How to Write an Effective News Release
Over the past couple of years, industry watchers have predicted the “demise of the news release.” Well…it’s not true and may not be for a while as I still find myself drafting press releases and pitching the media with this “traditional” PR tactic.
Check out these tips on how to craft an effective release:
- Think like a journalist – Before you start the writing process, ask yourself, why is this information newsworthy? Why should people care?
- Headlines matter – Headlines are the most crucial part of a news release as it’s the first thing journalists see in their email inbox and on newswire services, which determines whether or not they even click to open it. A strong headline is both compelling and concise. If you’re also looking to reach an audience online, headlines shouldn’t exceed 120 characters for tweeting and retweeting purposes.
- Important info first–In drafting a news release you want to address who, what, where, when, and why in your first sentence. Journalists typically look to answer these questions when they report on a story. A news release can be easily overlooked if they have to search for this information.
- Quote key people – Quotes are often used in a news release to provide insight and opinions from key people within an organization (not jargon or additional information). Quotes are normally used word for word when journalists run the story and help to identify those that can speak on the topic for additional interviews.
- Keep it short and sweet – News releases should not exceed one page and shouldn’t even fill up an entire page. Be sure to get what’s newsworthy out to the press. (They’ll contact you if there are any questions)!
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