press Release

As the title suggests, a press release for an event is an announcement that details a company’s possibility of hosting, sponsoring, or advertising. It could be a sporting festival or conference for business, a public contest, or a charity. The idea is to gain media coverage for the event.

2. Business Launch Press Release

A press release for a business launch is designed to promote new startups or business ventures. They generally are designed to achieve two main goals:

Make the public aware of the company’s startup.
Get the attention of shareholders or investors.

Press releases for business launches help new companies present their vision, objectives, and goals to the public. It also explains what’s in it for investors.

3. Product Launch Press Release

Companies or service providers use press releases to advertise their latest products or services to the general public. An appropriately targeted product launch press release can generate excitement and draw the media’s and public’s interest.

4. Rebranding Press Release

Companies often release press releases to announce significant changes in their branding. It could be a change to the branding or name, slogan, or anything else that affects the brand’s image. Press releases for rebranding ensure that the customers know about the changes and how they will recognize products with brand-new ideas or brands.

5. Partnership Press Release

Press releases for partnerships are designed to communicate information about the company’s upcoming joint ventures and strategic alliances. They can even have a short-term collaboration with a different brand. Press releases for partnerships convey information to customers, investors, and employees of the business.

6. Hiring Press Release

Most companies issue a press release when an industry expert or an acclaimed celebrity is hired to join them. The press releases are released to enhance authority or increase the attention of competitors or the general public.

7. Award Press Release

The companies also release press releases to highlight their achievements or awards they win. Recognizing prestigious institutions builds trust between customers, investors, and the general public.

Top press release agencies

Still not sure of what’s a press release and how to differentiate a good one from and bad one? Here are some examples of top press release agencies:

Business Wire – an international press release agency. It was founded in 1961. It is an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway.
CNW Group – previously a commercial press release company that included bureaus located in Toronto, Montreal (as CNW Telbec), Calgary, and Vancouver and was taken over by Cision.
GlobeNewswire – one of the American distributors of press releases firm located in Los Angeles, California. A subsidiary of Intrado affiliate since the year 2018. It is a newspaper-distributed network.
PR Newswire – a distributor of press releases, based within New York City. The service was established in 1954, allowing companies to electronically mail announcements to media agencies, initially with Teleprinters. PR Newswire was acquired by Cision in the year 2016.


In conclusion, the press release has an important role because it serves as a formal announcement for a company to reach the public. The main roles of a press release are media engagement, crisis management, public relationship building, and credibility building.

Furthermore, there are many types of press releases that you can utilize for your company’s needs. And by knowing them all, you can make one that fits your company’s current situation the most.

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