Although the distribution of press releases has drastically changed, the basic structure of a modern press release has remained somewhat intact.
The basic structure of a press release in the digital age still requires:
- Sub headline
- Short paragraph
- Compelling description of the newsworthy item
- Contact Information
(Source: Press Releases Really Haven’t Changed Much http://www.meltwater.com/public-relations-blog/press-release-anatomy/ )
The most notable change is that in the digital age, press releases have become increasingly ‘multimedia’. Press releases now routinely include images, videos, infographs, hashtags and links to other relevant information. Links to information provide a great way for journalists and end-users to validate the information. Short videos are a compelling way to presents quotes from corporate executives or subject matter experts.
Press releases in the digital age are now geared towards getting found in the search results. Writing press releases now requires the inclusion of keywords to ensure that the digital document appears in the top search results. If no one finds your press release, what has it accomplished?
Modern press releases must take into account that the viewing audience is active on social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram etc. The audiences behave differently on the different platforms. Therefore the timing of the media release on the different platforms is important. For example on Twitter: It’s important to schedule tweets at end of the day between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. optimally on Thursdays or Fridays.
(source: Schedule your golden tweets. http://twittertoolsbook.com/10-golden-rules-of-twitter/ )
Good writing is still the foundation on which to build a press release, but the delivery mechanisms in the digital age have changed.