A good place to start is the newspaper. Look at the newspaper's style and match it as much as you can. Editors like copies which they do not have to rewrite completely to use. Remember that the newsroom is one of the most busy places to work. As a journalist you are under pressure to produce quality articles for around the clock production.
Your copy should have a gripping lead, an easy flowing body and a slamming finish. In journalism school it is thought to put the most important points in the early part of the story because most readers just skim the newspaper selectively decided what to read based on their interest.
Of course the who, what, where, why, when and how is preached to form part of the lead. It is okay to write a good press release but a good PR professional also knows the editor to whom that press release is to go and have a relationship with him/her. Remember, this business is not only about building relations for your clients or company but also for yourself as a practitioner to make your job easier.
The press release should also have some bearing or interest to the editor for example if you have an athlete as a client you can appeal to the health editor by writing a release that focuses on a particular health routine of the athlete.
At the end of the day do not just off load your press releases with a mass fax or email "To: The Editor". This maybe okay in North America and Europe where you may use a service to disseminate releases to multiple newspapers however in the Caribbean this is not on. Do not be lazy, know your Editors by name, call them and pitch your release to them.
Call them back to ensure they have received it, this way you have a better shot at getting your release in the paper.