I Heard It From The PR Girl

Chapter 5: Writing the News Release

Posted in Reading Notes by laurynwilliams on February 19, 2010

Various studies show that between 55 and 97 percent of all news releases sent to media outlets are never used. Do these 3 things to make sure your news release stands a chance: 

  1. Follow a standardized format
  2. Provide information that will interest the audience
  3. Have timely material

Do not use bright or dark-colored paper for your news release. If you do choose to use a color, choose a pastel color such as ivory, blue, light green, or pale yellow. The standard news release is written on white paper.

Double-space your news releases if they are distributed via regular mail or fax. Single-space news releases sent through e-mail or ever the Internet.

Standard margins or a printed news release are 2 inches from the top of the page and about 1.5 inches from the bottom of the page.

Parts of a Traditional News Release:

  1. letterhead
  2. contacts
  3. headline
  4. dateline
  5. lead paragraph
  6. body of the text
  7. (additional) short summary of the organization

Make sure your keep news factual and avoid hype. Do not describe products as “unique” or a “total solution.” Use examples to illustrate the product’s assets and distinctness.

All material here is quoted or paraphrased from Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques (6th Ed.)


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