How To Create A News Release

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This lecture focuses on the creation of press releases in public relations.

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How To Create A News Release

  1. 1. News Releases
  2. 2. Clutter • Reporters and editors are inundated with press releases • Most are never used
  3. 3. Standing Out • Keep it clean • Keep it relevant • Keep it timely
  4. 4. Planning the Release • What is the “news” value? • Who is it designed to reach? • What is the “messaging/talking point” that your client wants to get across? • What is the objective of the release?
  5. 5. AP Style • Press releases should follow the AP style standard – This is the same standard used by journalists
  6. 6. Format • Traditional news releases have: – Letterhead – Contacts – Headline – Dateline – Lead Paragraph – Body of text – (optional) Boilerplate info
  7. 7. Letterhead • The first page is usually on company letterhead • Includes logo • If you don’t have letterhead, use a larger font to visually communicate the source behind the release
  8. 8. Letterhead • Put the words “News Release” or something similar near the top • Optional: “For Immediate Release”
  9. 9. Contacts • The contact info for the company and PR person should be after the letterhead • Contact: Jane Smith Global PR (425) 405-1771 jsmith@globalpr.edu
  10. 10. Headline • Usually brief and in bold • Larger font than text of release – Usually 14- or 16-point type • Optional: Subhead with more details – Subhead is not bolded
  11. 11. Dateline • Appears at the start of the lead paragraph • Includes place and date • There are some variations to the dateline, but here are some common examples: – CITY, State (Sept. 7, 2006) – The text of the story begins here. Etc. Etc. Etc. – CITY, State – This product is the best thing ever! Etc. Etc. Etc. – CITY, State, Jan. 11, 2011 – Joe Smith was named the new CEO of…
  12. 12. Types of News Releases • Hard News Release – No-nonsense summary lead – Summarizes the “news” value • Feature News Release – Less time-sensitive – Might have a more creative lead
  13. 13. Example: Hard News Lead • SANTA CLARA, Calif. — March 22, 2000 — As part of their continuing efforts to develop innovative and integrated marketing solutions, Pepsi-Cola Company (NYSE: PEP) and Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), today announced a joint online and offline promotional program, Pepsi Stuff.com.
  14. 14. Example: Feature Lead • Berlin, April 10, 2003 — Sony’s AIBO, the world’s favorite four-legged entertainment robot, is about to become a wow! on the dance floor thanks to “AIBO Dancer,” an exciting new software application. Based on Sony’s Memory Stick technology, it enables AIBO to dance in time to pop music.
  15. 15. Body of Text • Most important info is high in the release • Quote from a credible executive in second or third paragraph • Background material is usually in the second or third paragraph
  16. 16. Tips for Success • Keep the headline under 70 characters (8-10 words) • Keep the opening paragraph short (25 words or less) • Overall length is usually no more than 400 words • Get a high-level, credible exec for your quote (if appropriate)
  17. 17. Case Study • A social gaming company announces plans to develop “next-generation virtual world” – Media coverage follows – Some articles follow the narrative/messaging of the press release – Some articles about the larger phenomena of virtual reality started to include this news as part of (but not the main focus of) the narrative
  18. 18. Social Media Press Releases • Many press releases are now hosted/distributed online • Optimize your release for social media sharing and keyword indexing – SEO = Search Engine Optimization – SMO = Social Media Optimization
  19. 19. Crowdcircles.com Want to learn more? Visit Crowdcircles.com

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