The ability to write a news release is one of the most important skills a potential public relations professional should possess. A news release is a PR firm’s opportunity to promote a product, event, or idea that could greatly influence a company or organization. This promotion is defined as a simple document whose primary purpose is the dissemination of information to mass media such as newspapers, broadcast stations, and magazines. Furthermore, many companies has a section devoted to public relations press releases on their official websites. Through news releases, public relations departments can reach both their target audience and the media.
A news release utilizes a simple format to make it easy for media to read and comprehend the most important information regarding the product, event, or idea. A news release consists of a 5WH method: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Who discusses who the news is about and who should be interested in the story. What introduces what the news and its significance is. Where describes where the news is or happened to take place. Where discusses when the event will or did take place. Why shows why the news is newsworthy and why it is happening. Finally, how shows how will this story happen or how will it take place. It is best to follow a news release template when writing releases.
Because being able to write a news release is so vital to the profession of public relations it is critical to understand the proper format in order to ensure editors will use the release in their publications. Here are a few tips to create a successful news release.
1. Don’t skimp on the details
2. Give background information
3. Provide information on photo opportunities
4. No typos
5. Don’t get flowery – avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy language
6. Make sure the information is newsworthy
7. Make sure story can relate to the public – ensure connectedness
8. Deal with facts
9. Make sure the first 10 words of the release are effective and important
10. Provide as much contact information as possible