NEWS RELEASES
Chapter Five
Backbone of Publicity Programs

55-97%

Of all news releases sent to media
outlets are never used
Getting Your News Release
Published



Follow the standardized format
Provide information that will interest the
audienc...
Value of News Releases







Achieve organizational objectives
Cost effective
Credible
Major source of story ideas f...
News Release Planning
Worksheet









What is the subject of the message? What is
the specific focus of this rele...
Planning a News Release








Complete planning worksheet to develop
content and structure
Meet journalistic goal o...
Basic Components of News
Release
NEWS RELEASE COMPONENTS


Letterhead




Contacts


p. 122, Copyright John G. Shedd A...
The Lead

NEWS RELEASE COMPONENTS


The Lead




1-3 sentences on main point of release; should entice the
reader

What...
Guidelines for Writing a Lead
NEWS RELEASE COMPONENTS








Use strong, declarative sentences
Use 25 words or less...
Types of Leads

NEWS RELEASE COMPONENTS
Body of the Text

NEWS RELEASE COMPONENTS
The Boilerplate

NEWS RELEASE COMPONENTS




Basic background information about the
company
Consider including:




...
Boilerplate Example

NEWS RELEASE COMPONENTS

P&G
Traditional News Release
FORMATS










Double-spaced, 8 1/2 X 11 page document
Mailed or faxed to media
Use 10...
Online News Release
FORMATS









Single-spaced copy
200-250 words
Subject line in email is most important facto...
Social Media Release
FORMATS


Multimedia news release





Social media release (SMR)
Search engine optimization (SEO...
Miscellaneous Tips &
Guidelines









Use an interesting and appropriate quote
Avoid jargon
Use sentence variet...
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News Releases

  1. 1. NEWS RELEASES Chapter Five
  2. 2. Backbone of Publicity Programs 55-97% Of all news releases sent to media outlets are never used
  3. 3. Getting Your News Release Published   Follow the standardized format Provide information that will interest the audience   Recall traditional news values (Ch. 3) Material must be timely
  4. 4. Value of News Releases      Achieve organizational objectives Cost effective Credible Major source of story ideas for journalists and bloggers Basis of many news stories
  5. 5. News Release Planning Worksheet       What is the subject of the message? What is the specific focus of this release? Who is this message designed to reach? What is in it for the audience? What goal is the organization pursuing? What do you want to achieve with the news release? What key messages should the news release highlight?
  6. 6. Planning a News Release      Complete planning worksheet to develop content and structure Meet journalistic goal of presenting information objectively Include key messages Think like a journalist Format  Answers key questions (Who, What, When, Where, Why & How)  Format
  7. 7. Basic Components of News Release NEWS RELEASE COMPONENTS  Letterhead   Contacts  p. 122, Copyright John G. Shedd Aquarium Figure 5.2 Many organizations use a “news release” letterhead for all media materials. This letterhead, used by the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago to announce a new exhibit, also uses the traditional “For Immediate Release,” but many organizations consider it unnecessary.  contact person should be available, accessible and qualified Headline   identify organization; may specify release date quick indication of what release is about Dateline  start of lead graph; city where the release originated Copyright © 2013, 2009, 2005 Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  8. 8. The Lead NEWS RELEASE COMPONENTS  The Lead   1-3 sentences on main point of release; should entice the reader What to Avoid    Cramming too much information Flowery adjectives Technobabble
  9. 9. Guidelines for Writing a Lead NEWS RELEASE COMPONENTS       Use strong, declarative sentences Use 25 words or less for the first sentence of the lead Minimize use of dependent clauses Don’t start a lead with a preposition Keep length limited to 3-5 lines Rewrite any sentence that is over 3 lines long
  10. 10. Types of Leads NEWS RELEASE COMPONENTS
  11. 11. Body of the Text NEWS RELEASE COMPONENTS
  12. 12. The Boilerplate NEWS RELEASE COMPONENTS   Basic background information about the company Consider including:       Market position Aspiration Size Scope of business activity Geographic coverage Company core values
  13. 13. Boilerplate Example NEWS RELEASE COMPONENTS P&G
  14. 14. Traditional News Release FORMATS         Double-spaced, 8 1/2 X 11 page document Mailed or faxed to media Use 10-12 point, easy to read fonts Don’t split sentences or hyphenate words at end of sentences Number pages Use slug lines Write “more” to indicate continuation Use “###” to indicate the end
  15. 15. Online News Release FORMATS        Single-spaced copy 200-250 words Subject line in email is most important factor Contact information given at bottom of email Highlighted quotes and embedded pictures Provide contact and URL for additional information Never send as an attachment
  16. 16. Social Media Release FORMATS  Multimedia news release    Social media release (SMR) Search engine optimization (SEO) Tips for writing       Reinforce message using multiple links Place keywords in headlines and first paragraphs Distribute on services that carry hyperlinks to downstream sites Be judicious with links Use high-resolution multimedia that’s easily downloadable Choose relevant photos
  17. 17. Miscellaneous Tips & Guidelines         Use an interesting and appropriate quote Avoid jargon Use sentence variety Keep paragraphs short and skimmable Write clearly and directly Use active voice Avoid personal pronouns Avoid formulaic writing

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