If you want your press release to stand a good chance of being retold verbatim in a newspaper article, it must first of all be "well written and presented in a factual manner. Hyperbole, cute spins and overt sales pitches are not acceptable". (At least that's what the advertising text of one professional writing service advocates.)

Whether it's good or bad news, stick to the facts: instead of announcing "wonderful results", simply say that you report "a $1.2 bn. profit"; avoid strong emotions even at times of crisis (but don't hesitate to show the kind of feelings that the public expects from you: apologize when you've made a mistake, tell them how much you care when people suffer).

Which doesn't mean that you can't show any pride or resentment at all: quotes provide a clever way out.

At the same time press releases should be simple. Make sure that the news you have is not obscured by technical jargon, for example, or by complicated grammatical constructions, as in the following headline and lead:

Knowledge tool, rapid results implementation approach and services deliver maximum value throughout PeopleSoft lifecycle
PeopleSoft today announced general availability of PeopleSoft Advantage, a framework of technology and customer service designed to provide maximum value of ownership throughout the PeopleSoft systems lifecycle, including planning, implementation, production and enhancement.