The Leadership
Institute

Effective Press
Releases
Don Irvine
Chairman
Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media
Founded in 1969 by Reed Irvine, AIM is America’s
original news media watchdog to promote
accuracy, fairn...
Knowing the News Cycle
Yesterday vs. Today
Decades ago, the news cycle ran 9am-5pm, and centered
around the Evening News.
...
Knowing the News Cycle:
Social Media
 Posting your release to social media sites is equally as
important as sending it to...
Knowing the News Cycle
Example: Washington, DC
 People usually work 9-5 and work in several
industries: Capitol Hill, non...
Top 10 Tips for Writing an
Effective Press Release
1 – Grab Attention with a Good Headline
Bad Examples:

Good Examples:

...
Top 10 Tips for Writing an
Effective Press Release
2 – Get Right to the Point in the First Paragraph
Who is this news rele...
Top 10 Tips for Writing an
Effective Press Release
3 – Be Sure Your Information Is Accurate!
Example: CNN and Boston Bombe...
Top 10 Tips for Writing an
Effective Press Release
Example: CNN and Boston Bombers
 Results: CNN lost credibility, and wa...
Top 10 Tips for Writing an
Effective Press Release
4 – Include Hard Numbers
Provide evidence to back up your argument!

5 ...
Top 10 Tips for Writing an
Effective Press Release
7 – Include Contact Information
In order for a reporter to quickly foll...
Top 10 Tips for Writing an
Effective Press Release
9 – Provide Access to More Information
Provide links to:
 Website
 Or...
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Press Release Distribution Tips
 Craft each release to target a specific media outlet and
send it to the specific reporte...
PR Newswire Example
More Information
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/08/idUS42915859
8220130308

http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/market...
For a Copy of this PowerPoint Presentation….
Go to SlideShare at:
http://www.slideshare.net/SpencerIrvine/newsfeed
Contact Me!
Facebook: Donald Irvine

Twitter: @donirvine

LinkedIn: Donald Irvine
Connect With Us!
Accuracy in Media
4350 East West Highway

Suite 555
Bethesda, MD 20814
(202) 364-4401

info@aim.org

www....
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Accuracy in Media: Press Releases

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Accuracy in Media: Press Releases

  1. 1. The Leadership Institute Effective Press Releases Don Irvine Chairman Accuracy in Media
  2. 2. Accuracy in Media Founded in 1969 by Reed Irvine, AIM is America’s original news media watchdog to promote accuracy, fairness and balance in news reporting.  AIM exposes politically motivated media bias, teaches consumers to think critically about news sources and holds the mainstream press accountable for its misreporting.  It is a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that sets the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage.
  3. 3. Knowing the News Cycle Yesterday vs. Today Decades ago, the news cycle ran 9am-5pm, and centered around the Evening News. Today, we live in a 24-hour news cycle driven by social media.  Just because we have access to 24-hour news, doesn’t mean you should release news anytime!  Ideal Release Times: Tuesday through Thursday, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Be aware of your target audience, target community, & target industry.  The more time-sensitive a story is, the more you should lean toward social media, online outlets, radio, & TV, which are designed to break news faster than newspapers.
  4. 4. Knowing the News Cycle: Social Media  Posting your release to social media sites is equally as important as sending it to journalists.  Become familiar with these platforms and be able to post releases so that your information is dispersed quickly.  Social media allows a larger audience to view your release, and disseminates the information more quickly than traditional email.
  5. 5. Knowing the News Cycle Example: Washington, DC  People usually work 9-5 and work in several industries: Capitol Hill, non-profits, think tanks, government and contractors.  Cater your content and posting your content according to THEIR work schedules.  The best time for SOCIAL MEDIA content? Between 7am & 7pm, when people are avidly checking social media outlets.  This information differs from standard press release delivery via email!
  6. 6. Top 10 Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release 1 – Grab Attention with a Good Headline Bad Examples: Good Examples: NEW WEBSITE THAT OFFERS TEENS: ULTRA-THIN MOVIE, POP HERBAL WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMS STARS SET BAD EXAMPLE LETS TEENS SPEAK OUT ABOUT WEIGHT ISSUES COMPANY X RELEASES LIFE SAVING NEW MEDICINE COMPANY X’s NEW CANCER MEDICINE GUARANTEES TO INCREASE SURVIVAL RATE
  7. 7. Top 10 Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release 2 – Get Right to the Point in the First Paragraph Who is this news release about? What has happened that is newsworthy? Where did the newsworthy event take place? When did this happen? How is this newsworthy? and Why should readers care? News outlets will never discuss the entire press release – Make each sentence count!
  8. 8. Top 10 Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release 3 – Be Sure Your Information Is Accurate! Example: CNN and Boston Bombers  Release issued reporting that the bombing suspects had been identified and arrested.  This was later discovered to be false, and it was widely acknowledge that CNN initially spread this false information.  Mistake gave CNN another black eye, similar to when it reported a U.S. health care law was overturned
  9. 9. Top 10 Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release Example: CNN and Boston Bombers  Results: CNN lost credibility, and was the laughing stock of the news-reporting community… Even made fun of by late-night comedy television!  Lesson: Make sure your information is accurate before you make it public!
  10. 10. Top 10 Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release 4 – Include Hard Numbers Provide evidence to back up your argument! 5 – Make Sure it is Grammatically Correct Proofread, Proofread, Proofread! 6 – Include Quotes Whenever Possible People love quotes! It humanizes your announcement, and provides an added source of information.
  11. 11. Top 10 Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release 7 – Include Contact Information In order for a reporter to quickly follow up, make it easy to find, and be sure it is accurate! 8 – One Page is Best… Two is the Maximum! Condense your information into a more readable format – Something journalists are always looking for. Too much information means they are likely not to read it at all.
  12. 12. Top 10 Tips for Writing an Effective Press Release 9 – Provide Access to More Information Provide links to:  Website  Organization’s Accomplishments  Social Media Accounts 10 – Never, Ever Email Attachments!  Attachments = SPAM folder  Consider including an outline of release in the body of your email, to help them filter through the information you’ve included.
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  20. 20. Press Release Distribution Tips  Craft each release to target a specific media outlet and send it to the specific reporter who covers that beat.  “IMMEDIATE RELEASE” vs. “EMBARGOED RELEASE”  If the press release is for immediate release, you may write "IMMEDIATE RELEASE" in all capitals on the left margin, directly above the headline. If you want the information to be released later, put "EMBARGOED UNTIL..." with the date you want the story released. A release with no release date is presumed to be for immediate release.  Don’t choose your headline until you’ve written your release! Make it catchy and interesting.  Use your headline as the subject line of your email or title of your post.  Include a "call to action" to encourage distribution!
  21. 21. PR Newswire Example
  22. 22. More Information http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/08/idUS42915859 8220130308 http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/marketing/pr/writinga-press-release/a-complete-guide-to-writing-an-effectivepress-release http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Press-Release http://www.prbuzz.com/writing-help/27160-press-releasewriting.html
  23. 23. For a Copy of this PowerPoint Presentation…. Go to SlideShare at: http://www.slideshare.net/SpencerIrvine/newsfeed
  24. 24. Contact Me! Facebook: Donald Irvine Twitter: @donirvine LinkedIn: Donald Irvine
  25. 25. Connect With Us! Accuracy in Media 4350 East West Highway Suite 555 Bethesda, MD 20814 (202) 364-4401 info@aim.org www.aim.org

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