Guidelines for writing a news release

These short, compelling documents detail product releases, event announcements and other newsworthy items a company produces.

Guidelines for writing a news release

A news release is the most common of all public relations tools. News releases should communicate key information — the who, what, when, where, why, and how of an event or issue — and contact information to reporters and editors in the news media.

guidelines for writing a news release

Reporters and editors receive thousands of news releases a week, and they look for accuracy, clarity, brevity, timeliness, and newsworthiness to determine what they will feature in the news.

A newsworthy release can be described as one that appeals to the broadest audience and offers the most information with the greatest sense of urgency. In most cases, reporters or editors will rewrite your release to fit their style, so it's crucial to present the information as clearly and accurately as possible.

The best way to do this is by following the journalistic method of organizing the material into an inverted pyramid. The inverted pyramid style of writing puts the most essential information at the beginning, followed by items of decreasing importance.

The Basics All news releases begin with a headline designed to attract the reader's attention and encourage them to read the entire story. Remember, first impressions are key!

If a headline is dull and uninteresting, the reader will assume the same of the release. Large numbers and visual language can make the difference between a sparkling, attractive headline and one that is flat and lifeless. The most essential information in a news release should be listed in the first paragraph, or lead, of the release.

Include as many of the who, what, where, when, why, and how elements of the news item as possible. The more important or influential the organization and the individual, the greater the appeal of the press release.

The topic of the release, the what, and the where, should be unusual in some way. Unusual can mean different, better, less expensive, unique, or beneficial to the community. The when of a release actually has two applications — the first being the date and time of the event or issue featured in the release, the second being the date and time for the information to reach the audience.

When addressing the why of a release, remember cause and effect. For example, what caused your council to relocate a camp or to charter a significant number of new units? What effects will these changes have on adult and youth members?

If the new location will be more convenient or if new areas of the community will be served, mention this information. A rule borrowed from advertising states that an organization shouldn't promote the features of its product or service, but rather the benefits to its customers.

The how of a news release answers, for example, how a decision was made, how you will achieve reorganization, how changes will affect youth, volunteers, and the overall Scouting program.

When did they do it? Where did they do it? Why did they do it?

Popular on CBS News

How did they do it? The main body of the news release should include significant details that relate to the lead, including quotations and succinct descriptions. Any related but nonessential information should appear toward the end of the release.

Generally, the last paragraph provides overall information and statistics about the local council, such as territory served, number of youth and adult members, and the location of the council headquarters.

The Basics

It is also a good place to list a phone number for more information. Releases should be double-spaced and typed on one side only of 8. Brevity is the key. Try to limit releases to one or two pages.

A news release should not exceed words. A straightforward and concise writing style is the objective.Most people working in PR and marketing have written a press release or two.

And while writing press releases may be familiar territory for many, knowing how to make them effective—from writing to sending, and everything in between—can still be a little baffling. The mechanics of writing news releases are outlined.

Provided next are guidelines for selecting photographs to include with a news release.

8 Tips for Writing a Great Press Release | HuffPost

Concluding the guide is a brief examination of the importance of radio and television stations in publicizing HOSA activities.

Follow these press release guidelines to write a release that's actually useful to journalists and makes it easier for them to cover your company.

A journalist’s advice for writing a useful news release. Mike Lizun even if she agreed to an embargo, she’s not writing based on a release — she’s doing interviews. Press releases. News Release Guidelines. Don't use flowing tributes, flowery descriptions, or glowing adjectives when writing your news release.

The news release should be more informative than subjective. Be impartial and objective; try to write the release as the reporter might. News Release Guidelines Written and Formatted as News Release (covers Traditional and Online Versions) By Don Bates, APR, Fellow PRSA Don is Instructor in Writing, New York University MS Program in Public Relations and Corporate.

News release writing guidelines; Email writing guidelines “Ann helped us elevate the professionalism and quality of our materials and communications. Now our investors find them both relevant and appealing.”.

Press Release Format Guidelines | WebWire