Attention-Getting Press Releases

Press releases are one of the most effective ways to keep the public updated on your company and your events. The list below provides some basic rules for writing press releases that work.

If you have any questions about creating news releases please send us your questions or comments via our online contact form or contact your Advertising Account Executive to learn more.

Basic Rules

  • Newsworthy – Press releases read like news, not sales or marketing promotions.  If they read like advertising, editors will ignore them.
  • Concise – Keep press releases short, just one or two pages.  Don’t say in 300 words what can be said in 100 or 200.
  • Catchy – Write an interesting lead that gets to the point fast.  Everything of critical importance should be in the headline and the first paragraph.  If it doesn’t pique the reader’s interest immediately, don’t expect anyone to wade through the rest.  Always think of what’s in it for the reader?  Why would they be interested in your information?
  • Jargon – free – Your press release should be easily understood by anyone reading it.
  • Current – Include the release date of “For Immediate Release” at the top of page one under the contact information, and write “News Release” in the upper right corner.  Don’t reissue old press releases.
  • Targeted – Know the audience.  Don’t blindly send a press release to a wide audience.  Develop a targeted list of the journalists and publications that cover the subject matter and are likely to be receptive.
  • Orderly – Write “more” at the bottom of the first page if there are multiple pages.  Use the terms or symbols: END, ### or -30- at the end of the last page, even for one-page press releases.
  • Actionable – Include a contact name with telephone number and email address.
  • Responsive – When reporters call, respond promptly.  The report who calls may be working on a story for tomorrow’s paper or writing an article that will be posted to the website right away.  If a call is returned too late, your news won’t make it into the story.
  • Timely – Take deadlines and lead times into account.  Pay attention to editorial calendars which are updated on our website.
  • Distribution – Try to find out a journalist’s preferred method of contact.  Our editors are listed in the Contacts section of this website.
  • Follow-up – Reporters receive numerous press releases on a daily basis.  If following up with a phone call, tell them immediately the topic of the release and the exact date it was sent to them.  Don’t just ask if they received your press release.

Source: NAA

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