Writing a News Release

Three interesting facts: (Chapter 5 PRCA 3330)

To Get Your News Release Noticed and Published:

1. Follow standard format:

  • use standard letter sized white paper
  • double space text for faxed or mailed copy; single space for emailed and Internet copy
  • use 2 inch margins top and bottom; 1.5 inch margins on each side
  • use 10 or 12 point standard type; Courier or Times Roman font
  • write “more” at the end of each page if the news release continues
  • type “###” at the end of your release
  • use AP Style
  • strive to keep news releases fewer than 400 words (one or two pages)

2. Provide interesting information:  A news release can be on any subject that would affect or interest an audience, some topics are:

  • Announcements
  • Spot Announcements
  • Reaction Stories
  • Bad News
  • Local News

3.  Your material must be timely

  • yesterday’s news is not news
  • write in present tense
  • localize the information- use information of local significance and names of local people wherever possible

A News Release has Six Components

  1. letterhead
  2. contacts
  3. headline
  4. dateline
  5. lead paragraph
  6. body of text

Classic Mistakes

  1. failure to provide a headline
  2. spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors
  3. using hype
  4. failure to make the first paragraph attention grabbing
  5. failure to provide verifiable documentation

Source: Public Relations Writing and Media Techniques by Dennis L. Wilcox

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