5W for Press Releases


Writing a press release is about sharing information with media outlets and anyone else who reads your press release. so having 5w to your press release will have better content strategy.


What Are The 5Ws?

The 5Ws are a way to mine detailed information you might want to include in your press release. They’re also a great way to ensure you get past the 300 word minimum required for an online press release.


Specifically, the 5Ws are:

  1. Who
  2. What
  3. When
  4. Where
  5. Why


1. Who Is Your Press Release About?

Like all the 5Ws this is really simple. Write down the people involved in this press release…what their occupations and titles are and how they’re related to the press release topic.


If one of them has a quote you’ll use in the press release write that down too.


2. What Is Your Press Release About?

This is simple and self-explanatory. If your press release is about a product launch, write that down. If it’s a special event then write about the special event. Specific details are always helpful.


3. When Is The Event In Your Press Release Happening?

What is the exact date and time of your event if you’re having an event


4. Where Is The Event In Your Press Release Happening?

What is the exact location of your event. If it’s an online event then write specifically about how the event is taking place online, how visitors online can interact with it and the exact URL where it will be happening.


5. Why Is The Event In Your Press Release Happening?

If the event is to raise money for charity explain who the charity is and why they need your help. If you’re giving some kind of special deal or giveaway explain why you’re willing to do that. Explain openly the motives behind your event.


As you can see the 5Ws are very simple. You just go through them one by one and after you’ve written about each you should have a total of over 300 words.


5w simple



Advanced Use Of The 5Ws

You can go way beyond just using the 5Ws to fill out your press release. There’s gold to be found when you know where to look in an online press release. Here are some ideas on uncovering the hidden press release hooks in those 5Ws.


1. Mining The “Who” For Press Release Ideas

Is there something unusual about the background of someone you’re writing your press release about.


For example:

  • What professions have they worked in the past?
  • What types of businesses have they owned?
  • Are they related to someone well known or famous?
  • Where were they born?
  • Where did they grow up?
  • Do they have any unusual hobbies or interests?


Examples of using the who to make an interesting press release:

  • Former Mine Owner Protests New Open Cut Mine Proposal
  • Rocket Scientist Launches Women’s Health And Happiness Group
  • South African Born Lawyer Says Chicago Cops Are Racist
  • George Clooney’s Cousin Gives Sexy Hair Tips
  • Avoid Stamp Collector Launches New Same Day Denver Courier Service (or Avid Stamp Collector Says Goodbye To Denver Snail Mail)


2. Finding Ideas In What Is Happening

Ideally, you’d create an event that makes a great story for the media then write your press release around that.


Over the years PR firms, smart business people and media savvy activists have created fantastic publicity-friendly events…even publicity stunts to get more attention for their events…


3m security glass


With a bit of mining you can often find an interesting twist even in what seem to be ordinary events. Is there something unique about what’s happening? Can you relate that in a way that makes the press release unusual or quirky?


3. When Is The Event Happening

Seasons, holidays, special days and special events can all make great tie-ins for a press release. Also with many major holidays there is often less competition for news meaning you’re likely to rank higher in services like Google News.


You can use the idiosyncrasies or the personalities related to any special day to help tie into your press release and make it more interesting…


For example:

  • A leprechaun, anything green or a pot of gold on Saint Patrick’s Day.
  • On Christmas day, Santa Claus, the elves, reindeer, chimneys, gifts, the grinch or Scrooge.
  • The Easter bunny, Easter eggs, the cross, rising from the dead or a huge rock over Easter.
  • Veterans, wreaths, medals or a bugler on Remembrance day.


You can also tie in to other major events that are in the media.


For example, if you’re launching your product on the same day there’s a huge Apple launch you could do a tie-in with your press release…even if your product isn’t related to the Apple product.


4. The Where: Location, Location, Location

Is there anything special about the town or area you’re using for your event? Is there anything special about the town, area or specific business location the press release is covering?


Sometimes it helps if you think in opposites. For example:

  • Silicone Valley Business Brings Back Dial Phones
  • New York City Hosts Southern Redneck Hoedown
  • Las Vegas Car Insurer Calls For End To Gambling


las vegas


5. The Why: Motivation Can Be A Gold Mine Of Ideas

If part of what you’re doing is raising money for a charity that can be an angle that drives the whole press release. If you’re releasing a product or service because the competitors in the industry are sub-standard that can be the basis of your press release


For example:

  • Expert Says Over 50% Of Chiropractors Are Misdiagnosing Middle Back Pain
  • Austin Plumber Says Most Storm Pipe Blockages Are Being Inadequately Cleared
  • 30% Of Chicago Driving Schools Omit Vital Road Safety Skill Says Expert
  • 75% Of Security Software Leaves Computers Vulnerable To Latest Virus


Check more articles:

5 Proven Ways To Increase Website Traffic

Top 12 Traffic Sources For Business Website

7 Powerful Call To Action Examples You Can Copy

9 Content Framworks : Key Factors For Your Content Creation




When you’re thinking of hooks for your press release be adventurous. Don’t be worried if an idea is too silly or crazy…often it’s those ideas that lead to the out-of-the-park home run press releases.


Sometimes you have to go through some crazy or silly stuff to get the creative juices flowing and find the idea or hook that’s just right…


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