Public Relations Tips: Build a Better News Release
Constructing a top-notch news release requires a solid structure, from the headline down to the boilerplate. Take your time and get it right; a well-formed, succinct, grammatically correct news release will generate the greatest coverage.
Before you even get started, be sure all of your source information is at-hand. Depending on the topic, this may include meeting notes, product literature, sales memos and website copy. It’s best to have these materials in electronic format so you can cut and paste directly from existing materials. Why re-invent the wheel? If client-owned copy has already been approved for another purpose, incorporate some of this language into your release when it makes sense to do so.
While your headline should be simple and to the point, it also has to quickly grab the reader’s attention. Utilize an active voice rather than a passive one. Focus on keeping it short and sweet. Add a sub-head if you need to convey a great deal of information. Most importantly, make certain your headline supports the overall message of your completed release.
When writing the lead paragraph, think back to Journalism 101. Be sure your opening answers the essential Who, What, When, Where, Why and How questions. Weave in as much information as you can into a single sentence. Remember, blending completeness with succinctness is the overall goal.
Enhance your body copy by adding quotes from company experts. Every release should contain information an editor can’t find anywhere else. This is a perfect platform for forward looking statements and commentary from company spokespersons and the geniuses behind new product developments.
Add deep links to take readers directly to more information on the exact topic covered in the release. Don’t make them jump through hoops by sending them to the site homepage and forcing them to navigate their way to the specific page they need.
Every release should end with the company’s official boilerplate. This begins with a brief statement about the company, the products and services it provides and the industries it serves. It is essential to also include the mailing address, phone number, fax, general email and website URL.