*This is the from the email I sent to Stubby’s Heroes about a writing a news release for their upcoming March.

Here are some guidelines for writing a news release. (Don’t use the term “press release” or “press conference.”)
You can give me the basic info, and I will put it in the release format.  I have attached a sample news release.
These need to be sent the Monday before the March– 10/22.  I will work on this ASAP.
Because news directors receive hundreds of releases every day, yours must look professional and present the facts quickly, or it will never be read.
  • Keep it short. One page is best.
  • Write a concise, catchy headline that summarizes the story. It should be written in the style of a newspaper headline, using active verbs.
  • Use the “inverted pyramid” style to write the release. Put the most important facts in the first paragraph and supporting information in descending order so that the least important information is last.
  • The first paragraph should answer the “five W’s”: who, what, where, when, and why.
  • Underline the text that gives the location, time, and date of the event.
  • The final paragraph should describe your group and reinforce your message with a quotation from your spokesperson.
  • Never editorialize. Use quotations to express opinions.
  • Quotations should be attributed to a specific individual, such as the appointed spokesperson for your upcoming event, not just your group.
  • Proofread the release carefully for grammar and spelling. Ask someone else to read it and to give an objective opinion. If you have the time, set it aside and look it over again the next morning. Eliminate redundancy, use short words and phrases, and simplify complex ideas.
  • Make it dramatic and attention-getting, but be prepared to substantiate everything that you say. Double-check the facts. It is virtually impossible to correct a release once it has gone out. But if you do make a mistake—especially in the time or location of an event—call those who received the release as soon as possible.
  • The time you give the media should be the ideal time for them to see your event. If your event starts at 11 a.m., you may wish to tell the media that it’s a little later so that they don’t arrive to see activists who are still figuring out where to stand or are simply chatting.
  • Be sure to give the contact’s full name. Be certain that the contact is always available at the phone number listed on the release, and include both daytime and evening numbers if necessary.
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