1. A strong headline - Let's start at the beginning. The headline is the most important piece of your press release. The best press release headlines are short, clear, and catchy. They grab the reader's attention, letting him know what the story is about. Don't try to be clever. Focus on clarity above all else, and ditch the gimmicks and sales hype.
2. Send it to media related to the topic - Don't bombard every editor and journalist in the country with your press release. Focus your press release distribution on those who cover stories like yours. This gives your story the best chance of getting noticed, and it keeps you from annoying a lot of editors and reporters with irrelevant pitches.
3. Keep it short - News people are constantly strapped for time. That's why it's best to keep your press releases short and to the point. Cut out any extraneous information that doesn't add to the story. Just stick to the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the story, and edit it down as much as you can.
4. Be objective - Never forget, this is a press release, not an advertisement for your company. There's no bigger turnoff to a journalist than a press release that's filled with sales hype and unsubstantiated claims. Don't deviate from the facts, and make sure you always back up your claims (statistics are your friend!).
5. Maintain media visibility - Even if your press release is great, a busy reporter can push it aside as they work on other projects. However, it might be the second or third release that finally catches them at the opportune moment to move forward and write an article about your company. Remember, a single press release is not a PR campaign.